Plan Ahead for Fourth of July

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Date: July 1, 2014
Contact: Alexandra Picavet, 415-786-8021

Plan Ahead for Park Activities During Fourth of July Holiday at Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Golden Gate National Recreation Area is expecting crowds and 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 Firework Viewing Locations

The fireworks are best viewed from near Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39, where they are discharged. While Crissy Field and the Marin Headlands are popular locations to visit, they do not offer optimum viewing of fireworks. 


Use Public Transportation

Remember that this weekend will have some of the heaviest traffic of the year, further complicated by the closure of the northbound Interstate 280 from the U.S. 101/I-280 interchange to downtown San Francisco for repair over the holiday weekend. The National Park Service urges visitors to plan ahead and use public transportation to get to the park's many sites. Take MUNI, Golden Gate Transit, SamTrans, PresidioGo or Marin Transit shuttle to avoid full parking lots (expected to fill early in the day.) For information on transit options go to http://www.511.org, or and follow links for transit providers, schedules and route maps. On July 4th through the 6th MUNI 76 will operate throughout the Marin Headlands until approximately 6PM.

Traffic & Parking—expect heavy traffic, full parking lots, and congestion   

San Francisco—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. 

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. The road will be closed when full. At the conclusion of the fireworks all vehicles will exit through the Baker / Barry Tunnel onto Alexander Avenue.

Fort Baker—Satterlee Road and Battery Yates are CLOSED to pedestrians and vehicles for construction. There will be limited parking and viewing locations this year.  Expected heavy congestion and delays. Parking is expected to fill early.  

Other Activities on July 4th

  • Visit the Marin Headlands Visitor Center, open 9:30AM until 4:30PM, to discover the history of the area, check out the Nike Missile Site or Battery Townsley open houses. 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 audio tour to see how the Center cares for seal and sea lion patients. 2000 Bunker Road, Fort Chronkhite, Sausalito. 415-289-7325 
  • If you plan to visit Muir Woods National Monument take the shuttle. The Monument is open 8AM until 8PM. For information visit

Do NOT Bring


The use of personal fireworks is not allowed within any part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, including Ocean Beach. There are many reasons for this prohibition including public safety and the negative effects of fireworks on wildlife. 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 people have been hurt.

Garbage- (do bring garbage bags though)

Pack it In- Pack it Out!On busy days such as 4th 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.

Pet Safety

The Fourth of July is the number one holiday for pets to go missing across America. Make sure you take precautions to make sure your pets stay safe. Parties, loud noises, and a lot of extra people make this holiday difficult for pets. Make sure their tags are updated, keep a tight grip on their leash, and if your pet gets out, be sure to call the shelter, rescue, or foster home immediately for help – their connections might help you find your pet faster.

Enjoy a safe and festive day in your national parks!

Last updated: February 28, 2015

Contact the Park

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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