Previous - Index - Next
Fort Cronkhite

Fort Cronkhite, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is located within the Marin Headlands, just west of the Marin Headlands Visitor Center. The buildings at Fort Cronkhite currently house the Marine Mammal Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, the YMCA, and other nonprofit organizations. Once both an army installation and part of the Presidio, it is representative of the mobilization posts constructed by the Army from 1940 to 1941. Fort Cronkhite and Fort Barry, whose structures now serve as NPS facilities, were once the nerve centers of Marin Headlands military activities. Barracks #1059 is the only restored mobilization barracks in the west. Its interior has been restored to its original appearance, complete with furnishings that reflect its uses during World War II, the Korean War, and the 1960s. Today, the valley continues to be a center for park activities: there is access to the beach, the lighthouse, and the visitor center; rich habitat for birds, butterflies, and bobcats; and miles of backcountry and coastal trails. Marin Headlands Visitor Center Look for the visitor center’s red spire at Bunker and Field roads. Wood beams grace the ceiling of this one-time army chapel, now a pleasant visitor center packed with exhibits, maps, and park memorabilia. Exhibits introduce you to those who once lived in the Headlands, including a three-quarter-size willow hut (kotcha) of the kind made by the Coast Miwok Indians, Spanish vaqueros’ fancy sombreros and saddles, sepia photo portraits of Portuguese ranchers, a lighthouse keeper’s journal, and a soldier’s footlocker. Elsewhere in the center, lift flaps to see what lives in local ponds; sniff bottles filled with the scents of fennel, sage, yarrow, and other local flora; and touch bones, shells, and antlers collected from the landscape. Park rangers, staff, and docents are on hand to advise visitors about trails and camping, and to provide maps and lists of current special events and walks. Rodeo Beach Rodeo Beach is easily accessible to young and old. This pebbly Pacific beach offers good picnic spots, plenty of wind for kite flying, and nearby bluffs for hikes and wave-watching. Careful beachwalkers may see (but must not collect) jasper, carnelian, black agate, and jade among the beach sands. Surfers frequent the 1,000-yard crescent of Rodeo Beach. Because of all the variables of tide, swell, wind, and bottom contour, Cronkhite changes from day to day and even the most experienced local can rarely predict what the surf will be like.

March 27, 2008

Camera: NIKON D300
Lens: 105.0 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 105 mm
Exposure: 1/1600 sec at f / 6.3
Flash: Did not fire