A kayaker reported finding a skull at about 7:30 p.m. Monday in a cove below Battery Spencer, which is in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Park Ranger George Durgerian said.
U.S. Coast Guard personnel and National Park Service rangers were dispatched to search the cove, but the search had to be called off due to darkness, Durgerian said.
The search began again at first light on Tuesday, and park service lifeguards found the skull the kayaker had seen, Durgerian said.
U.S. Park Police detectives and National Park Service rangers were then dispatched the try to locate more of the skeleton and investigate, Durgerian said.
After rappelling 600 feet down a cliff in heavy fog, crews recovered the intact skull, along with several upper body and torso bones, Durgerian said. They also found some clothes and a necklace, but the items were not gender-specific, he said.
The Marin County sheriff's office is expected to conduct another recovery mission today to search for additional remains, Durgerian said.
The park service and the coroner's office have not yet been able to identify the body.