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Frequently Asked Questions
Getting Started
 
What is the Presidio of San Francisco?
The Presidio was once one of the oldest continuously operating military posts in the nation. Today, it is a distinct public park site within the 75,500-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), the world’s largest national park in an urban area. It is also a National Historic Landmark, with hundreds of contributing historic features. The Presidio is renowned for its remarkable history, architecture, and archaeology; its nature and wildlife; its trails; and its unique management model. The Presidio is managed by the Presidio Trust. It is unusual among parks because people live and work here as well as visit.
 
How big is the Presidio?
Total Acreage - 1,491 acres
Total Acres of Open Space - 991 acres
 
Who manages the Presidio?
Congress established the Presidio Trust in 1996 to lead the transformation of the Presidio of San Francisco, an historic military post, into a new kind of national park. The Trust’s mission is to preserve the Presidio as an enduring resource for the American people and to ensure the park is a vital, relevant, welcoming, and well supported national resource for decades to come. The Presidio Trust board of directors has seven members (six appointed by the President of the United States and one by the Secretary of the Interior). The Trust works in partnership with the National Park Service. The Trust manages the interior 80 percent of lands (known as Area B); the National Park Service manages coastal areas (known as Area A). The agencies work together to preserve open spaces, improve the Presidio trail system, and provide visitor programs. The Presidio also benefits from the support of the non-profit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
 
When is the Presidio open?
The Presidio is open 24 hours a day year-round. No fees are required to enter the park.
 
How do I get to the Presidio?
The Presidio is served by regional transit and has been designated a “Bicycle Friendly Community.” PresidiGo, a free shuttle system sponsored by the Presidio Trust, offers both a daily internal route with more than 40 stops around the park, and a weekday only route connecting to downtown San Francisco. The system is available to residents, employees, and visitors. All shuttle vehicles are fully accessible and include bike racks. View complete details about getting to the Presidio.
 
Does the Presidio have a Visitor Center?
Many guests begin their outing at the temporary Presidio Visitor Center on the Main Post. Located at 105 Montgomery Street (near the Transit Center) inside an historic barracks, the center provides maps, orientation, and other information from Thursday to Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm. The temporary visitor center will be in operation while planning for a new, permanent location unfolds. Contact the Presidio Visitor Center at (415) 561-4323.
 
 
Is there lodging within the Presidio?
The Inn at the Presidio is the first lodge to locate in the park. It occupies the newly rehabilitated Pershing Hall, once home to U.S. Army bachelor officers.
 
 
Is there camping within the Presidio?
The Presidio is home to one overnight group camping facility, Rob Hill Campground. Rob Hill is open from April to October. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting the Presidio Trust Special Events Office at (415) 561-5444.
 
Are there restaurants?
Several restaurants are located within the Presidio. For a complete listing of all tenants by category, view the Directory.
 
Can I buy books, guides, or videos about the Presidio?
The Presidio is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), the world’s largest urban national park. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy publishes tour books, guides, and videos which are available online at the Parks Conservancy website. A small retail bookstores and gift shop is also available at the Warming Hut at Crissy Field.
 
 
Living and Working
 
How many people work in the Presidio?
There are approximately 225 organizations located in the Presidio, and about 3,000 people come to work in the park each day.
 
How many people live in the Presidio?
Approximately 3,000 people live in the Presidio. The park features 1,200 housing units in 21 distinct neighborhoods.
 
Who gets to live here? Can I rent a home?
Once a military post where soldiers and their families lived, today the Presidio is a public park with homes and apartments available for lease to the general public. The Presidio features 21 distinct neighborhoods built from the 1860s through the 1970s. For a complete description of housing options, visit the Residential Leasing section or call Presidio Residences at (415) 561-5454. Homes and apartments are leased but not sold.
 
Can I locate my organization here?
The Presidio is a remarkable place to work. More than 3.5 million square feet of non-residential space is located in more than 250 buildings. Two-thirds of the buildings are historic, representing a variety of architectural styles, from the Spanish era through World War II. The Presidio is preserving these buildings through rehabilitation and reuse. There are a variety of opportunities to locate an organization or business here. Please contact the Commercial Leasing office at (415) 561-5335 or leasing@presidiotrust.gov for availability.
 
 
Architecture
 
How many buildings are in the Presidio?
There are more than 700 structures, 433 of which are historic.
 
How many different styles of architecture can be found at the Presidio?
The Presidio is home to one of the finest collections of military architecture in the United States, representing two centuries of use under three flags. Nine prevalent architectural styles can be found on the Presidio including Italianate, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, Mediterranean, World War II Era, Post War Era, and Utilitarian Style. Examples of most of these exist on the Main Post. Many Presidio buildings are hard to categorize because they include elements of different architectural styles.
 
 
Nature and Wildlife
 
How many species of birds use the Presidio?
More than 300 bird species are seen here, including year-round residents like Anna’s Hummingbirds, Red-shouldered Hawks, Great Egrets and Great Horned Owls to migratory species like Violet-green Swallows and Red-throated Loons.
 
How many native plants are there?
The park shelters 13 distinctive plant communities supporting 300 native plant species, ranging from wildflowers to oak woodlands. Sixteen species are rare or endangered, including five protected by the Endangered Species Act. Examples include the San Francisco lessingia and the Presidio clarkia (wildflowers found in only two locations worldwide), and the Raven’s manzanita.
 
How many trees are in the Presidio?
The Presidio features a 300-acre planted historic forest. The primary tree species include Monterey cypress, Monterey pine, and blue gum eucalyptus. There are about 60,000 trees in the park today.
The U.S. Army began planting the Presidio’s forest in the 1880s. Because the trees were planted over a relatively short period, they are beginning to decline at about the same time. To preserve the treasured forest, the Presidio Trust is gradually replanting cypress, pine, eucalyptus, and even redwood guided by the Presidio Vegetation Management Plan. Since 2001, more than 3,500 trees have been planted.
 
What wildlife can be found in the park?
In addition to birdlife, the Presidio is home to a variety of mammals, reptiles, aquatic species, and invertebrates. These include native gray fox, coyote, the San Francisco alligator lizard, the three-spined stickleback fish, and 30 kinds of butterflies. For more, visit the Nature + Wildlife section.
 
 
Fun, Fun, Fun
 
How many trails and overlooks are in the park? Can I get a map?
The Presidio features a dozen major trails and six vista point overlooks (see map). The Presidio’s network of trails and bikeways continues to be upgraded and expanded, with two more overlooks nearing completion.
 
What other recreational opportunities are here?
In addition to trails, the Presidio features a golf course, a bowling center, Rob Hill Campground (reservation and permit required), athletic fields, a trampoline park, a rock-climbing gym, swimming, and gymnasium facilities. The outdoors offer a wide range of activities including nature walks, bird watching, and habitat restoration. For details, visit the Explore and Visit sections, as well as the Directory of tenant organizations.
 
What's happening today?
There's something happening nearly every day in the park. Check out the Calendar to see what's on the schedule right now.
 
Can I bring my pet to the park?
Pets are welcome in nearly all areas of the Presidio but must be on leash.
 
Are there opportunities to volunteer?
Volunteering is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the Presidio. Volunteers restore native plant populations, work in the archaeology lab, and support public events.
 
Can I rent space for a wedding or meeting?
Intimate chapels, elegant reception sites, and conference facilities are a beautiful backdrop for weddings, celebrations, meetings, and retreats. For more information, visit the Venues section or call (415) 561-5444.
 
What activities require a permit, and how do I get one?
The Presidio offers venues for special activities such as group camping, organized play on athletic fields, and large sporting or cultural events. Some activities require a permit issued by the Presidio Trust Special Events Office. For more information, call the Special Events Office at (415) 561-5444.
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 Contact Us

 

The Presidio Trust
103 Montgomery Street

P.O. Box 29052
San Francisco, CA  94129

 

T: (415) 561-5300
TTY: (415) 561-5301
F: (415) 561-5315

 

E: presidio@presidiotrust.gov