News Release

Golden Gate National Recreation Area  Seeks Public Input on Fees Proposed for 2022 to Aid Park Operations

People gather at the bridge to Point Bonita Lighthouse as the sun sets with the ocean in the background
Adding a fee to the Point Bonita Lighthouse Evening Tour will allow the park to recover operational costs and continue offering it to future visitors.

Photo by NPS/Francis Ng

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News Release Date: August 27, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO—Despite the difficulty brought by the coronavirus pandemic, National Park Service (NPS) staff helped ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for the more than 12.4 million people who came to Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 2020. Our staff continued their important work in the field even in the face of serious challenges.  

Following the dramatic increase in visitation seen in some areas of the park and to account for the high costs associated with critical park operations, the NPS is proposing to add fees to some parking lots in San Francisco and Marin County and begin charging a fee for an after-hours tour at the Point Bonita Lighthouse. 

This new fee proposal follows another planning effort earlier this year that sought to add or increase fees for camping in the Marin Headlands, parking at four NPS-controlled lots in the Presidio of San Francisco, and reserving tickets for an evening tour at Fort Point National Historic Site. After receiving positive feedback and support from the community, those proposed changes are scheduled to take effect in mid-to-late 2022. 

Eighty percent of the money collected from fees is retained in the park. By paying these fees, visitors help to fund trash collection and custodial services, traffic control operations during peak season weekends and holidays, and repair or replacement of damaged park signs on trails, roads and parking lots. 

Fee revenue also goes toward critical visitor protection services including ocean safety operations. The park is planning to use fee monies, for example, to fund the replacement of the Stinson Beach lifeguard tower and the removal of sand at Ocean Beach to maintain visitor and emergency vehicle access. Both of these locations saw an increase in visitation in 2020. 

In keeping with the NPS’ commitment to equity, these fees have been structured to be affordable and limited in scope, while also providing a funding source that will allow the park to better serve the millions of people who visit each year. A list of the proposed fee changes is shown below:   

SITE 

OLD FEE 

NEW FEE 

Baker Beach Lots, parking fee 

$0 

$3/hour, $10 daily max, 8am – 5pm daily 

Merrie Way (Lands End Lookout) Lot, parking fee 

$0 

$3/hour, $10 daily max, 8am – 5pm daily 

Sutro Heights Lot, parking fee 

$0 

$3/hour, $10 daily max, 8am – 5pm daily 

Navy Memorial Lot & adjacent NPS roadway, parking fee 

$0 

$3/hour, $10 daily max, 8am – 5pm daily 

China Beach Lot, parking fee 

$0 

$3/hour, $10 daily max, 8am – 5pm daily 

Northwest Commuter Lot, parking fee 

$0 

$3/hour, $10 daily max, 8am – 5pm daily  

Rodeo Beach & Fort Cronkhite Lots, parking fee 

$0 

$3/hour, $10 daily max, 8am – 5pm daily 

Stinson Beach Lot, parking fee 

$0 

$3/hour, $10 daily max, 8am – 5pm daily 

Point Bonita Lighthouse Evening Tour, Adult ages 16+ 

$0 

$16 

Point Bonita Lighthouse Evening Tour, Senior/Access pass holders 

$0 

$8 

Point Bonita Lighthouse Evening Tour, Child ages 7 to 15 years 

$0 

$10 


The proposed parking fees will align rates for NPS-managed parking lots with fees for parking at other public lands and urban areas elsewhere in San Francisco and Marin County. Fees for the Point Bonita Lighthouse Evening Tour will fund its operational costs to ensure that it can be offered to visitors in the future.
 

 

The Marin Transit 61 & 61M buses service Stinson Beach every day of the week and provide an affordable means of transport to the park. Photo by NPS/Kirke Wrench. 

The proposal calls for parking fees to be in effect at these locations between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., which means that people visiting outside these hours would not be charged for parking. Many visitors to the park travel by bicycle or foot, and public transit which operates in close vicinity to many of the affected parking lots, including Stinson Beach, Lands End and Baker Beach, offers an inexpensive alternative to driving.  

If approved, implementation of parking fees will be phased-in lot by lot over several years. They would begin to take effect as early as mid-to-late 2022. The fee for the after-hours lighthouse tour would take effect at the start of next year. 

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which does not charge an entrance fee at any of its sites, was the second most-visited national park in 2020. According to a recent NPS study, park visitors spent $684 million in nearby communities which supported 6,862 jobs in the local economy. 

The proposed changes were determined following thorough review from NPS concession and fee program staff. For more information about other fees at the park, please visit the Fees & Passes webpage.   

The NPS is accepting public comments on the proposed fee changes from August 27, 2021 to September 26, 2021. Comments can be sent by email to goga_business@nps.gov or by phone at 415-561-4700.



Last updated: August 27, 2021

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Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022

Phone:

(415) 561-4700

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