Temporary Closure of Waters Around Alcatraz Island
From 7/3 to 9/22 a 500’ marine buffer zone is in effect, closing the perimeter of Alcatraz Island to all private vessels to protect nesting seabirds during America's Cup racing. Tours to Alcatraz continue as usual during the races. More »
Muir Beach (but not nearby Muir Woods) closed July 8-November 2013, but local businesses are open
Though Muir Beach is closed from July 8-November 2013 due to construction, the PELICAN INN IS OPEN. Restrooms and parking are not available at Muir Beach. Pacific Way is closed except to residents. Check back for updates or call (415)561-3054. More »
CAUTION: Post Storm Damage to Coastal Trail
The Presidio Coastal Trail segment just north of the Pacific Overlook and adjacent to Lincoln Blvd remains CLOSED indefinitely. We have posted signage to alert bicyclists and hikers and with information for safe trail alternatives. More »
Evolving in a harsh coastal area, the plants of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area are a hardy bunch. The park's Mediterranean climate-with mild, wet winters and extended, dry summers-encourage plants to adapt to long seasons without rain. Golden Gate is located in the center of the California Floristic Province, one of only five regions in the world with this kind of Mediterranean climate, which are home to high floral diversity and unique assemblages rivaled only by the equatorial rainforests.
Golden Gate's habitats are dominated by evergreen shrubs and patchy grasslands (commonly referred to as coastal scrub and coastal prairie). Coastal scrub plants are usually low-growing, thick-leaved shrubs with a variety of adaptations for temperature regulation and water retention. Coastal species are also able to tolerate wind pruning, salt spray, and thin soils. In addition to coastal scrub and prairie, Golden Gate National Recreation Area supports wetland habitat and several forest types including redwood and mixed evergreen forest, oak woodlands and riparian forests.
Urban development and the stresses of habitat destruction and introduced species have pushed a number of the region's plants to the brink of extinction. Golden Gate National Recreation Area serves as a refuge for an astonishing number of these rare plants. With populations scattered throughout the park, these protected lands are often the last chance to prevent the extinction of these species.
Forty-five rare or special status plant species are currently identified within GGNRA. Ten are federally threatened or endangered and the remainder are listed as rare by the California Native Plant Society. Park scientists have been monitoring these plants for over a decade, providing valuable baseline information for species on the brink. Listed species are counted and mapped every one to three years. The resulting data gives insight into the shifts in distribution and population size of these special plants.
Did You Know?
The building now known as the Crissy Field Center originally opened for business in 1939 as a commissary?