• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE PARK ACREAGE? 1,491 acres

WHAT IS PARK VISITATION ANNUALLY? Over 5 million

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PRESIDIO'S HISTORIC FEATURES?

The entire Presidio is designated a National Historic Landmark District

  • 870 structures, 470 classified as historic structures
  • 300 acres of Presidio historic planted forest maintained as part of a cultural landscape
  • Coastal defense structures and ordnance spanning over 200 years of history

WHAT ARE THE PRESIDIO'S NATURAL FEATURES?

  • Approximately 800 acres open space and 145 acres native plant communities
  • Presidio has 14 threatened, endangered or candidate plant species
  • Spectacular exposures of serpentinite and other subduction zone related rocks on the coastal bluffs
  • Presidio is located on San Francisco Bay with scenic views of the City, Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, Angel Island, and Alcatraz Island

WHAT ARE THE PRESIDIO'S RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES?

Visitor Center - (415) 561-4323
Crissy Field Center - (415) 561-7690
Ranger and docent led walks
Bicycle tours
11 miles of hiking trails
14 miles of biking routes
World renowned board sailing and kite surfing area
Beaches, picnic sites, dog walking
Bird watching and photographic opportunities
Group campsites

WHAT'S THE BRIEF HISTORIC TIMELINE OF THE PRESIDIO?

Pre-1776: Native Americans of the Ohlone tribe harvested resources in the area to provide for food and shelter

1776: Presidio established by the Spanish

1822: Mexico assumed control of the Presidio

1846: United States takes over the post

1972: Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) created; Presidio included within GGNRA boundaries

1989: Army announces the Presidio will close as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act

1994: Presidio transferred to National Park Service

1998: Management of non-coastal areas of the Presidio transferred to the Presidio Trust

WHAT ARE SOME OTHER FACTS?

  • Nowhere in the National Park System is the span and variety of history comparable to the 219-year continuum of the Presidio's use as a military garrison by Spain, Mexico, and the United States
  • U.S. Army maintained a post at the Presidio for nearly 150 years. Presidio's garrison has included troops from all major combat arms: infantry, cavalry, artillery, Army Air Corps
  • Presidio cavalry troops (including some of the African-American regiments nicknamed "Buffalo Soldiers") served as "park rangers" protecting and maintaining Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon (General Grant) National Parks before establishment of the National Park Service
  • Presidio played a critical role in providing aid to the City's 1906 earthquake victims
  • Crissy Field was the only Army Airfield continually active in the western U.S. from 1919-1936
  • During World War II, the Presidio was home to Nisei (Japanese-American) soldiers training at the Military Intelligence Service Language School, which was the precursor of the current Defense Language School in Monterey, California

Did You Know?

Refugees in line for supplies, 1906

In the three days following the 1906 earthquake, the Army's refugee camps at the Presidio issued 3,000 tents, 12,000 shelter halves, 13,000 ponchos, 58,000 pairs of shoes, and 24,000 regulation blue shirts.