The Presidio of San Francisco is a 1,491-acre former US Army installation in the northwest corner of the city, at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge, transferred to the National Park Service when it was vacated by the military in 1994.
Today, the Presidio is a thriving urban park with a unique mix of residential communities, businesses, historic sites, recreation areas, forests, grasslands, beaches and bluffs, connected by a network of hiking and biking trails.
In 1996, after considering a sale of the Presidio, it was effectively privatized by transfer of its management to the Presidio Trust, a federal government corporation tasked with making the Presidio self-sufficient and independent of direct taxpayer support. The Presidio Trust now manages most of the park, with the National Park Service managing the coastal areas, both working in partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
At its center, the height of the Golden Gate Bridge from the water to the underside of the bridge deck averages 220 feet (or 67 meters) at high tide, increasing to 225 feet (or 68.5 meters) at low tide.
The bridge towers stand 746 feet (or 227 meters) above the water and 500 feet (152 meters) above the road deck.
The depth of water under the Golden Gate Bridge is approximately 377 feet (or 115 meters) at its deepest point.
The US Geological Survey, with other research partners, have mapped central San Francisco Bay and its entrance under the Golden Gate Bridge using multibeam echosounders. In 2006, they published a topographical image with indicative depths of the sea floor around Alcatraz and Angel Islands, and the Golden Gate Strait underneath the bridge.
The imaging shows the area below the Golden Gate Bridge as being the deepest part of San Francisco Bay.
All vehicles crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in the direction of San Francisco are required to pay a toll charge.
Toll payments cannot be made on the bridge, so rental car drivers have the option of paying the toll through their rental company, but this is likely to be more expensive and subject to convenience fees.
Alternatively, one-time toll payments can be made before, or up to 2 days after, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Note your rental car’s license plate number and pay by one of the following methods:
Online using a credit card at bayareafastrak.org.
By phone using a credit card on the toll free number 1-877-BAY-TOLL (or 1-877-229-8655).
In person using cash at a Cash Payment Location. Go to bayareafastrak.org/cashlocations for a complete listing.
In person using credit card or cash, check or money order at the Bay Area FasTrak Customer Service Center at 375 Beale Street (between Folsom and Harrison Streets in San Francisco. Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and Saturday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The Sand Ladder steps from the north end of Baker Beach emerge on the California Coastal Trail that runs alongside Lincoln Boulevard. Heading north on this trail for approximately 1 mile will lead to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.