Basic Information

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123-0022

Golden Gate National Recreation Area has many sites that span over 60 miles of mostly coastal areas north and south of San Francisco. Park areas can be reached by Highways 1, 101 and 280 from the north and south San Francisco Bay Area, and by Highway 80 from the East Bay. To access park headquarters at Fort Mason, please use the entrance at Franklin and Bay Streets in San Francisco.

Most parking lots are open between sunrise to sunset.

Although this urban park is accessible 24 hours a day in most areas, most parking lots are open between sunrise to sunset.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Monday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Tuesday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Wednesday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Thursday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Friday: Sunrise - Sunset
  • Saturday: Sunrise - Sunset

Park Districts

Marin Headlands Visitor Center

Open 9:30am-4pm daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: -
  • Monday: -
  • Tuesday: -
  • Wednesday: -
  • Thursday: -
  • Friday: -
  • Saturday: -

Muir Woods National Monument Visitor Center

Muir Woods Visitor Center is open daily at 9am, though its closing hours vary throughout the year. Hours are as follows 9am-5pm from the last Sunday in January 9am-7:30pm from the 2nd Sunday in March 9am-6:30pm from the 3rd Sunday in September 9am-4:30pm from the 1st Sunday in November

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: -
  • Monday: -
  • Tuesday: -
  • Wednesday: -
  • Thursday: -
  • Friday: -
  • Saturday: -

Park Entrance

Fort Point National Historic Site

Fort Point is open Friday-Sunday from 10am-5pm.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: -
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: Closed
  • Friday: -
  • Saturday: -

Park Districts

Park Headquarters William J. Whalen Building Fort Mason

The information desk in the Whalen Building is open Monday-Friday from 8:30am-5pm.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: Closed
  • Monday: -
  • Tuesday: -
  • Wednesday: -
  • Thursday: -
  • Friday: -
  • Saturday: Closed

Park Entrance

Point Bonita Lighthouse

Point Bonita is generally open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. year round. It's best to call the Marin Headlands Visitor Center at 415-331-1540 to confirm before making the trip.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: -
  • Monday: -
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: Closed
  • Friday: Closed
  • Saturday: -

Winter is characterized by sporadic rain and cool weather punctuated by brilliant sunshine. In winter the grass greens. Trees and flowers dormant through winter start blooming in late February or early March and last until May or June. By July, summer fog predominates in most coastal areas of the park. Grasses and plants have now turned to the golden brown and muted grays characteristic of California summer and fall. September and October skies are clear and sunshine is abundant everywhere in the park.

Entrance Fees:

Visiting Golden Gate is free except for Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods National Monument. - $0.00

With the exception of the entrance fee for Muir Woods National Monument and the cost of the ferry to visit Alcatraz Island, there is no fee to visit lands of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Presidio Visitor Center

The visitor center is the go to place to find out what is happening and what there is to do in the Presidio. Discovery the Presidio through a large relief map, inspiring video, engaging exhibitions on history and nature, interactive tools, and knowledgeable staff that can help you uncover the incredible array of experiences possible here.

Marin Headlands Visitor Center

Special Programs: Rangers answer questions and lead scheduled interpretive walks and programs. Exhibits: Headland's natural history and human history from the days of the Miwok through modern times. See a hawk fly and look through a microscope at local pond life. A shop carries a selection of books and field guides about the area.

Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center

Park Rangers are available to answer questions. Store has a selection of books, apparel, kids items, collectibles and memorabilia. Exhibits: Model of bridge tower used in testing original bridge design, artifacts like rivets and hardhats, Building the Bridge video. Outdoor exhibits in plaza area.

Lands End Lookout

Facilities include visitor information, cafe & gift shop. Exhibits: Indoor exhibits and videos on the natural and cultural history of the Lands End area, Sutro Baths and Sutro Heights. Outdoor 3-D model of Lands End area.

Pacific West Regional Information Center

Information about all of the National Parks located in the Pacific West Region can be found in this center. Pamphlets and other visitor information are in a room across from the information center. Volunteers are available to answer questions.

 
 

Welcome to the Golden Gate!

Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of more than 400 national park units across the country. Plan on spending at least a few hours in the park, exploring the scenic drives or particular points of interests. If time permits, longer hikes, participate in a Junior Ranger program, recreate in Golden Gate, or consider attending a ranger-led program to learn more about these special places. Guided walks and tours occur at various locations.

Here are the basics:

  • Access to the park is free, with the exceptions of Muir Woods National Monument and Alcatraz Island.*
  • Most parking lots are open between sunrise to sunset.
  • Most trails are shared by hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and runners. Please practice good trail etiquette with your fellow visitors.
  • Cell phone service can be unreliable in the mountains and valleys of the Marin Headlands and Muir Woods.
  • Check out any of our park visitor centers for more information about the parks.
Other info to consider while visiting the park:

  • Check out Operating Hours & Seasons, to see which visitor center is open within the park.
  • Check out Fees & Passes to find out what park fees you should expect and where during your visit.
  • Check out Permits & Reservations if you are looking for weddings, picnics, filming, athletic events, festivals, photography, or even camping.
  • Check out the Weather to help you prepare for your visit.
  • Activities with Pets are limited.
*A full list of our park regulations can be found within our Superintendent's Compendium.

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

Contact Us