Walk: R/T Lobos Creek Valley from 15th Avenue Parking Lot
Distance: 1 Mile? (Or 5.6 Miles if I'd walked R/T from home)
The GG National Parks Conservancy hosted another tour of one of their 'protectorates,' Lobos Creek Valley which you can read about below. Our leader:
Told us that virtually the entire city would have looked like this hundreds of years ago (minus the telephone poles and other modern additions). Ie, virtually the whole of San Francisco was sand dunes with a variety of vegetative coverage:
Oaks were the native tree:
For several years GG National Parks Conservancy has been restoring the last remaining free-flowing creek and its valley to its original state:
You are invited to see the progress:
A very pleasant amble particularly for plant, shrub and grass experts. You can start at the 15th Avenue parking lot, catch a Park Shuttle back to your car or bus at the bottom of the hill.
The Lobos Creek Valley & Baker Beach Watershed
(Presidio National Park / Golden Gate National Recreation Area)
Lobos Creek, the last remaining free-flowing creek in the whole San Francisco peninsula, makes its 1 mile long run to the beach in the stunningly beautiful, rugged coastal landscape within the historical Presidio of San Francisco. You can explore the complete watershed by walking from its source in the live oak studded upland valley, down to where it meanders into the sea among the cliffs and coves that surround Baker Beach.
Along this short journey, you will pass a microcosm of the physical and social features found in large water shed around the nation, including:
- The stunning natural areas including including sunny open meadows, steep secluded valleys, quiet woodlands, and murmuring reflecting pools, that are home to many important native plant and animal species.
- As well as the eventual urbanization of the stream-bed to meet the demands of our modern city life. Lobos Creek's somewhat tricky route to the beach includes: rising to the surface as a series of fresh water springs, then flowing slowly down a protected valley, passing under a small dam, crossing under Lincoln Blvd, where it then has a large portion of its flow taken for human consumption. What's left then travels down the flower-crowded creek bank, gets diverted into someone's private house (seriously...) and finally ends up in an underground pipe for 500' of its last leg of the journey to the ocean - where it's free again to meander on an ever changing path to the waves.
- Political fights over the creek's water rights; Lobos Creek currently supplies most of the water needs for the entire Presidio area (it is also the emergency back up water supply for the city of San Francisco!), so if you get a drink of water while visiting anywhere in the park, you are tasting Lobos Creek. The creek's excellent water quality is also important to the health of some seldom discussed surf spots that dot this area between Lands End and Fort Point...
So come check out the this unique natural resource located right next to the Golden Gate bridge; and while you're here, you can even lend a hand to help make it better - check out the volunteer links below for beach cleanups or watershed restoration opportunities.
Award-winning Video! Award-winning member!
Check out this short video that showcases Lobos Creek and its connection to famed American photographer and environmentalists, Ansel Adams, who grew up on the creek in the beginnings of the 1900's. And congratulations Michael on winning the Toms of Maine watershed competition for his work, captured in this video!
Get involved to protect this valuable coastal watershed
- Lobos Creek Watershed Walk & Beach Clean up
- Volunteer with the National Parks Service at the Presidio: Help restore the natural landscapes, including the Lobos Creek Valley.