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Two people taking in the view at Inspiration Point.

Inspiration Point Overlook 

Get inspired by one of the Presidio’s most iconic views.


Southern Wilds Region


Scenic Overlook



Top Amenities

Accessible Parking, Free Parking, Muni Bus-accessible, Shuttle-accessible, Trail Connection

Perched high above it all, Inspiration Point offer picture-perfect views of San Francisco landmarks like Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the Palace of Fin

This vista point sits atop the Tennessee Hollow Watershed, with creeks that flow through a scenic valley on their way toward San Francisco Bay. Look down and you’ll see rare serpentine grasslands as well as historic homes tucked within cypress and eucalyptus canopies.

After taking in the bird’s eye view, see it all up close by hopping on the nearby Ecology Trail that begins just a few feet from the plaza.

Getting to Inspiration Point Overlook

Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94129

Map of the Presidio

By Public Transit

Muni Route: 1 California

Stop: California Street and Arguello Boulevard

Directions: Walk north on Arguello Boulevard for four blocks. Enter the Presidio at the Arguello Gate. Continue a short distance until you reach Inspiration Point Overlook.

By Presidio GO Shuttle

Route: South Hills Route

Stop: Inspiration Point (Outbound Only)


Limited free parking is available at Inspiration Point Overlook with a three-hour time limit.

Why We Love Inspiration Point Overlook

For good reason, many overlooks in the park highlight the Golden Gate Bridge. But this vantage point provides a distinctly Presidio view that combines the beauty of the forest and native grasslands with classic Presidio architecture.


Parking for those with mobility limitations is available at Inspiration Point. Accessible restrooms are located across Arguello Boulevard at the Presidio Golf Course clubhouse.

Insider Tip

Here’s a great way to enjoy this corner of the Presidio. After taking in the views at Inspiration Point, cross Arguello Boulevard at the crosswalk near Presidio Golf Course and pick up the Bay Area Ridge Trail. Walk north for five minutes to see Andy Goldsworthy’s towering Spire. Then head back to the Presidio Golf Course clubhouse to talk about your impressions over lunch.

Five park visitors enjoy the view at Inspiration Point Overlook in the Presidio.

One of the Best San Francisco Views

Inspiration Point was the very first scenic overlook to be built in the Presidio way back in 2001. It was made possible by a gift from the James R. Harvey Presidio Restoration Fund. Harvey was chairman of the Presidio Council, which helped plan the Presidio’s future as a national park site in the early 1990s.

A Home for Endangered Plants

Grassland restoration below Inspiration Point began in the mid-1990s. Aged Monterey cypress trees were removed so that more sunlight could hit the hillside, allowing the endangered Presidio Clarkia wildflower and the Raven’s manzanita to thrive. Monterey cypress trees are planted in other parts of the Presidio as part of our reforestation program.

Take a Walk on the Presidio Ecology Trail

The Ecology Trail begins right at the Inspiration Point plaza. Walk 1.4 miles down through many different habitats: wildflowers, Eucalyptus trees, and even a small Presidio Redwood grove. A spur trail connects you to El Polin Spring, where you can learn about some of the earliest Presidio inhabitants and watch hummingbirds dance in waters.

Stop for a Meal

One of the best restaurants in the Presidio is Ironwood Bar & Grill in the Presidio Golf Course clubhouse, right across the street from Inspiration Point. A beer and a burger can round out your visit.

Andy Goldsworthy’s Spire

A 100-foot-tall sculpture  made from Presidio cypress trees is just a seven-minute walk from Inspiration Point Overlook. In fact, just turn around and you can’t miss it.

Several people enjoying the view from the plaza at Inspiration Point.
Photo by Paul Myer.

What are Those Buildings?

As you look down into the valley, you’ll see 1930s era brick buildings alongside white townhomes. These are among the hundreds of houses originally built for U.S. Army soldiers and that are now occupied by park residents. Find out how to live in the Presidio.

Nature Notes

It’s our goal to make sure people can enjoy the Presidio’s natural beauty for generations to come. We work to protect native plants and animals while reducing our impact on the environment. Learn more.

A Rare Manzanita

A chance discovery made during construction of the Presidio Parkway revealed a Franciscan manzanita, thought to have been extinct in the wild for more than 70 years. This rare plant was relocated to a secret spot near Inspiration Point. To hear the story, watch this video.

The rare Franciscan Manzanita at Inspiration Point Overlook in the Presidio.Photo source:

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. 

Explore What’s Nearby


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