A field with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Cavallo Point is stunningly situated in one of the largest and most popular urban national parks in the world: the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It was established in 1972, as part of efforts to make national parks more accessible to city dwellers and bring “parks to the people”. The parks’ 75,000+ acres extend north from Fort Baker at the Golden Gate Bridge to Tomales Bay in Marin County and south to San Mateo County.

The parks contain many historical and cultural sites—among them, Alcatraz, Marin Headlands, Fort Mason, Muir Woods National Monument, Fort Point National Historic Site, and the Presidio of San Francisco. With 19 unique ecosystems in seven distinct watersheds, the parks preserve a wealth of natural treasures.

At the center sits Fort Baker, gateway to miles of coastal and inland trails and diverse recreational and cultural opportunities. Visitors to Fort Baker and Cavallo Point have access to neighboring organizations housed in the parks, including the National Park Service, The Institute at the Golden Gate, The Marine Mammal Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, Bay Area Discovery Museum and Golden Gate Raptor Conservatory. 

a woman standing on the shore with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background

National Park Service

The National Park Service cares for national parks, a network of nearly 400 natural, cultural, and recreational sites across the nation. These treasures have been set aside by the American people to preserve, protect, and share the legacies of this land. They include the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, Gettysburg, and hundreds of lesser-known destinations.

The National Park Service preserves the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. It cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

sailboats in a bay

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

Established in 1981, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is the non-profit partner of the Golden Gate National Parks—dynamically working to improve the Golden Gate National Parks, their enjoyment by the visiting public, and their long-term preservation. It was created to preserve the Golden Gate National Parks, enhance the experiences of park visitors, and build a community dedicated to conserving the parks for the future.

Since its inception, the Parks Conservancy has provided the Golden Gate National Parks with more than $125 million in support, and is recognized as one of the largest and most effective park partners in the country.

Institute at the Golden Gate

Institute at the Golden Gate

The Institute at the Golden Gate contributes to a more sustainable and healthy world by harnessing the power of parks and public lands to advance environmental stewardship and human wellbeing. A program of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in partnership with the National Park Service, the Institute fosters new ideas, shares best practices, encourages leadership, and supports and implements public policy changes that will benefit people and the planet. The Institute is currently focused on how parks can connect to people’s health, sustainable food systems, and climate change education.