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Crissy Field and Fort Point

With 100 acres of bayside open space, Crissy Field is a delight for strollers, joggers, windsurfers, bicyclists, dog walkers, and people looking to spot birds and even sea lions or dolphins. Spring is a good time to see many native wildflowers in bloom. You can mosey along the Golden Gate Promenade while admiring spectacular views of the Golden...
With 100 acres of bayside open space, Crissy Field is a delight for strollers, joggers, windsurfers, bicyclists, dog walkers, and people looking to spot birds and even sea lions or dolphins. Spring is a good time to see many native wildflowers in bloom. You can mosey along the Golden Gate Promenade while admiring spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Strait; check out the marsh, lagoon, and dune scrub; picnic; or sunbathe at the beach.

This part of the Presidio was once a coastal wetland, but was filled in for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. In 1921 the army constructed Crissy Airfield here, which served as the center for West Coast military aviation until 1936, when Hamilton Field opened in Marin. After the Presidio became part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area, the tidal marsh and lagoon were restored, transforming Crissy Field into a shoreline park.

Trail/Pathway Details

Golden Gate Promenade

Trailhead: If you intend to do the entire stretch, the best access points are the East Beach parking lot (east end) or the Fort Point or Warming Hut lots (west end).

Length: Over 4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Level

Terrain: Hard

Obstacles: The accessible route to the visitor center inside Fort Point is poorly lit in places

Description

From the East Beach parking lot, the broad, paved trail travels west along the beach. Many wind and kitesurfers launch from East Beach to take advantage of the stiff winds that typically blow through the Gate; stop a moment to watch them skimming the waves, with the bridge towers and sometimes a container ship in the distance. Beach...
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Accessibility Details

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

Standing on a promontory near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, the classic 19th-century Fort Point was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the harbor, and abandoned five years later when newer rifled cannons made its muzzle-loading cannons obsolete. In the courtyard, which is often extremely windy, cannons and other military equipment are on display. If you look up, you will see the intricate rust-red ironwork on the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge. The sound of cars crossing high above you mingles with the howling wind and the surf crashing against the rocks below.

The ground-floor rooms, which contain historical displays, are accessible via a designated path that winds around the edges of the central courtyard; look for a sign on the left shortly after you enter the fort. The upper floors can only be reached via stairs. Near the visitor center and gift shop is a small auditorium where videos about the fort and the construction of the bridge are shown regularly. The video about the fort gives wheelchair riders a virtual tour of the inaccessible upper floors.

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

Available for pickup at Fort Mason, Building 201; five days advance notice is required. To reserve, you can send email via the NPS website or call 415-561-4958; (800) 877-8339 Federal Relay Service, (877) 877-6280 VCO, (877) 877-8982 Speech to Speech, (800) 845-6136 Spanish, (866) 893-8340 TeleBraille Crissy Field lot near the East Beach entrance off Mason St.,has the most spaces and best access. Several are in the lot behind the Warming Hut and in the lot at Fort Point. In the East Beach parking lot near the outdoor shower and at the Fort Point parking area. The older restrooms just west of the Warming Hut are also accessible.
A somewhat sheltered picnic area with accessible tables is near the marsh boardwalk at Crissy Field, close to the East Beach parking lot. Accessible picnic tables with a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands are east of the Warming Hut.
A wooden boardwalk extends toward the beach
A wooden boardwalk extends toward the beach (Eileen Ecklund)

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Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • bicycling
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Website: www.nps.gov/prsf/index.htm
Managing Agency: National Park Service (Golden Gate National Recreation Area), Presidio Trust
Nearest City: San Francisco
Phone: Presidio visitor center: (415) 561-4323; Fort Point: (415) 556-1693
Hours: Trails are open 24 hours. Fort Point: Wed.-Sun., 10 am-5 pm. Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary visitor center: Wed.-Sun., 10 am-4 pm.
Fees: None
Dogs: In restricted areas
At Crissy Field, dogs are allowed off-leash under voice control except for the wildlife protection area at the west end of Crissy Field beach, where leashes are required all year except from May 15 to July 1. Dogs are allowed on leash along the Golden Gate Promenade; no dogs inside Fort Point. Note that as of summer 2012, the GGNRA's dog management guidelines were under review and are subject to change
Public Transportation: Muni, PresidiGo
Useful Links: Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Presidio Trust
Reviewed by Eileen Ecklund, June 20, 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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Accessible Wheelchair Icon looks like a wheelchair with balloon wheelsBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing
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