The often fog-shrouded Presidio of San Francisco has a long and extensive cultural history spanning back thousands of years, to when it was the home to native people known as the Ohlone. The Spanish arrived in 1776 to establish the northernmost outpost of their empire in western North America. The Presidio was under Mexican rule for 24 years before the U.S. Army took control of it in 1846. Over 148 years, the army transformed the Presidio grounds from mostly empty windswept dunes and scrub to a verdant, preeminent military post. During that period, a major Army hospital, a pioneering airfield, and an extensive coastal defense system were built here. In 1994, the Presidio became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and in 1998 the Presidio Trust took over management of most of the Presidio's buildings and grounds. History continues to be made at the Presidio as the Trust turns it into the only monetarily self-sustaining national park site in the country.
The Presidio of San Francisco offers many historically significant places and spectacular natural areas to visit. In addition, a wide variety of recreational activities are possible in the park.