News Release

Visitation to Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Bay Area parks rebounded in 2022

An aerial view of the Golden Gate Bridge with the San Francisco Bay surrounding it
Golden Gate National Recreation Area is made up of 82,000 on both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge.

NPS/Kirke Wrench

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News Release Date: March 1, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO—In a significant increase over the previous year, more than 17.3 million visitors came to Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument, and Fort Point National Historic Site in 2022.

According to a report released earlier this week by the National Park Service (NPS), visitation to national parks last year continued to approach pre-pandemic levels. This was particularly true of lesser-known parks, which saw more visitors in 2022 who were drawn to the unique experiences that they offer.

While total visitation across the entire National Park System remained below what it has been in the past, some parks saw more visitors last year than in 2019. Golden Gate National Recreation Area was one such park and saw 15.6 million visitors in 2022 — making it the country’s second-most popular national park.    

A new area of the park called Presidio Tunnel Tops opened in July 2022 after years of collaboration between the NPS and partners at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and Presidio Trust to transform the top of the Presidio Parkway tunnels into a green space. Just a few months later, Golden Gate National Recreation Area celebrated its 50th anniversary and kicked off a year of special interpretive programming meant to engage communities in new and transformative ways.

“Last year we were excited to welcome new audiences to Golden Gate National Recreation Area and introduce to them the unique experiences that come with visiting a national park," said Charles Strickfaden, Director of Communications and External Affairs for the park. "While there are countless must-see parks in the Bay Area, including our own, we also encourage our visitors to take some time to explore some of the hidden gems at other nearby national park units.”

By the numbers — 2022 visitation to Bay Area parks:

Approximately a third of visitors to national parks in 2022 travelled to places with a historical or cultural focus. Bay Area parks teach visitors about a variety of such topics and figures, including the contributions of civilians to the 1940s war effort, the man who inspired national parks, and one of America’s greatest playwrights.

Visitors can take advantage of the search feature on the NPS website to search by state, activity, and topic. They can also download the NPS App from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store to find up-to-date information about all 424 national parks. For an in-depth look at visitation statistics, please visit the NPS Social Science website.

To learn more about national parks in California and how the NPS works with California communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to

Last updated: March 31, 2023

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