Bison Paddock San Francisco

Golden Gate Park

Bison Paddock

Let’s all agree, San Francisco is somewhat of a strange city, and one unusual and original attraction is a perfect example of why people leave their heart here. Visit the Bison Paddock in Golden Gate Park and see a true symbol of the American West, the American Buffalo.

Bison (also less-technically known as buffalo) are a free-roaming mammal of the Great Plains in the United States. But in the late 1800s, because of European settlers overhunting the animal for its hides, from herds totaling about 60 million, bison became in danger of extinction. So San Francisco, with its temperate climate, decided to attempt and fix the problem.

In came the Bison Paddock of Golden Gate Park in 1892 (a long time ago).

And over the years, besides being a beloved tradition of the park, the Bison Paddock has introduced more than 100 calves back into the wild, and the total herd in the U.S. is now several hundred thousand.

Bison in San Francisco

The Bison Paddock is a win-win scenario for San Francisco. Not only are the bison able to roam in a free-range environment, but locals and travelers are able to glance at the awesome, one-ton animals up close.

Do you think the Bison Paddock is unusual? Wait until you see the rest of California. – CLICK HERE!

Golden Gate Park Bison

How Do I Find the Bison Paddock?

  • The Bison Paddock is located on JFK Blvd. on the west end of Golden Gate Park and open from sunlight to sunset. Sometimes the animals are hard to see, but at other times you can snap the perfect photo.
  • You can use¬†public transportation routes¬†5, 7, 16ax, 18, 21, 28, 28L, 29, 31, 33, 37, 38, 43, 44, 71¬†and the¬†N to reach Golden Gate Park. For the bison, though, who are in the middle of Golden Gate Park (a long way to walk), we recommend¬†renting a bike.
  • To¬†reach the Bison Paddock¬†from¬†Union Square¬†you can ride bus 5R (the R stands for Rapid ‚ÄĒless stops) and walk.¬†The ride and walk should be around¬†1 hour and 20 minutes. Or you can rent a bike.

Bison Up Close


Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

You have¬†the luck of the draw at¬†the Bison Paddock: sometimes the bison are close for personal photos, whereas at other times they’re hard to spot and in the distance. The restrooms near the Bison Paddock are a short walking distance in either direction on JFK Blvd.


Location of the Bison Paddock