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 »
Reptiles are an often feared family of Golden Gate's fauna, but with their hardy scales in intricately arranged patterns, they are also one of the most beautiful. Look for lizards and snakes sunning on a rock or a stretch of trail as you hike through the park. The garter snake is the most common snake in the area, but a number of other species also live in the park such as the California kingsnake, gopher snake, Pacific ringneck snake, and Pacific rubber boa. Humans have nothing to fear from these species of snakes, which prey on small rodents and other reptiles. Legged reptiles include the alligator lizard with its long mottled body, the Western fence lizard with its blue belly, and the Western skink. Most native turtles have been extirpated, but it is possible that a visitor might see a Western pond turtle tucked away in the park's wildlands.
One of the most rare and beautiful snakes in the world, the San Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia), also lives in Golden Gate. This species has been listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and C.A. Department of Fish and Game since 1967. It is endemic to San Mateo County, and is now found in only a few places including land owned by San Francisco Watershed District and Mori Point in Pacifica. In the past, San Francisco garter snakes have been spotted at the park's newest addition, Rancho Corral de Tierra; however, none have been found in recent surveys. The most robust San Francisco garter snake populations are at Año Nuevo State Park.Learn more about the park's reptiles and amphibians here, including short resource briefs and photos and multimedia on these amazing animals.
Did You Know?
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.