Basic Information


Welcome to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area!

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.

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.

Last updated: June 7, 2018

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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