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

    Presidio of San Francisco

    California

El Polin Spring

A Wilson's warbler takes a bath at El Polin spring

Many birds congregate at El Polin spring, like this Wilson's Warbler.

El Polin spring water bubbles from a rock wall at the head of this riparian valley. The spring provided a source of fresh water for the Spanish Presidio, and Spanish and Mexican families built their homes in this sheltered valley. Later, in 1898, the First Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment camped here during the Spanish-American War. Today, you can picnic in the bucolic meadows near the spring or explore the surrounding forest and grasslands.

Did You Know?

Jonathan Letterman

Major Jonathan Letterman--after whom the hospital at the Presidio was renamed in 1911--was the medical director of the Army of the Potomac. A founding father of military medicine, Letterman organized forward first-aid stations, mobile field hospitals, and ambulance services during the Civil War.