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 »
National Park Service
For over 10,000 years, Native Americans have called the San Francisco Bay region home. Before the arrival of the Spanish, the San Francisco Peninsula was occupied by a people known as the Ohlone or Costanoan. Archeological evidence indicates an Ohlone/Costanoan presence at the site of the Presidio by about 740 A.D.
Ohlone/Costanoan people were organized into over fifty societal tribes. Ethnohistory suggests that small villages were maintained along the marshlands and in locations that include today's Fort Mason, Crissy Field, and Sutro Baths. Tribes moved between temporary and permanent village sites in a seasonal round of hunting, fishing, and gathering. Periodic burning of the landscape was conducted to promote the growth of native grasses for seed gathering and to create forage for deer and elk.
Life dramatically changed for the native people of the San Francisco region in 1776, when Spanish military and civilian settlers arrived to establish military garrisons (presidios), missions, and settlements. By 1810, disease, forced labor, and religious and cultural indoctrination led to the decline of the Ohlone/Costanoan way of life.
Today, descendants of the Ohlone/Costanoan people live throughout the San Francisco Bay area and many are organized into distinct tribal groups. While participating in contemporary society, they are actively involved in the preservation and revitalization of their native culture. Restoration of native language; protection of ancestral sites; and knowledge of traditional plant uses, story telling, dance, song, and basket weaving are all aspects of these efforts. The National Park Service works alongside Ohlone/Costanoan groups in the preservation and interpretation of their ancestral sites in the Presidio.
Did You Know?
Herb Alpert, Grammy Award-winning bandleader of the Tijuana Brass, played in the 6th Army Band at the Presidio during the 1950's. Alpert later claimed the structure and discipline of the Army helped him with his music.