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The elevated wooden plaza at the Marine Cemetery Vista in the Presidio, with a plaque and sand dunes. Photo by Myleen Hollero.

Marine Cemetery Vista

History meets nature at this tranquil dune highlighting a little-known chapter in the Presidio’s pas


Southern Wilds Region


Scenic Overlook, Military & Historic Site, Habitat


History, Nature & Sustainability, Recreation

Top Amenities

Paid Parking, Muni Bus-accessible, Shuttle-accessible, Trail Connection

On the Mountain Lake Trail, discover a fascinating chapter in the Presidio’s history tucked behind the park’s largest historic building.

Though the Presidio was a U.S. Army post, it was also home to a Marine Hospital built by the Treasury Department in 1875 to provide for “the temporary relief . . . of sick or disabled seamen” from around the world at no cost. Deceased mariners who could not be returned home were buried behind the hospital in a cemetery that was rediscovered in 1989 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Today, this sacred site is honored with a vista. The surrounding dune habitat has been restored, creating a tranquil respite where nature and history come together.

Getting to Marine Cemetery Vista

1818 Wedemeyer St, San Francisco, CA 94129

Map of the Presidio

By Public Transit

Muni Route: 1 California

Stop: California Street and 14th Avenue

Directions: Walk north two blocks north and enter the Presidio at the 15th Avenue Gate. Follow Wedemeyer Street uphill until it connects with the Mountain Lake Trail. Follow the trail east to Marine Cemetery Vista.

By Presidio GO Shuttle

Route: Presidio Hills Route

Stop: 15


Paid parking can be found near 1808 Wedemeyer Street and in a large lot at the bottom of Wedemeyer Street near the Lobos Valley Overlook.

Why We Love Marine Cemetery Vista

This site brings a very human perspective to the history of the Presidio. And the dune habitat, dotted with annual wildflowers, showcases the Presidio’s natural heritage.


There is one parking space for those with mobility limitations in the paved parking lot off Wedemeyer Street.

Insider Tip

Bring your binoculars. A remnant of native oak woodlands can be seen in this area and along nearby Lobos Creek, making it a good spot for birders to see a wide variety of winged wonders.

Bird on the native scrub near the Marine Cemetery Vista. Photo by Myleen Hollero.Photo source:

A Little-Known Chapter in the History of the Presidio

While San Francisco National Cemetery is a well-known burial ground in the Presidio, few are aware of this resting place for merchant mariners from across the globe.

Getting Here

Marine Cemetery Vista is behind the former U.S. Marine Hospital, today a housing community known as the Presidio Landmark. It’s along the Mountain Lake Trail, a boardwalk that snakes through the native dunes.

The plaque at the Marine Cemetery Vista in the Presidio.
Photo by Myleen Hollero.

A Hospital for Sailors from Around the World

In 1875, the Treasury Department built a U.S. Marine Hospital here to care for ailing sailors from around the world. From 1881 until 1912, more than 500 mariners from 30 states and 43 countries who died and could not be returned home were buried here. As the years passed, the cemetery was forgotten and covered by a landfill. In 1989, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rediscovered it. In 2011, we created the Marine Cemetery Vista to make sure the long-departed sailors would not be forgotten again.

From Historic Hospital to Presidio Housing

In 2010, a residential community known as Presidio Landmark opened in the reimagined hospital. A year later, the rehabilitation of the building and the surrounding 36-acre Public Health District campus was honored with the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award by the California State Office of Historic Preservation.

Hikes in San Francisco

The Public Health District where the Marine Cemetery Vista is located is near four Presidio trails: the Mountain Lake Trail, the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, the Park Trail, and the Lobos Creek Valley Trail.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The closest public restrooms can be found at Mountain Lake Park, about a 13-minute walk away and at the Golf Course General Store, a 21-minute walk up the Park Trail.

No, the closest Presidio food options are the Golf Course General Store , a 21-minute walk up the Park Trail.

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.

Restoring Dune Habitat

To restore the dunes, the Presidio secured 25,000 cubic yards of native sand from when the underground parking garage was built at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. This is now habitat for the San Francisco Lessingia, a federally enlisted endangered species, and other annual wildflowers.

Sign on the trail describing the dune as habitat for pollinators. Photo by Myleen Hollero.

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