Golden Gate National Recreation Area

San Francisco Bay

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is both one thing and many. You can consider it an entity, one set in place to protect San Francisco from the “concrete jungle” intrusion so many cities face today; or, it’s a set of landmarks — the land areas protected by the federal government for future generations of San Francisco residents. Whatever it is, chances are you’ll visit some part of the GGNRA during your San Francisco holiday.

Started in 1972, the GGNRA is protected land all around the bay area, not just in San Francisco. The 80,000 acres total include everything from Muir Woods, the place to see giant sequoia trees (redwoods) 30 minutes north of town, to Stinson Beach and Ocean Beach.

To make things simple: you see the green land on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge? The reason it’s green is because the federal government protected it as part of the GGRNA.

Sutro Baths GGNRA

Various landmarks also are under GGNRA protection. Have you visited Alcatraz yet? Or Ocean Beach, where you can peruse the historic ruins of the Sutro Baths with nobody to interfere with its history? The Presidio recently has been inducted into the GGNRA, and in total, more than 95 km of shoreline is part of protected land. Typically, a large portion of the 13 million visitors per year have no idea they’re walking in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

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GGNRA Sea Lions

Even so, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a major reason San Francisco is loved by so many. With concrete intrusions everywhere and no buffer, it’d be much harder for us to leave our hearts in the City by the Bay.

Now that you know of the GGRNA, do yourself a favor: take a hike.

GGNRA Selfie

How Do I Find the Golden Gate National Recreation Area?

  • The GGNRA is considered most of the green space around San Francisco and the Bay Area. Locations include the Marin Headlands, Angel Island and Muir Woods.
  • Some parts of the GGNRA you can ride a bike to (the Marin Headlands, which we highly recommend), however you’ll most likely need a car to see the other locations, such as Muir Woods.

Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

The GGNRA is not one attraction. Rather, it’s a collection of green space that’s now protected for generations. If you see grass around the Bay Area, especially along the coast, chances are it’s part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Location of the GGNRA