Fourth of July in Golden Gate

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Date: June 29, 2012
Contact: Alexandra Picavet, 415-786-8021

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Calif. Golden Gate National Recreation Area expects heavy use of beaches, parking lots, trails, and historic sites this Fourth of July. The National Park Service would like to pass on these tips for a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Best Viewing Locations
The fireworks are discharged from two locations concentrated near Fisherman's Wharf. Crissy Field and the Marin Headlands, though popular locations to visit, do not offer optimum viewing of fireworks.

Use Public Transportation to the Park 
The National Park Service urges visitors to use public transportation to get to the park's many sites. Take MUNI, Golden Gate Transit, SamTrans, or the PresidioGo shuttle to avoid full parking lots (which will fill up early in the day) and to spend more time having fun in the park. For information on transit options go to or and follow links for transit providers, schedules and route maps. On July 4, MUNI 76 will operate throughout the Marin Headlands until approximately 6PM.

Traffic & Parking
The new configuration of Doyle Drive has changed and reduced the ways to get to and from Crissy Field, please plan ahead, have patience, or better yet use transit! As in past years, areas and access roads will be closed to vehicle traffic for visitor safety and resource protection once there is no more parking capacity. Parking will be limited along the waterfront and Marina Boulevard, and roads are expected to be extremely congested along Crissy Field and East Beach, especially after the fireworks show. Please take your time and plan ahead.

In the Marin Headlands, Conzelman Road will changed to one-way traffic heading into the Marin Headlands starting late in the afternoon to accommodate special event parking along the road and maintain emergency access. It will be closed when full. At the conclusion of the fireworks all vehicles will exit through the Baker / Barry Tunnel onto Alexander Avenue. Roadways within Fort Baker are expected to have heavy congestion and delays, and the parking lot is expected to fill early.

Activities on July 4th
Visit the Marin Headlands Visitor Center, open 9:30AM until 4:30PM, to discover the history of the area, and perhaps plan a hike. For information visit

The Marine Mammal Center is open 10:00AM until 5:00PM daily, where you can enjoy a one hour docent-led tour or the new audio tour to see how the Center cares for seal and sea lion patients. 2000 Bunker Road, Fort Chronkhite, Sausalito. 415-289-7325

Do NOT Bring Fireworks  
 The use of personal fireworks is not allowed within Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including on Ocean Beach. There are many reasons for this prohibition including public safety and the negative effects of fireworks on wildlife. The Bay Area is home to many species of birds, and July is nesting season for many of them, including Bank Swallows and Double-Crested Cormorants. Birds may abandon their nests due to illegal fireworks explosions. Park Police and Park Rangers patrolling Golden Gate National Recreation Area will confiscate, and issue citations for using fireworks.

 Alcohol is prohibited on Ocean Beach.

 Glass containers are prohibited on all beaches in Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It is a safety hazard and difficult to remove. 

 Pack it In- Pack it Out! On busy days such as Fourth of July the amount of garbage generated can exceed our ability to collect it, even with full-time crews working extra hours. Please consider the amount of packaging and unneeded items you bring with you when visiting the parks, and only bring what you can carry back with you. It can be very windy and difficult to control garbage. Please take care.

Ocean Safety
With sunshine and warm temperatures predicted for the holiday, the water may look tempting. Beware of dangerous rip currents, cold water, and high waves at beaches. Stinson Beach is the park's only designated beach for ocean swimming. Please do not swim at other beaches, including Ocean Beach and Baker Beach. In case of an emergency, call 911 or 415-561-5656.

Enjoy a beautiful and festive day in your national parks!




Last updated: February 28, 2015

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Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022


(415) 561-4700
Pacific West Region Information Center (415) 561-4700 Special Event & Commercial Film Permits (415) 561-4300

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