GGNRA Audio-described Brochure Text

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Overview


This is the audio-only described version of the park's brochure. It provides details on the varied activities and locations available to you within Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Welcome to Golden Gate


Hello, and welcome to the golden gate national recreation area. This vast area along the coast north and south of San Francisco is part of the national park service, U S Department of the Interior. This audio guide interprets the two sided, 16 by 20 inch color brochure that is available to all visitors of the area.

It’s a big brochure with lots of information, so this guide lasts for several minutes. To make it easier to listen to, we’ve divided the contents into categorical sections.

The top half of the front of the brochure features vivid glimpses of the G G N R A’s many attractions. By far the biggest photo spreading across the width of the brochure is of the Golden Gate Bridge taken from the Marin headlands, at the southernmost end of Marin County. At both ends of the bright red-orange bridge hills rise up from the Bay. Through the spans of the bridge we see the skyline of the city of San Francisco. On the left we get a glimpse of Alcatraz Island.

Below this panorama are four small images. In the first, a man and women with their binoculars are bird watching at Muir beach. The next shows two school students on a field trip on Alcatraz smiling at the camera. The third image shows a young girl at the Native plant nursery looking at leaves with a small magnifying glass. And the final picture is of a volunteer tending to the horses at Tennessee Valley.

Site Highlights


Visit the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza
Hike in the Marin Headlands
Explore the redwood forest at Muir Woods
Tour the Presidio in San Francisco
Walk along the ocean cliffs at Lands End
Hike the newest G G N R A trails in San Mateo County

Popular Attractions


Muir Woods National Monument
Stinson Beach
Muir Beach
Golden Gate Bridge Plaza
Fort Point
The Presidio of San Francisco
Ocean Beach
Lands End
Mori Point

History


For city dwellers, it’s not always easy to experience national parks without traveling long distances. A new idea emerged in the early 19 seventies: Why not bring parks to the people? In 1972 Congress added two urban expanses to the National Park System: Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay area and its eastern counterpart Gateway National Recreation Area in New York and New Jersey.

“If we in the Congress do not act” warned congressman Philip Burton in 1972 “the majestic area where sea and bay and land meet in a glorious symphony of nature will be doomed.”

Distinctions


Golden Gate National Recreation Area has the unique distinction of being located both in urban and rural settings in and around San Francisco. G G N R A includes redwood forests, coastal bluffs and beaches as well as rugged hiking both in the Tennessee Valley and in San Mateo County south of San Francisco.

G G N R A by the numbers. We have

81,000 acres of parklands,
36,000 park volunteers,
29,000 yearly raptor sightings,
10,000 years of history,
758 historic structures,
140 miles of trails,
78 shipwrecks,
35 threatened or endangered species,
12 sand beaches,
3 lighthouses,
1 Golden Gate.
And Countless things to discover!

At nearly 81,000 acres, Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the nation’s largest national park unit in an urban setting. It extends well north and south of San Francisco. Along with other public lands and waters in the region, it is recognized by the United Nations as Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve. Offshore, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries protect ocean habitat and many threatened and endangered species, while allowing for compatible human uses. The national recreation area’s role as the Bay Area’s backyard continues to evolve in ways its early proponents never imagined. Renewable energy powers public buildings and transportation. People of all abilities use accessible trails and other facilities, engaging in activities that promote health and wellness. Volunteers do everything from conducting tours to helping restore native habitat.
Come here for the natural cathedral of coast redwoods at Muir Woods or to experience for your self the harsh conditions on Alcatraz Island. But don’t overlook the out-of-the-way places to savor the scents of bay laurel and sage, cool morning fog, waves crashing on the headlands, or a tapestry of native spring wildflowers. Golden Gate National Recreation Area invites you to enjoy, explore, and find your own way to experience the parks at the Golden Gate.

Planning Your Visit


Highlights for two hours or less...
• Spot whales at Muir Beach Overlook during their winter migration (December through February).
• Tour the Cold War-era Nike Missile Site in the Marin Headlands.
• Scan the sky for migratory birds of prey (raptors) soaring above Marin Headlands on Hawk Hill in the fall.
• Touch the historic 16 inch gun at Battery Townsley in Marin Headlands.
• Watch the sun set over the ocean at the Cliff House.
• Take a cell phone tour of Fort Baker, an Endicott- period army post from the early 19 hundreds.
• Play with interactive exhibits at the Golden Gate Bridge plaza.
• Walk around restored wetlands at Crissy Field.
• Learn about two centuries of Presidio military life on a ranger-guided tour.
• Discover what makes Fort Point noteworthy and collect an N P S Civil War trading card.
• Explore the ruins of Sutro Baths and nearby Sutro Heights Gardens.
• Enjoy spectacular views of the Golden Gate at one of the many overlooks.
• Walk the Esplanade at Ocean Beach.
• Take a history walking tour of Fort Mason.
• Take a wildflower walk at Fort Funston (in spring).
• Look for red-legged frogs in ponds at Mori Point.


If you have half a day or more...
• Hike from the ocean to the top of Montara Mountain (2,000 feet) at Rancho Corral de Tierra.
• Find the Bay Discovery Site on Sweeney Ridge where Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà first saw San Francisco Bay in 1769.
• Join in the Junior Ranger program at Alcatraz. Reserve tickets ahead!
• Bicycle along the waterfront from San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park across the Golden Gate Bridge to Battery Spencer- and panoramic views of the city.
• Catch fish at Fort Point, Baker Beach, or Ocean Beach.
• Camp at Kirby Cove, with a panoramic view of the Golden Gate.
• Take the rocky trail out to the Point Bonita Lighthouse (limited hours).
• Spot wrens, jays, spotted owls, and other wild creatures among the coast redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument.
• Hike, bike, or ride a horse to the ocean on the Tennessee Valley Trail.
• Spend the day at Stinson Beach, the park’s only life- guarded beach.

Where is this park?


Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a non-contiguous series of national park lands north, south, and within San Francisco California.

Activities in the Park


There are many activities to choose from at G G N R A. A few highlights include

Alcatraz Ferry Ride
Golden Gate Bridge Plaza
Mori Point Frog Ponds
Muir Woods National Monument Loop Trail
San Francisco Bay Promenade and Crissy Field
Fort Point

Time Issues


Most of the sites in Golden Gate National Recreation Area are accessible by public transit, but since the park lands are located throughout San Francisco as well as areas to the north and south of the city, time and transportation are factors that will require you to plan your trip in advance.

Getting Around: MUNI buses (w w w.s f m t a dot com) serve most park sites in the city and the Marin Headlands. MUNI lines connect to other systems in the Bay Area. (www.bart.gov), Marin County (goldengate.org); East Bay (w w w. a c transit.org); and Peninsula (w w w .cal train.com and w w w.s m c t d .com).

Alcatraz Reservations highly recommended: (414-981-7625) or w w w .alcatraz cruises .com. Ferries leave from Pier 33. Be advised that America the Beautiful Pass does not cover ferry ride.

The following are recommendations for activities based on time available to spend in the parks.

This section is headed with a picture of one of the Marin Headlands scenic overlooks. At the edge of the overlook, visitors face the view of the ocean and head down trails towards Point Bonita. The caption reads “miles of roads and trails ideal for hiking and biking, traverse the Marin Headlands”.
Highlights for two hours or less
• Spot whales at Muir Beach Overlook during their winter migration (December through February).
• Tour the Cold War-era Nike Missile Site in the Marin Headlands.
• Scan the sky for migratory birds of prey (raptors) soaring above Marin Headlands on Hawk Hill (in fall).
• Touch the historic 16 inch gun at Battery Townsley in Marin Headlands.
• Watch the sun set over the ocean at the Cliff House.
• Take a cell phone tour of Fort Baker, an Endicott- period army post from the early 19 hundreds.
• Play with interactive exhibits at the Golden Gate Bridge plaza.
• Walk around restored wetlands at Crissy Field.
• Learn about two centuries of Presidio military life on a ranger-guided tour.
• Discover what makes Fort Point noteworthy and collect an NPS Civil War trading card.
• Explore the ruins of Sutro Baths and nearby Sutro Heights Gardens.
• Enjoy spectacular views of the Golden Gate at one of the many overlooks.
• Walk the Esplanade at Ocean Beach.
• Take a history walking tour of Fort Mason.
• Take a wildflower walk at Fort Funston (in spring).
• Look for red-legged frogs in ponds at Mori Point.
If you have half a day or more...
• Hike from the ocean to the top of Montara Mountain (2,000 feet) at Rancho Corral de Tierra.
• Find the Bay Discovery Site on Sweeney Ridge where Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà first saw San Francisco Bay in 1769.
• Join in the Junior Ranger program at Alcatraz. Reserve tickets ahead!
• Bicycle along the waterfront from San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park across the Golden Gate Bridge to Battery Spencer- and panoramic views of the city.
• Catch fish at Fort Point, Baker Beach, or Ocean Beach.
• Camp at Kirby Cove, with a panoramic view of the Golden Gate.
• Take the rocky trail out to the Point Bonita Lighthouse (limited hours).
• Spot wrens, jays, spotted owls, and other wild creatures among the coast redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument.
• Hike, bike, or ride a horse to the ocean on the Tennessee Valley Trail.
• Spend the day at Stinson Beach, the park’s only life- guarded beach.
This section ends with an image of the Muir woods boardwalk. Two visitors are walking on a boardwalk through the woods, surrounded by immense Redwood trees. There is also an image of the Mission blue butterfly shown at life size (about the diameter of a dime), an endangered species native to the bay area.

Safety Messages


Use caution walking on trails and near the ocean. Weather conditions can alter safety conditions quickly. Talk to a ranger for up-to-date park conditions and recommendations.

Tips


For a Safe Visit.

Federal laws protect all natural and cultural features in the park. Please enjoy things in their natural habitat and leave them undisturbed.
Dogs are allowed in most areas of the park; check the park website for area-specific regulations. Clean up waste.
Be prepared and dress in layers. Weather is unpredictable.
For a full list of regulations, including firearms information, check the park website.


Accessibility

We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For additional information ask a ranger, check at a visitor center, visit the park website w w w.n p s dot gov/goga/index.h t m, or call 415-561-4958.

Maps


This brochure includes three maps, one of the entire G G N R A, one of the northern half of the park and one of the south. The first is a blue, green, and tan map of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Above the map is a hawk flying with a fish in its claws. The map measures about 7 by 4 inches with one inch scaling out to ten miles. Dark green areas are lands managed by the G G N R A. Light green areas with dark green borders denote The Golden Gate National Recreation Area legislative boundaries. Dark blue areas along the shoreline are G G N R A water legislative boundaries. Light green areas show other public lands.

From north to south, the map covers the area from the Point Reyes National Seashore in the north to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in the south. On the Marin county side, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the map shows Tomales Bay, Olema Valley, the Marin Municipal Water District, and Samuel P. Taylor state Park. To the south it locates Bolinas Lagoon, Muir Woods, Stinson beach, The Mount Tamalpais state park, Muir Beach, and the Marin headlands. South of the Golden Gate Bridge, the map shows Fort Point, The Presidio, the Cliff House, Ocean Beach, and Fort Funston in San Francisco. South of the city, it locates Milagra Ridge, Mori Point, Sweeny Ridge, the San Francisco Peninsula Watershed, Rancho Corral de Tierra, the Phleger Estate, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In San Francisco Bay, the map shows Angel Island State Park, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and Alcatraz Island. In the Pacific Ocean it identifies the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge.

The bottom half of the front side of the brochure is a detailed map of the northern section of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, scaled at 1 inch to the mile or about 5/8 inch to the Kilometer. It reaches from West Marin at Bolinas at the top left, to the Marin Headlands at the bottom. It flags six main Golden Gate National Recreation Area sites in dark green boxes with white type. These include Stinson Beach, the Muir Woods Visitor Center, Muir Beach, Marin Headlands Visitor Center, Fort Baker, and Alcatraz. Tiny red squares appear in many spots along the coastline indicating costal defense batteries. The map designates trailheads, with trails indicated by dotted green lines. You can ask a ranger for detailed trail maps of the Marin Headlands, and Muir Woods. The map also locates scenic overlook sites, picnic areas, and campsites, lifeguards on duty, horse facilities, lodging sites, lighthouses and locations where more information is available. It also identifies coves, and lagoons on the Pacific Coast, and the main highways and roads that serve this area.

This part of the brochure covers the right half of the back page. It is a detailed map of the southern section of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, scaled at 1 inch to the mile or about 5 eighths inch to the Kilometer. It reaches from the City of San Francisco at the top, to Rancho Corral de Tierra in San Mateo County at the bottom. It flags seventeen sites, shown in dark green boxes with white type. Starting from the top the map shows Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Fort Mason (park headquarters), Crissy Field, and Fort Point National Historic Site. Slightly bellow that it shows the Presidio of San Francisco, the Presidio Visitor Center, Baker Beach, China Beach, and the lands End Lookout. Along the coastline, southward, there are Ocean Beach, Fort Funston, Mussel Rock, and Mori Point. Inland in San Mateo County are Milagra Ridge, Sweeney Ridge, and Rancho Corral de Tierra.

Tiny red squares appear in many spots along the coastline indicating coastal defense batteries. The map designates trailheads, with trails indicated by dotted green lines. The map also locates scenic overlook sites, lifeguards on duty, horse facilities, lodging sites, lighthouses and locations where more information is available. Also shown are the main highways, and public transportation that serves this area.

Camping


The park has four campgrounds, tents only. Bicentennial, Hawk Hill, and Haypress are small with limited services. Call 415-331-1540 for information. Kirby Cove accommodates larger groups; reserve ahead at w w w dot recreation dot gov. Rob Hill in the Presidio must be reserved through the Presidio Trust at w w w dot presidio dot gov.

Accessibility


G G N R A features accessible parking and restrooms at all sites. For more information visit w w w.n p s.gov/goga/plan your visit/accessibility.h t m

Amenities in the Park


Our sites contain an array of amenities, including bathrooms and food service. Contact the park or talk to a ranger for more information.

What is Accessible?


Audio described, large print, and Braille versions of park maps, guides, and brochures are available upon request at our Visitor Centers, as are audio described and open captioning versions of park videos. Visit our Media Access website w w w.n p s dot gov/goga/plan your visit/media dash access.h t m for more information.

Many of our sites feature tactile models.

G G N R A features accessible parking and restrooms at all sites.

Some park trails are fully accessible, talk to a park ranger for more information.

Visit our accessibility website w w w.n p s dot gov/goga/plan your visit/accessibility.h t m for more information.

Accessible Parking


All of our sites contain accessible parking, though space can be a challenge.

Trails


We have trails at all of our park sites with varying degrees of accessibility. Contact the site you intend to visit for specific conditions or visit our website w w w.n p s dot gov/goga/plan your visit/accessibility.h t m.

For More Information


Visit our website at w w w.n p s dot gov/goga/index.h t m

Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks visit w w w.n p s dot gov.
This section ends with an image of the Fort Point National Historic Site. A small part of the Golden Gate Bridge appears at the top. Below that a three-story brick building with multiple windows stands against the back of the bridge, with red, white, and blue bunting hanging from parallel balconies. In the foreground is a visitor in a wheelchair with a friend while civil war re-enactors in uniform march in the parade ground beyond.
All the photos in this brochure were taken by “Volunteers in Parks” Photographers Kirke Wrench, Alison Taggart-Barone, and students of Marin Catholic High School, or Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy photographers Eddie Araou and Michal Venera.

Links


www.nps.gov/goga/index.htm

Social Media


Follow us on Facebook at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, on Twitter @ Golden Gate N P S, and Instagram @ golden gate national parks

Last updated: June 29, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022

Phone:

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

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