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The Presidio

A U.S. Army post for nearly 150 years, San Francisco's Presidio has been a national park since 1994 and a national historic landmark since 1962. Archaeological digs have uncovered remains from some of the city's earliest structures here. More than 5 million people visit the Presidio every year to hike or bike its miles of trails or take...
A U.S. Army post for nearly 150 years, San Francisco's Presidio has been a national park since 1994 and a national historic landmark since 1962. Archaeological digs have uncovered remains from some of the city's earliest structures here. More than 5 million people visit the Presidio every year to hike or bike its miles of trails or take in some of the many historic sites within the park's 1,491 acres. Two accessible trails run east-west through the northern section: the spectacular Golden Gate Promenade, a four-plus mile stretch of the Bay Trail that runs along the waterfront through Crissy Field's restored marshland to Civil War-era Fort Point; and the Presidio Promenade (see trail description, below), which travels through the heart of the historic Presidio, from the Lombard Street gate past the Main Post and San Francisco National Cemetery to the Golden Gate Bridge. West of the bridge, a short stretch of Coastal Trail brings you to an overlook atop the Presidio's rugged western bluffs; or you can visit Baker Beach and Battery Chamberlin, with its "disappearing" gun.

An accessible free shuttle bus, PresidiGo, runs through the Presidio, making several stops (not all are accessible). The bus has space for two people in wheelchairs.

Trail/Pathway Details

Presidio Promenade

Trailhead: Eastern end: the Presidio's Lombard Gate. Western end: Golden Gate Bridge Plaza.

Length: Over 4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Gentle

The NPS web page for this trail says that the average grade is 2.9 and the maximum grade is 10.8 percent. An average ramp is 8 percent.

Terrain: Hard

Description

The Presidio Promenade's route follows both dedicated pathways and broad sidewalks, and is not always clearly signed; to find your way, it's helpful to download the detailed Presidio map from the park's website or stop by the visitor center to pick one up. Begin your trek along the Presidio Promenade just inside the park's Lombard Street Gate, marked...
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Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Before setting off to explore the Presidio, you may want to stop at the small visitor center at the Main Post to orient yourself. Staff here can answer your questions and provide maps and brochures, and a few historical photos and items are typically on display. A new, permanent visitor center is planned to open in 2014; the temporary location is Building 105, Montgomery Street, at the northwestern edge of the parade ground. Other visitor centers within the Presidio are at the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary and Fort Point, along the Golden Gate Promenade; the pavilion at the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza provides visitor information and has a few exhibits, but is primarily a gift shop. At Golden Gate Bridge Plaza. Be prepared for long lines at this restroom.

Accessible Restroom: Limited Accessibility

Inside the transit center on Lincoln Blvd., across from the Main Post parade grounds; open Mon.-Fri., 6:30 am-8 pm; weekends and holidays, 8 am-7 pm. Toilets are only 15" high.

Restrooms in the temporary Presidio visitor center in Building 105 on Montgomery St. are only partially accessible; the turnaround space is narrow and the toilet height is 14."
Looking east from Crissy Field Overlook
Looking east from Crissy Field Overlook (Eileen Ecklund)

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Features icon key

  • bicycling
  • hiking

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.nps.gov/prsf/index.htm
www.presidio.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Nearest City: San Francisco
Phone: Main Post visitor center: (415) 561-4323
Hours: Trails are open 24 hours. Presidio visitor center: Hours vary depending on the season; call ahead.
Fees: Museum
Dogs: In restricted areas
Dogs are allowed on leash along the Presidio Promenade. Note that as of summer 2012, the GGNRA's dog management guidelines were under review and are subject to change.
Public Transportation: PresidiGo, Muni

Did You Know?

El Polin Spring, at the end of MacArthur Avenue in a residential area southeast of the Main Post, has a short accessible loop trail (boardwalk and gravel) around a spring that was a source of fresh water for the native people and early settlers. A portion of the creek has been "daylighted" and native plants restored. This riparian habitat is an especially rewarding place for bird-watching, and picnic areas and parking are accessible.

Reviewed by Eileen Ecklund, July 28, 2012
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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