History & Culture

The history and culture of Golden Gate National Recreation Area is as varied and diverse as the stories of the Ohlone and Coast Miwok communities, Muir Woods redwood forest, successful Mexican and early American dairy farms, the U.S. Army's development of the Bay Area's expansive seacoast defenses, Alcatraz Island and elegant early 20th century recreational baths and gardens. Explore the following links to learn more about the people, places and stories of Golden Gate.



The Native Americans, officers and soldiers, immigrants, influential women and the innovators who have shaped GGNRA's history.


The park's history includes a wide range of stories from historic political struggles, to environmental conservation and more.


Learn about the park's historic military forts and recreational areas.

Take a History Tour!

Visit the Self-Guided Brochure page and download these walking tours for your next visit.


Understanding and Protecting GGNRA's Human History

The Cultural Resources program at Golden Gate National Recreation Area documents and shares the stories of people and the land, now and in the past, and helps preserve places and objects with special history. The park has produced a wide variety of documents, including historic building reports, cultural landscape reports, preservation manuals and historic resource studies. Humans have made their homes on park lands now for perhaps as long as 12,000 years.

man in uniform use table saw to cut wood in shed


Park professionals rehabilitate, preserve and maintain historic buildings, landscapes, structures and archeological site.


Our park collections contains over 6.2 million historic objects, documents, images and specimens.

historic fort mason with view of alcatraz

Cultural Resource Publications

The park has produced historic building reports, cultural landscape reports, preservation manuals and historic resource studies.


The GGNRA Park Archives and Records Center (PARC) is a valuable resource for research.


Last updated: March 19, 2020

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco , CA 94123-0022


415 561-4700

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