Amazing images of San Francisco before it was a city


san francisco sand dunes 2

Found San Francisco

Sand dunes at the edge of the Richmond District for San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in the 1880s.

Before San Francisco was a bustling tech hub, before it was the center of the hippie universe, and before it became known for its lush hills, much of the area was covered in sand dunes.


Golden Gate Park, the 1,000-acre green space south of the famous bridge that turns 80 years old this year, is located on what was once the largest sand dune ecosystem in the western hemisphere. These dunes spanned seven miles, essentially the entire width of modern-day San Francisco.

About two square miles of dunes still exist today, but the Bay Area has evolved a great deal since then.

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Take a look at the maps, paintings, and historical photographs that show the journey of San Francisco.