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Children touring Battery Chamberlin. Photo by Bluecadet.

Battery Chamberlin

Get a glimpse of what it was like when artillerymen manned coastal gun batteries in the Presidio.


Golden Gate Region


Military & Historic Site, Museum



Top Amenities

Free Parking, Accessible Restrooms, Accessible Parking, Golden Gate View

Completed near Baker Beach in 1904, the 6-inch, 50-ton disappearing gun at Battery Chamberlin is of a type that once defended San Francisco Bay.

Battery Chamberlin is one of 15 gun batteries the U.S. Army built on the Presidio’s rugged coast when the Presidio was an Army post. Its guns were removed in 1948 following World War II. 

The disappearing gun you see today is a gift from the Smithsonian Institution, which donated it to the National Park Service in 1977. Visitors can see demonstrations and visit the underground cartridge room, which contains photos and exhibits on San Francisco’s coastal defenses. 

Google Map of the Presidio

By Public Transit

Muni Route: 29

Stop: Bowley Street and Lincoln Boulevard.

By Presidio GO Shuttle

Route: South Hills Route

Stop: Baker Beach, Stop 9

Baker Beach Parking

There are two Baker Beach free parking lot. You can access them by taking Lincoln Boulevard to Bowley Street and turning onto Gibson Road. To access the smaller south parking lot, continue on Gibson Road. To access the large north parking lot next to the restrooms, turn right onto Battery Chamberlin Road.

Why We Love Battery Chamberlin

While walking along Baker Beach, it’s easy to get caught up in the breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge views and forget the Presidio was once a center of U.S. Army operations. Battery Chamberlin reminds us of the Presidio’s historic role as “defender of the gate.”

Accessibility at Battery Chamberlin

There are wheelchair-accessible parking spaces at the north Baker Beach parking lot. Baker Beach also has accessible restrooms. For details about accessibility at Baker Beach, visit the National Park Service website. 

Insider Tip

After visiting the battery, take a walk on the nearby 2.7mile segment of the stunning California Coastal Trail that runs through the Presidio. Native blooms and shrubs, windswept Monterey cypress, and the craggy shoreline below add to the stunning beauty of this trail.

A historic black and white photo of Battery Chamberlin. Photo courtesy of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Park Archive.Photo courtesy of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Park Archive.

Experience the History of the Presidio

​​​Locals know Baker Beach for sunbathing and Golden Gate Bridge views. But there’s a hidden relic here that recalls a time when the Pacific coast was the Army post’s first line of defense – Battery Chamberlin.

National Park Service Demonstrations

The National Park Service offers free demonstrations on the first full weekend of every month f​rom 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. After the demonstration, explore the small seacoast defense museum inside the battery’s underground cartridge room. You’ll see photos and exhibits showcasing other coastal defenses around San Francisco Bay.

What’s In a Name?

Battery Chamberlin is named in honor of Captain Lowell A. Chamberlin, First Artillery Regiment, who served with distinction in the Civil War and continued as an artillery officer until his death at the Presidio in 1889.

History of Battery Chamberlin

Battery Chamberlin is among 15 gun batteries that dot the Presidio’s rugged coast. It originally housed four six-inch disappearing guns. This type of gun got its name from its design – it is mounted on a carriage that lowers after being fired so that it is protected while its crew loads it.

The guns could shoot up to two rounds a minute within a range of eight miles and took about 25 soldiers to handle. During World War I, the guns were removed to be used in Europe. In 1920, they were replaced by two six-inch guns on barbette carriages. These were removed in 1948 when the Coast Artillery Corps was called out of service.

Did You Know?

The shells fired from Battery Chamberlin weighed up to 108 pounds each. The rounds used at the public demonstrations are lighter wooden replicas of the originals.

Visitors gathered around Battery Chamberlin.
Photo by Bluecadet.

Park Itineraries

Need help planning your day at the Presidio? We’ve put together some itinerary ideas for things to see and do in the park. Whether you’re planning to spend a few hours or an entire day, there’s something for everyone at the Presidio.

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We’re Here to Help

Have a question about the park? Want help planning your next visit? We’ve got you covered.

Representatives from the National Park Service, Parks Conservancy, and Presidio Trust standing in front of the Presidio Visitor Center