Best Place to See a Coyote - 2006
Coyote Gulch in the Presidio
Once upon a time the Presidio was an untamed place of dune scrub and wetlands where grizzly, elk, and mountain lion flourished. Two centuries of hunting rifles, urban sprawl, and toxic dumping later, only skunks, squirrels, and other diminutive mammalia remain. A new arrival is Canis latrans, the coyote. Sharp-featured, bushy-tailed, brown or reddish-gray, and built along the lines of a medium-sized (if underfed) pooch which, officially, it is this highly adaptable hunter has since 2003 adapted itself to the Presidio's western coastline. That year the National Park Service began converting the former army post's dozen toxic dumpsites into wildlife habitats, replacing tons of pesticide- and chemical-rich soil with indigenous plant life. Coyote Gulch, a newly excavated, three-acre ravine just above Baker Beach, is especially inviting to its namesake, with its freshwater creek, comfy scrub, and abundance of tasty gophers. Coyotes can be spotted near here from a newly broken trail running between Lincoln Boulevard and Battery Crosby (on a bluff near the Lincoln-Washington intersection). Come at dusk or daybreak and you might even be treated to a howl or two.