• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking towards San Francisco at sunrise.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

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Golden Gate Encourages Park Visitors to Plan Ahead for Fourth of July Holiday

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Date: July 2, 2013
Contact: Alexandra Picavet, 415-561-4732

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) expects heavy use of beaches, parking lots, trails, and historic sites this Fourth of July. For a safe and enjoyable holiday, please consider the following tips from the National Park Service.

Fireworks Viewing

Fireworks are discharged from two locations near Fisherman's Wharf. The best location to watch the show is near City piers instead of Crissy Field and the Marin Headlands, which do not offer optimum viewing. It is illegal to possess or light fireworks anywhere in GGNRA, including the beaches, parking lots or on Crissy Field. Do not bring them. Dogs can get very nervous during fireworks displays with the noise, bright flashes and crowds. Every year more pets are lost during holidays that feature fireworks than any other single day event. Please consider leaving your dogs at home where they will be much more comfortable.

Public Transportation

Use public transportation to reach the park's many sites. Spend more time having fun in the park and avoid full parking lots (which fill up early in the day) by taking MUNI, Golden Gate Transit, SamTrans, or the PresidioGo. For additional transit information, visit www.511.org or www.transitandtrails.org. On July 4, MUNI 76 will operate throughout the Marin Headlands until approximately 6PM. The Muir Woods Route 66 Shuttle is also available.

Traffic & Parking

Conzelman Road will be changed to one-way traffic exiting the Marin Headlands starting late in the afternoon to accommodate special event parking and maintain emergency access. The road will be closed when parking is full. Directly after the fireworks all roads will be redirected to only allow vehicles to exit the Headlands until the crowds subside. The parking lot at Fort Baker is expected to fill early, and area roadways are anticipated to have heavy congestions and delays after the fireworks.

The new configuration of Doyle Drive has changed and reduced access to Crissy Field. As in past years, once parking is full, areas and access roads will be closed to vehicle traffic for visitor safety and resource protection. Parking is limited along the waterfront and Marina Boulevard, and roads are expected to be extremely congested along Crissy Field and East Beach, especially following the fireworks. Please take your time and have patience, or better yet, take transit!

Reminder: Muir Beach closes Monday, July 8 until the end of November for construction and restoration work.

Expect the beaches to be crowded. Parking rules will be strictly enforced to ensure safety of pedestrians and neighbors. Please carpool and use transit whenever possible.

What NOT to Bring

·Alcohol: Alcohol is prohibited on Ocean Beach.

·Glass: Glass containers – a safety hazard and difficult to remove – are prohibited on all beaches in GGNRA and in the Fort Mason Meadow.

·Garbage: Leave No Trace!On busy days including holidays, the amount of garbage generated can exceed the park's ability to collect it, even with full-time crews working extra hours. Please consider the amount of packaging and unneeded items you bring when visiting the parks, and only take in what you can carry back out with you.

·Fireworks: The use of personal fireworks is not allowed within GGNRA, including on Ocean Beach. Some of the many reasons for this prohibition include public safety and protecting wildlife. The Bay Area is home to more than half of all North American bird species, and July is nesting season for many of them, including bank swallows and double-crested cormorants. Birds may abandon their nests due to illegal fireworks explosions. Park Police and Park Rangers patrolling GGNRA will confiscate fireworks and issue citations.

Swimming Safety

The water may seem tempting with sunshine and warm temperatures predicted for the holiday. Stinson Beach is the park's only designated beach for ocean swimming. Please do not swim at other beaches, including Ocean Beach and Baker Beach. Beware of dangerous rip currents, cold water, and high waves. In case of emergency, call 911 or 415-561-5656.

Follow us on Twitter @GoldenGateNPS. Enjoy a beautiful and festive day in your national parks!

– NPS –

Did You Know?

Fossils clams from Alcatraz Island

Megafossils (fossils that can be observed with the unaided eye) are rare in Franciscan Complex rocks, but the rocks of “The Rock,” Alcatraz, have yielded significant examples.