Tunnel to Marin Headlands Closed
The tunnel on Bunker Road from Alexander Avenue in Sausalito towards the Marin Headlands is closed for construction. Please follow the detour signs to Conzelman Road (just above the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge) to go up over the hill. More »
Muir Beach (but not nearby Muir Woods) parking lot closed June-November 2013
Muir Beach parking lot will be closed from June-November 2013 due to construction. Restrooms or nearby parking will not be available at Muir Beach during this period. 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 »
Rivers and Streams
A number of creeks criss-cross the park – from Redwood Creek to Lagunitas, Tennessee Valley, Gerbode, and Lobos Creeks. When biologist speak of the life of creeks, they use the term riparian corridor. This includes the water itself as well as the vegetation on and alongside the banks. In the arid central California coast these wet areas are oases for plant and wildlife species. Riparian corridors are usually dominated by dense stands of trees such as red alders, bay laurel, big-leafed maple, or buckeye. These riparian forests have an understory of shrubs such as elderberry and flowering currant, vines such as blackberry and honeysuckle, and ferns. Wetland species such as rushes, sedges, horsetail, watercress, smartweed and water parsley grow in or along the water’s edge. Right next to the water Arroyo willow, wax myrtle, and California dogwood grow.
It is called a riparian corridor because water sources flow from high ground to low ground, through a variety of different habitats. Because they are long and narrow like hallways, they provide runways of movement for animals from the highlands to the lowlands, and vice versa. Many of the shrubs and vines of the riparian zone have berries or lush leaves. The trees harbor a myriad of insects, important to migrating songbirds such as flycatchers, warblers, and vireos as they stop to rest and feed on their journeys of thousands of miles. Riparian corridors are also critical habitat for amphibians such as tree frogs, newts, salamanders, and the endangered red-legged frog. Salamanders and banana slugs abound in the underbrush and decomposing logs beneath the big trees.
Each winter the Coho salmon and steelhead trout find their way up Redwood and Lagunitas Creeks to spawn where they were born. Fish and amphibians require cool water and shade to survive. The overhanging willow and alder foliage keeps the water cool even in intense sun. The roots of the trees twine out of the streambed, slowing the water and providing deep, dark overhangs in which to rest and hide. Insect larvae such as stoneflies, dragonflies, and caddis flies live their young lives in stream beds attached to stones and debris before living the rest of their lives in the air. Other invertebrates such as amphipods, leeches, and worms live their entire lives on the stream bottoms. These small decomposers break down vegetation in the stream and themselves provide food for freshwater shrimp and fish.
Did You Know?
Immediately after the San Francisco earthquake, on April 18, 1906, General Frederick Funston coordinated much of the emergency rescue and relief efforts directly out of his residence at Fort Mason.