• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking across the bay back towards San Francisco, seen in the distance.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

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  • Winter Surf Warning

    Every year people drown in the surf off Northern California beaches - don't let it be you! Be extra alert on park beaches during the winter storm season. Do not turn your back on the shoreline and watch for extra powerful “sneaker” waves.

Nature & Science

Intern mapping invasives

Park intern mapping invasive species

NPS photo

As development expands throughout California and other areas of the country, urban national parks and their natural resources become increasingly important. National parks in the San Francisco Bay region, including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, house an amazing richness of biological diversity due to the variety of habitats and unique geology of the area.

Over half of the bird species of North America and nearly one third of California's plant species are found within the park's legislative boundaries. Of those, over 40 are listed as federally threatened or endangered.

The Recreation Area is spread through a 60-mile swath of coastal lands, with inholdings by other agencies and private owners incorporated into the park's legislative boundaries. Because of the multiple landowners, many Bay Area residents and park visitors think of our park in terms of isolated sites such as Muir Woods, Stinson Beach, the Marin Headlands, and the Presidio.

The bigger picture is one of wildlife corridors, secret nature spots, and refuges for rarities. Traveling through the park connects you with windswept beaches, dramatic cliffs, coastal chaparral, low mountains, swaths of prairie, live oak woodlands, salt marshes, freshwater wetlands and creeks, and redwood forests. All you have to do is get out and explore!

 
Staff monitoring vegetation at Crissy Field.

Restoration & Management
Managers are working to stop habitat loss and preserve local biological diversity. Learn more about park restoration and monitoring projects at locations such as Crissy Field, Fort Baker, The Presidio, Mori Point, and Muir Beach!

 
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San Francisco Bay Area National Parks Nature & Science
The many National Park Service programs and partners in the Bay Area are dedicated to understanding and preserving the region's unique resources through science and education. Find information about these resources and about scientific activities and research underway. And check out the Species of the Year for 2013!

 
Natural Resource Inventories and Long Term Monitoring

Natural Resource Inventories and Long-Term Monitoring
Managers are working with the Inventory & Monitoring Program to track long term trends in the park's natural resources. Scientists are monitoring a suite of ecological indicators which will tell them about ecosystem health and changes.

 
Climate Change

Climate Change
"Earth's climate is changing, with global temperature now rising at a rate unprecedented in the experience of modern human society."
-Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, 2004

 
Coyote

Keep Wildlife Wild
As more people visit the park, there is greater potential for negative interactions with wildlife such as coyotes and raccoons. When you visit the park, you are visiting their home. Find out about simple rules to protect park wildlife.

Did You Know?

Tectonic decal of San Andreas Lake

The tectonic forces that formed San Andreas Lake, in San Mateo County, are similar to those that formed Loch Ness in Scotland, the home of "Nessie," the rumored Loch Ness monster.