Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Overview

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of the largest urban national parks in the world. The total park area is 75,398-acres of land and water. Approximately 28-miles of coastline lie within its boundaries. It is nearly 2.5-times the size of San Francisco. One of the nation's most highly visited National Park Service units, Golden Gate NRA comprises numerous sites, including Alcatraz, Marin Headlands, Nike Missile Site, Fort Mason, as well as Muir Woods National Monument, Fort Point National Historic Site, and the Presidio of San Francisco. Each has its own unique natural, cultural, and military history. Visitors can enjoy camping, visiting historical sites, scenic views, hiking, and many other activities. The San Francisco area is one not to be missed! Most places in Golden Gate National Park are easily accessed by public transportation. Other fun activities include hang gliding and kiteboarding! This unique park offers something for everyone.

Map

Seasonality / Weather

The winter is characterized by occasional rain, cool weather, and overcast skies punctuated by brilliant sunshine. California gray whales migrate along the coast toward their wintering grounds in the lagoons of Baja California.

In the spring, winter many of the park trees and flowers that were dormant through the winter bloom forth usually starting in late March or early April. Wildflower displays are best in April, May and June.

By July, summer fog begins to predominate in most coastal areas of the park. Still, the grasses and plants that are brilliantly green in late winter and spring have now turned to the golden brown and muted grays so characteristic of California in the summer.

Typically starting in mid-late September and continuing through October, the fall skies are clear and brilliant sunshine is abundant everywhere in the park. In the fall, the raptor migration reaches its peak.The land is dry for the most part, and plants in the park appear to be going dormant.Fall is the favored time in the park for many visitors.

Directions

Driving: 

Golden Gate NRA can be reached by Highways 1 , 101, 880 and 280. From the north, south or east parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Flying: 

San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose International Airports service the San Francisco Bay Area.

Public Transport: 

There are various buses that run through the park. Depending on which area you are interested in, it is best to refer to the transit information site.