• 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

Lightscape / Night Sky

Winter Solstice celebration of dark night skies at Muir Woods

Winter Solstice celebration of dark night skies at Muir Woods

Dan Ng

Darkness is a valuable resource for visitors, and critical to the welfare of the park’s wildlife. High points in open areas within the park provide excellent opportunities to view the night sky. In particular, such areas that have little or no artificial lighting are sought by visitors to practice amateur astronomy close to home. Wildlife habitat is more valuable when unimpaired by artificial light. While high open areas in the park may provide opportunities to view the night sky, most of these locations are subject to light pollution from the surrounding Bay Area. Lighting within and adjacent to the park also reduce the darkness of the night sky. Wildlife habitat is impaired by artificial lighting.

The park is addressing protection of natural lightscapes within the General Management Planning process, and is taking steps to reduce light pollution within the park.

Did You Know?

wood-frame earthquake shacks from 1906

GGNRA owns two of these rare, wood-frame shacks, built in 1906 to shelter survivors of the famous San Francisco earthquake. Now located at the Presidio, these shacks once comprised 24 city blocks and at peak occupancy, housed a total of 16,448 refugees.