• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking towards San Francisco at sunrise.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

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  • Tunnel Closure

    The Barry/Baker tunnel on Bunker Road will be closed for maintenance during the weeks of 6/2 and 6/9. The tunnel will be open on the weekends. Please use Conzelman Road instead. More »

  • Muir Beach Overlook closure

    The Muir Beach Overlook will be closed for Accessibility improvements and trail upgrades from June 2 through July 21. Alternate viewpoints are available along Highway 1 between there and Stinson Beach.

Hydrologic Activity

Flooding near Muir Beach due to degradation of the Redwood Creek watershed

Flooding near Muir Beach due to degradation of the watershed

NPS photo

Golden Gate is literally surrounded by large bodies of water. This Pacific Coast contains the only opening to the interior of the state for nearly 1,000 miles of coastline. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers drain nearly 40% of the watersheds in California. And all of this flows out of the Golden Gate. San Francisco Bay is one of the largest on the entire West Coast. Early British explorers marveled that they could fit the entire fleet of England into its berth! The Bay was originally ringed with tidal salt marshes and coastal lagoons, over 90% of which have since been destroyed. Further inland, the varied water resources of Golden Gate include groundwater springs, freshwater streams and ponds, and seasonal wetlands. Eight significant watersheds are located within the park. They are, from north to south, Lagunitas Creek, Olema Creek, Redwood Creek, Elk Creek, Rodeo Creek, Lobos Creek, West Union Creek, and the San Francisco Watershed lands in San Mateo County. Eleven rare species are associated with GGNRA waters, including eight federally listed species: the California freshwater shrimp, tidewater goby, red‑legged frog, Sacramento River winter‑run chinook salmon, steelhead trout, coho salmon, and San Francisco garter snake. Water Quality in the park is monitored at beaches for public safety.

Did You Know?

Granite block at Crissy Field

Some granite on the beaches of San Francisco arrived here from China as ballast in ships during the Gold Rush.