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Group of 3 people picnicking on Presidio Main Parade Lawn

Jul 3, 2024

Presidio Like a Pro 

Keep the Presidio beautiful for all to enjoy by practicing these simple “Leave No Trace” principles.

Whether youre visiting the Presidio to attend an event, enjoying a picnic, or you’re going for a walk on the beach, the park offers endless options to explore. While here, it’s important to be conscious of the effects our actions may have on plants, animals, other people, and even entire ecosystems. These tips on how to Presidio Like a Pro will help us keep the park clean, safe, and welcoming to all for years to come.  

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Man and woman looking out over Baker Beach at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Make the most of your visit to the park and plan ahead. It’s good to know the basics such as how to get to and around the Presidio, including using public transportation, such as catching a ride on the free Presidio GO Shuttle. Download a park map so you don’t miss out on any of the many park attractions, 24-miles of hiking trails and overlooks, or food options. If you have any questions, see our FAQ page or visit the Presidio Visitor Center to speak with park staff. 

Dispose of Garbage Properly 

Child throwing away trash on Presidio Tunnel Tops.

Trash is not only unsightly, it’s bad for the environment and park wildlife. If you’re picnicking at one of the many picnic areas in the park, enjoying lunch at Presidio Pop Up, or you’re on a nature hike with your dog, pack out what you bring in, recycle and compost when you can, dispose of your pet’s waste in the trash, and leave the park even better than you found it. 

Respect Wildlife 

two coyotes on the street.

Several types of mammals, reptiles, birds, bees, butterflies, and more call the Presidio home. Whenever you’re in an outdoor space, you’re in the natural habitat of many wild animals. Be sure to minimize your impact on them.   

  • Observe wildlife from a distance; do not follow or approach wildlife. 
  • Never feed animals.  
  • Control pets at all times or leave them at home. 
  • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times, such as when mating, nesting, raising young, or in the winter. +

Be a Good Pet Owner 

Man walking with two dogs on leash

Walking your dog responsibly is a fun, healthy, and popular way to enjoy the park, but we have a few rules (see the National Park Service’s A Dog-Friendly National Park and section 7 in the Presidio Trust Compendium for more details about pet regulations). The below tips are to help ensure your pet’s safety and everyone’s enjoyment: 

  • With the exception of certain off-leash areas in the park (see the above pages for details), including West Pacific Avenue, Crissy Field, and along the beach, dogs are to remain on leash at all times.  
  • Don’t forget to pack in all of your pet’s needs, including waste bags to clean up after them and dispose of them appropriately – do not leave doggy bags on the side of trails!  
  • The Presidio is home to over 740+ plant and animal species, be mindful of the landscapes and keep your pet off of the plants and away from sensitive habitat. 
  • Avoid coyote/dog conflict – forgo designated trails during pupping season, keep your dog on leash at all times, and learn what to do if you encounter one. See the Coyotes in the Presidio page for more information.  

Leave What You Found 

couple walking coastal bluffs trail

There is nothing more thrilling than discovering shells washed up on Marshall’s Beach or a patch of wild strawberries along the California Coastal Trail. The items we find in nature have a role to play, either in the ecosystem or the story of the landscape. Leaving items like rocks, shells, and feathers where you found them and not picking flowers or harvesting other plants helps to preserve nature and allows others a sense of discovery. The Field Station at Presidio Tunnel Tops is a great place for explorers of all-ages to get hands-on and discover the natural wonders of the park.  

Be Considerate of Others 

Gorups of people enjoying Presidio Tunnel Tops

Loud music, uncontrolled pets, and damaged communal spaces detract from the natural beauty of the outdoors. Being considerate of others ensures everyone can enjoy nature no matter how they interact with it. 

Don’t Use Stakes in the Lawns 

families using tents at the Presidio Tunnel Tops

In an effort to protect the turf and the gopher wire used on the lawns, pop up tents with stakes are not allowed in the open spaces of the Presidio only small shade structures no larger than 5’x5’ are allowed. Do not stake into the grass, in general this damages the park’s lawns. The non-staked tents pictured are allowed.