Golden Gate National Parks chronicle two hundred years of history, from the Native American culture, the Spanish Empire frontier and the Mexican Republic, to maritime history, the California Gold Rush, the evolution of American coastal fortifications, and the growth of urban San Francisco.
The parkís cultural resources are tremendously varied. Dramatic view sheds of contrasting rural and urban environments lead to historic landscapes ranging from dairy ranches and seaside recreation sites, to maritime resources like lighthouses and shipwrecks. Golden Gate has been part of the homelands of Coastal Miwok and Ohlone people for thousands of years and still contains archeological sites and landscapes influenced by native land management.
The park includes the largest and most complete collection of military installations and fortifications in the country, dating from Spanish settlement in 1776 though the Nike missiles of the Cold War. Golden Gate contains eleven former Army posts whose military architecture and historic landscapes comprise the heart of the park.
The National Park Foundation encourages and promotes local fundraising support at individual national park sites. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit partner of the National Park Service and supports the Golden Gate National Parks in research, interpretation, and conservation programs.