• 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


Park Mission

The Golden Gate National Parks mission is to preserve and enhance the natural, historic and scenic resources of the lands north and south of the Golden Gate for the education, recreation and inspiration of people today and in the future. In the spirit of bringing national parks to the people, we reach out to a diverse urban community, promote the richness and breadth of the national park system to many who are experiencing a national park for the first time and foster broad-based public stewardship through various volunteer and partnership programs.

To learn more about the park's vision for Interpretation & Education, download a copy of our latest Comprehensive Interpretive Plan:


About Us

Golden Gate National Recreation Area was established by Congress in 1972 as part of a movement known as "Parks to the People." The park has grown into the largest national park unit in an urban area in this country, and includes under its management two additional NPS units-Fort Point NHS and Muir Wood NM. The park's lands are located in three counties-Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo. Upwards of 20 million people per year visit this remarkable park, located in the midst of a highly diverse metropolitan area of 7 million people.

The park includes world-renowned visitor destinations such as Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods, as well as many other destination of regional and national import such as the Crissy Field, the Presidio, Marin Headlands, Stinson Beach, Fort Mason, Ocean Beach, Fort Funston, Sweeney Ridge, and Mori Point. One of the largest collections of historic buildings of any national park can be found in the park, along with dozens of plants and animal species that are accorded state or federal protected status. The park is part of the United Nations-designated Golden Gate International Biosphere Reserve.

Partnership is one of the watchwords of the park, with a number of outstanding nonprofit organizations working with the park to make available a wide variety of programs. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is the official support organization for the park, providing an extraordinary level of funds and assistance each year.

The park operates under Federal, Department of the Interior, and National Park Service policies and guidelines, in accordance with a General Management Plan (GMP) which was first published in 1980. The park GMP is currently undergoing revision to reflect new lands and responsibilities added since the park was established.

Park management includes a General Superintendent, Deputy General Superintendent, and a number of operating and administrative divisions. The park's budget includes annual federal appropriations, capital and special purpose project funding, fee funds, and donated funds. Park staffing is augmented by a high level of volunteerism, generally exceeding 350,000 hours of volunteer service per year.

Did You Know?

Gen. Funston and other leaders meeting on a lawn at Fort Mason

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.