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10 Top Things to Do on Angel Island State Park: Hiking, History and a Whole Lotta Views

Angel Island State Park offers a rich mix of wilderness and California history, just fifteen minutes from downtown San Francisco. This guide will tell you the top things to do on Angel Island, along with practical tips for how to get onto the island and how to get around once there.

Angel Island State Park: view of Tiburon

About Angel Island State Park

Angel Island sits on a strategic location near the mouth of the Golden Gate. It was once a hunting and fishing site for the Miwok Native Americans, who are believed to have used it for a summer camp. But it has also been at various times– a cattle ranch, an army post during the civil war, an immigration and quarantine station, a World War II POW camp and a cold war missile site. This long history means that the island has a treasure trove of historical sites to be explored.

The transition into a state park in the early 1960’s, Angel Island preserved its cultural history, but it had the additional benefit preserving the island’s beautiful natural resources. The island is a microcosm of California coastal biology with the typical grassy chaparral, coast live oak trees and native grasses. There are mule deer, raptors, sea birds, an endemic mole species and even one lonely coyote who live on the island. And, you’ll find harbor seals, sea lions and dolphins swimming around it.

Read More : If you are into history, I also recommend that you plan a visit to the San Francisco’s Presidio , Bodie ghost town state park in the Eastern Sierras or Malakoff Diggins State Park , both are part of California’s gold rush origin story.

Angel Island State Park Map

The 10 Best Things to Do on Angel Island

Visiting Angel Island is a perfect day trip from San Francisco and you should plan to spend the entire day. This 740 acres comes packed with hiking and historic activities that will more than fill your time. In fact, I’ve visited a number of times, including walking the ring road and visiting historic sites, biking the ring road and doing a photo shoot of the abandoned buildings and hiking the upper trails to Mt. Livermore.

When you visit, think about whether you are more interested in the history of the island, or exploring nature and awesome views and then optimize your visit for that, using the following Angel Island activities.

Things to do on Angel Island: hiking perimeter road

1. Walk or Bike the Paved Perimeter Road

Angel Island has a 5 mile paved road ringing the key historic sites. Walking the perimeter road will take about 2.5 hours and biking it will take about 45 minutes. But that’s beside the point. If you chose the perimeter road, do it because you are interested in stopping at all of the historical sites along the way.

If you like this combination of hiking and history, you should also check out this guide for hiking Lands End . It has great coastal views and a lot of cool historic sites on the trail.

Angel Island Immigration station bunkhouse

2. Tour the US Immigration Station

The Immigration Station operated from 1910-1940 and it functioned like the West Coast’s version of Ellis Island. It was built to process thousands of immigrants from 80 countries…and indeed it did. But the immigration station was also tool for enforcing the discriminatory Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

The policy was designed to make it very difficult for Asians, particularly Chinese nationals, to immigrate to the US. It had the practical effect of making the immigration station a detention camp for Asians. There are disturbing echos of this policy currently resonating in US immigration policy, so visiting the station offers some very relevant perspective.

You can wander the station on your own, using the explanatory plaques. For $5, you can enter the main detention building and do a self-guided tour. This is well worth both the time and the small amount of money. You can also take a ranger-led guided tour. Bring cash.

Angel Island immigration station: poem carved on wall

Many of the detainees carved thoughts and poems onto the walls as an expression of their distress.

“Detained in this wooden house for several tens of days, It is all because of the Mexican exclusion law which implicates me. It’s a pity heroes have no way of exercising their prowess. I can only await the word so that I can snap Zu’s whip. From now on, I am departing far from this building. All of my fellow villagers are rejoicing with me. Don’t say that everything within is Western styled. Even if it is built upon jade, it has turned into a cage.” — carved into the wall at the Immigration Station.

Angel Island immigration station: immigration paperwork

3. Visit Fort McDowell

The US military has has a presence on Angel island since 1863. In 1899, they built a quarantine station for sick troops at Fort McDowell (at the eastern garrison). Over time, the area transitioned into a discharge depot and it became a major facility for processing military personnel for overseas assignment.

You can still see the remains of the hospital, barracks, a mess hall and the jail.

Angel Island Battery Wallace Explosives

4. Crawl Around the Battery Drew, Battery Wallace and Battery Ledyard sites.

In 1898, this series of gun batteries were built on high points along what is now the perimeter road. You can still crawl around and look into the gun emplacements and weapons storage rooms. This is particularly fun if you are into URBEX.

Angel Island Camp Reynolds

5. Visit Fort Reynolds

This beautiful row of historic buildings are found on the western edge of Angel Island. The base was built in 1863 in response to the the civil war and as a staging area for incursions against the Native populations. There is a nice little beach here with lovely views of both Tiburon and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Angel Island views from Mt. Livermore

6. Take the Tram Tour

The Angel Island consessionaire runs a guided tram tour that takes the perimeter road around the island. The tour is about 1-1/2 hours and it includes an audio history of the island. The tour is great if you are short on time or have mobility issues. However, it’s on a fixed schedule which doesn’t give you much time for extended exploration.

The tour runs on the weekend in low season and everyday in high season. Tickets are $16.50 for adults and can be booked in advance here .

Fungi on Angel Island

7. Hike the Historical Route or the Ridge Trail

There are twelve miles of hiking trails on Angel Island and all of them will give you a great mix of quiet forest and killer views. Both of the following suggestions top out at Mt. Livermore, where there are views for days and picnic tables. After your hike, you can chill out in Ayala cove while you wait for your return ferry.

For the hiking + history route, take the perimeter road to the Immigration Station and explore the area. After you get back on the perimeter road, turn right onto the fire road (the sign points toward the campsites), double back toward the north side of the island and connect with the North Ridge trail. Head up to Mt. Livermore, then take the Sunset trail down. Approximately 5.5 miles total.

If you are just keen to hike and aren’t as interested in the historic sites, the ranger suggests going up using the North Ridge Trail and coming down using the Sunset trail. That way, you’ll get some nice peaceful forest and deer on the way up and the return will be open chaparral with killer views of SF and Tiburon. Approximately 4.5 miles.

Angel Island Visitors Center museum

8. Explore the Angel Island Visitor’s Center

The Visitor’s Center is located near the ferry dock. It’s has exhibits on the how the Miwok used the island for their summering grounds, the military history of the island and some natural history.

Angel Island State Park: Views of San Francisco

9. Brake for Views

One of the best Angel Island things to do is to simply stop for all of the jaw dropping 360′ views of the bay. There are many ways to find great views of the Golden Gate Bridge , but few of them give you such a wide angle of the gate.

As you walk along the Angel Island trails, you’ll get peek-a-boo views at parts of the bay, then you’ll come to an open lookout point and…BAM…the whole scene opens up.

  • From Ayala Cove: Views of Tiburon
  • From the Immigration Station: Views of Point Richmond.
  • From Fort McDowell: Views of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island.
  • From Battery Drew: Views of the SF skyline.
  • From Camp Reynolds: Views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausilito.
  • From. Livermore: Views of absolutely everything.

Angel Island barracks

10. Have A Picnic

There are many great spots for a picnic on Angel Island. You can find a grassy area at both the immigration station and at Fort Reynolds. There’s a set of picnic tables at the top of Mount Livermore. And there are benches and grassy areas near the visitor’s center and ferry dock.

Angel Island things to do: view from the ferry. With churning water and green forest

(This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase, I’ll make a small commission.)

FAQs for Visiting Angel Island State Park

Here are all of the logistics that you’ll need to be prepared for your day at Angel Island.

Which Ferry goes to Angel Island?

There are two ferry services to Angel Island, one from Tiburon and the other from Pier 41 in San Francisco.

The Angel Island Tiburon Ferry runs everyday during high season but between December and April, their weekday service is limited. It is the cheaper option if you have your own car, because their round trip ticket price is $4.50 less expensive than the SF ferry. All day parking in Tiburon can cost as low as $5, compared with $30-50 for the Pier 39 lots.

Tiburon ferry prices are $18.00 round trip (which includes the park ticket). Check the schedule and book here .

The Golden Gate Ferry Angel Island service runs out of the Ferry Building in SF. They run daily ferry service to Angel island, with higher frequency in the high season. They are the better option if you are already in SF and can take public transportation to the ferry dock. Angel Island ferry prices are $14.00 round trip (which include the park ticket). You can even pay with a Clipper Card. Here’s the schedule .

How Do You Go Biking on Angel Island?

If you have your own bike, or have already rented one in SF, you can bring the bikes onto either ferry. But space is somewhat limited, so get there early enough to queue up.

Regular and electric bikes are available to rent from the Angel Island Company concessionaire. The bikes can’t be reserved in advance, so if you want one, take the first ferry of the day.

Prices: $16/hour or $64 full day for regular bikes and $25/hr or $99 full day for electric. For comparison, in SF regular bike rentals are ~$36 and electric bike rentals are ~$65, so it might be worth it for you to rent in SF.

Is There Food on Angel Island?

The Angel Island Company does run a cafe and cantina. You can also pick up boxed lunches. The cafe and cantina are usually running but may not be in service during weekdays in December and January.

Whether you pick up a boxed lunch or bring your own, you should plan to eat out on the trail somewhere, rather than in the ferry cove. There are picnic tables and beaches with great views dotted all over the island.

What Should I Bring to Angel Island

In addition to lunch and snacks, there are a few other items that you’ll want to bring:

-Carry a refillable bottle of water. There are a few drinking fountains but you’ll want your own bottle, like this hydroflask from REI . -Bring sturdy footwear, especially if you are going to be doing the trails. -Bring a jacket. It’s windy on the bay and the fog can creep in at any time. -Bring a spare power bank. You’ll want to take a lot of picture of those great views and you don’t want to run out of juice. Try this one from Anker , it has 11,000 4+ star ratings on Amazon.

Read More : Get the full downlow on all CA parks with our complete California State Parks list (with map).

Angel island ferry: San Francisco view

See More of San Francisco

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  • Get a full FAQ with SF tourism tips .
  • Find out the most Instagrammable spots in SF .
  • Explore cool SF bookstores .
  • Take a hike on SF’s Crosstown trail .
  • Walk SF’s most notorious gold rush neighborhood on the Barbary Coast Trail and then ride a historic cable car .
  • 5 scenic ways to go hiking in the Presidio .
  • Our 10 favorite walks in San Francisco .

Plan Your Trip to SF

Save time planning your trip to SF with these insanely useful links:

  • Find the best areas to stay in SF .
  • Figure out how to get from SFO airport to downtown SF or from Oakland airport to downtown .
  • Use this guide to determine if you should rent a car in SF , and if so, score a deal on the rental .
  • Go beyond the obvious tourist sites by purchasing one of our recommended San Francisco guidebooks . They cover urban hikes, foodie spots, self-guided walking tours and even an urban atlas.

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A Detailed Guide for Visiting Angel Island State Park

A Detailed Guide for Visiting Angel Island State Park

Discover the beauty and history of Angel Island State Park in this comprehensive guide. Your adventure in the heart of the Bay awaits.

California.com Team

June 29, 2023

Tucked away in the heart of San Francisco Bay, California, is Angel Island State Park, a hidden gem known for its rich history, breathtaking vistas, and outdoor recreational activities. With an area of 1.2 square miles, it is the second-largest natural island in the Bay Area, providing an oasis of calm and wilderness amidst the bustling cityscape.

Angel Island State Park has a fascinating history, tracing its roots back to the indigenous Miwok tribes who originally inhabited the island. Over time, the island has worn many hats: a Mexican cattle ranch, a U.S. military post during the Civil War, and an immigration station processing nearly a million immigrants from 1910 to 1940. Known as the "Ellis Island of the West," this period of its history serves as a poignant reminder of the stories of hope and hardship of those seeking a better life in America.

During the 20th century, Angel Island State Park played significant roles in both World Wars and the Cold War, hosting POWs and serving as a missile base. In 1954, it became a State Park and has since been preserved as a historic site, with many original structures still standing today.

angel island walking tour

When to Visit

The park’s mild Mediterranean climate allows for year-round visits. However, each season offers a unique experience to its visitors.

Spring on Angel Island State Park is a treat for nature lovers. Wildflowers bloom in abundance, adding vibrant hues to the island’s green canvas. With temperatures typically ranging between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit, it's perfect for hiking, cycling, and picnicking .

Summer is the peak season, offering long days and perfect weather for enjoying the beach and taking refreshing dips in the ocean. It's also an ideal time for camping under the star-studded sky and engaging in bird-watching, with numerous species visiting the island.

During Fall , the island transforms into a painting of warm, earthy colors. This is an excellent time for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike to explore the island’s trails. The moderate temperatures and less crowded paths make hiking a truly serene experience.

In Winter , the island is quieter and peaceful, making it an ideal time for a tranquil retreat. Crisp, clear days offer unrivaled views of the surrounding Bay and the stunning San Francisco skyline. Keep in mind; it can be a bit chilly, so dress accordingly.

angel island walking tour

How to Get There and Visitor Fees

Access to Angel Island State Park is primarily via ferry services, available from San Francisco and Tiburon, located on the Marin County mainland . These services operate year-round, but their frequency can change seasonally, so be sure to check the current schedule. For adventurous souls, private boats or kayaks offer an alternative method of reaching the island.

Upon arrival, you're free to explore the park at your leisure. Visitors can hike or bike the island's numerous trails, or even rent a Segway for a different type of adventure.

As of 2023, the park's day-use fee is $10 per person, which does not include the ferry ticket. For those planning to camp overnight, there's an additional fee of $30 per night for campsites, plus a reservation fee. Please note that the park limits campers to a maximum stay of two nights.

A visit to Angel Island State Park also includes free access to the Immigration Station Museum. However, guided tours of the museum and other historical areas on the island come with a separate fee.

Remember, Angel Island State Park is committed to conservation. Visitors are encouraged to pack out what they bring in, follow marked trails, and respect the natural and historical resources to preserve this Bay Area treasure for generations to come.

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Top 5 Things to Do at Angel Island State Park

Hiking on the perimeter loop.

The Perimeter Loop is a must-try for any hiking enthusiast visiting Angel Island State Park. This moderately challenging 5-mile trail encircles the island, offering panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge , and Alcatraz . Along the route, you'll discover hidden coves and beaches, historical points of interest, and a diverse range of flora and fauna. Be sure to bring a camera for some Instagram-worthy shots!

Exploring the Immigration Station Museum

Immerse yourself in a critical chapter of American history by exploring the Immigration Station Museum. This restored facility is where immigrants, mostly from China , were processed from 1910 to 1940. Today, it hosts an array of exhibits that tell these immigrants' stories through poignant displays of photographs, personal artifacts, and poetry etched into the barrack walls by detainees. This experience provides a unique perspective on the diverse cultural heritage of America.

angel island walking tour

Biking Adventure

If you're a cycling enthusiast , Angel Island State Park offers the perfect adventure. You can bring your bike on the ferry or rent one on the island. Either way, the park's roads and trails provide a fantastic biking experience, showcasing the island's natural beauty and historic landmarks. For a special treat, try biking the Perimeter Road at sunset when the views of the Bay and its landmarks are nothing short of spectacular.

Camping Under the Stars

Looking for an overnight adventure? Try camping on Angel Island State Park. With 11 environmental campsites, you can set up your tent in seclusion and enjoy a night under the stars. The sunrise views over the Bay are absolutely worth waking up early for. Make sure to reserve your site in advance, especially during the peak season, as spots fill up quickly.

angel island walking tour

Guided Segway Tour

For a unique, fun way to see the island, try a guided Segway tour. These tours take you around the island's key points of interest, including historic sites like Fort McDowell and Camp Reynolds. Your guide will provide a running commentary on the island's history and ecology, making this an educational and entertaining activity for visitors of all ages.

With so much to offer, from its deep historical roots to its natural beauty, Angel Island State Park is truly a destination that promises unforgettable experiences. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or an outdoor adventurer, the park welcomes you with open arms. So pack your bags and set sail for an island adventure that's just a stone's throw from the city.

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The best 11 things to do on angel island.

things to do on Angel Island

Growing up in the Bay Area, I vaguely knew Angel Island was out there in the San Francisco Bay. But it wasn’t until a coworker invited me to go on a hike with her there that I realized there are a variety of fun things to do on Angel Island!

We went to hike the Perimeter Trail, which spans the circumference of the island offering epic views of the city. But you can also bike, chill on a beach, camp, and learn about the role Angel Island played in Chinese immigration. 

In this post, I’m going to share with you the best things to do on Angel island, along with plenty of other helpful tips for a day trip to Angel Island from San Francisco. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a tiny bit of income if you decide to make a purchase or booking. For more, check out my disclosure . 

San Francisco Travel Resources

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  • Want a guided San Francisco tour? Here's a fun hop on hop off tour
  • Rent a car for awesome San Francisco day trips with rentalcars.com
  • Must haves for your trip to San Francisco packing list : my favorite waterproof booties, this power bank to stay connected, and a reusable water bottle

Getting to Angel Island

The only way to get to Angel Island is via ferry. You can take the Blue and Gold fleet from the San Francisco ferry terminal or the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry from Tiburon.

Blue & Gold Fleet

The Blue & Gold Fleet operates only on the weekends; Friday through Sunday. It has two departures from San Francisco’s Pier 41; 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. To return to San Francisco there are two daily trips at 2:15 pm and 4:15 pm.

The return ferry ticket cost $19.50/adult.

To book your ticket on the Blue & Gold fleet,  click here.

Angel Island Tiburon Ferry

My coworker and I took the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry. They’re currently operating Thursday through Sunday with 3 departure times (10:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:30 pm) and 4 return times (10:20 am, 11:20 am, 1:20 pm, 3:20 pm).

The benefit of taking the Angel Islands Tiburon ferry is there are more frequent times and it’s only a 10-minute ferry ride. However, you will have to budget in the time to drive across the Golden Gate and pay for parking ($16) in Tiburon.

The journey from San Francisco to Tiburon is about 30 mins.

The return ferry ticket costs $15/adult. 

To book your ticket on the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry  click here . 

Top Things To Do on Angel Island

view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Camp Reynolds on Angel Island

Visit the Angel Island US Immigration Station

Often referred to as the Ellis Island of the West, Angel Island served as an immigration port between 1910 and 1940. While people came from all over the world to the United States during this time, the overwhelming majority of immigrants processed (and detained) on Angel Island were from China.

Due to the Chinese Exclusion Act which severely restricted immigration from China, Chinese immigrants could spend anywhere from weeks to years detained on Angel Island while they were interrogated about their connection to naturalized Chinese relations.

A great book about what the Chinese experience on Angel Island is Shanghai Girls by Lisa See . While it is a fiction book, it is based on the realities of Chinese immigration.

Hike the Perimeter Trail

view of Alcatraz and San Francisco from the Perimeter Trail on Angel Island

There are several Angel Island hikes you could go on with varying degrees of difficulty and length. The hike I recommend for your first visit is the Perimeter Trail.

This 5.5-mile trail encompasses the entire perimeter of the island. It follows the completely paved, but also completely exposed Perimeter Road. There are a few very steep hills along the way as well!

But trust me, it’s worth it. The views of the city are amazing! You’ll see from The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the city, all the way to the Bay Bridge. If you look closely enough at the city, you’ll be able to see the huge hills San Francisco is famous for.

The Perimeter trail is also good for seeing the rest of the island. You can add on a visit to Fort Reynolds, a gorgeous beach, and the Immigration Station.

When you disembark the ferry, you can either start the trail to the right or left. If you’re starting to the right, you can pay a visit to the Visitors Center before you begin and end with the Immigration station before the return ferry home.

Alternatively, you can start to the left and spend some time while you’ve still got energy learning about the history of the island at the Immigration station.

When I visited we started going right, which means we finished at the immigration station. If I were to do it again, I’d reverse it, because I’d have energy for the immigration station  and  when I reached the side with the city views, the Golden Gate Bridge would be in front of me the entire time, as opposed to behind!

Alternative hiking trails

  • Sunset Trail & North Ridge Trail: Climb to the top of Mt. Livermore, the peak of Angel Island, 788 ft above sea level. You could take the sunset trail from Ayala Cove and climb 3 miles up to the top! Alternatively, you could follow the North Ridge Trail off of the Perimeter Trail up 144 steps and 3 miles to the top!

Check out this short hike packing list for what I recommend bringing to hike on Angel Island.

Ride a Bike around Angel Island

Ayala Cove Angel Island ferry terminal from above

A solid, and faster, alternative to hiking, is biking Angel Island. I noticed this was an incredibly popular thing to do on the island. 

You can either bring your own bike with you on the ferry or rent one upon arrival. They even offer e-bikes which would be incredibly helpful for the steep hills you’ll encounter.

You can rent a mountain bike or e-bike by the hour ($16/$26 respectively) or for the day ($64/$99).

For more information on Angel Island bike rentals,  click here.

Take the Angel Island Tram

Not up for much activity but still want to see everything the island has to offer, take the Angel Island Tram. This is perfect for families with little ones as well! This is a mini Angel Island tour as the tram will provide you with historical facts along the way.

The tram tour runs twice per day at 11:45 am and 1:45 pm. It stops at Battery Ledyard for a photo opportunity of the spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline.

To book your Angel Island tram tour,  click here .

Explore Camp Reynolds

Camp Reynolds was developed during the Civil War in anticipation of attacks from Confederates. After the Civil War, it became an army training ground. In the center, you’ll find a large open space that was the parade ground and on one side you’ll see original Army barracks. 

Camp Reynolds is a great detour off of the Perimeter Trail for a bit of history mixed with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Have a Picnic

view of Tiburon from Angel Island

I suggest packing a sandwich and snacks for your day trip to Angel Island because there are so many picnic areas. You could choose a bench or patch of dirt overlooking San Francisco or find the shade of a tree while watching the boats sail around Tiburon. 

There are also plenty of picnic tables in front of the visitor center at Ayala Cove.

Chill on the Beach

Quarry Beach on Angel Island

You could even take your picnic to the white sand beach. Yea I was just as shocked when Quarry Beach came into view below Fort McDowell. It’s a small stretch of white sand you’d expect to see in the Caribbean. 

There was only one person on it when I visited on a sunny  and  warm San Francisco day!

Visit Fort McDowell

Fort McDowell, Angel Island

Fort McDowell is where soldiers were trained for war and returned from war for about 50 years. Remnants of officer quarters, the mess hall, and the hospital remain. The hospital is actually “open”, you can wander around inside its vacant rooms. But be careful as it’s in a state of disrepair! 

Take Pictures!

view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Angel Island

Have I mentioned the epic views of San Francisco all around Angel Island? Bring your camera for this trip, you’re going to use it at every turn!

I used my telephoto lens for the majority of photos, especially for the skyline. But a wide-angle lens would be great once you get to the old buildings. If you’re not a fan of carrying multiple lenses (I do it, and those things get heavy!) then a good walk-around lens (28-70mm or something similar) is perfect.

I’m also still rocking the iPhone 8, so if you have a newer iPhone you’ll be able to get great photos without the heavy camera gear!

Enjoy a Beer at the Angel Island Cafe & Cantina

Yes! There is food and drinks on Angel Island. Just steps from Ayala Cove and the ferry port is the Angel Island Cafe and Cantina operation by the Angel Island Company. Here you can enjoy a cold beer and a snack while you wait for your Angel Island ferry to take you back to Tiburon or San Francisco. 

The cafe had just opened with limited service when I visited. They had beer and wine as well as a small assortment of food. However, in non-pandemic times there is a larger menu and live music! The perfect way to end a fun day exploring all of the awesome things to do on Angel Island. 

Camping on Angel Island State Park

During our hike around the Perimeter Trail, I kept commenting about how epic both sunrise and sunset would be from Angel Island. However, with the last ferry departing around 4:00 pm, it’s not possible.

Unless of course, you camp! Imagine having this entire island mostly to yourself after 4:00 pm to watch the sun go down, stars come out, and the sunrise again. How legit would that be?!

There are a handful of campgrounds throughout the park. Some offer views of the city and others of Tiburon and Sausalito.

This is a very popular place to camp, so you’ll likely have to reserve a site 6 months in advance. However, right now camping is not available due to the pandemic. 

Reserve your campsite at reservecalifornia.com

What to Bring for Your Day Trip to Angel Island

Angel Island visitor's center

Now that you know what to do once you get to Angel Island, what should you bring?

There are so many epic views, definitely bring a camera. Whether it’s your smartphone or a DSLR, you’ll want to take photos on Angel Island. 

While there is food you can get to go on the island, I recommend packing a lunch and snacks. Especially as the menu at the Angel Island Cafe is fairly limited right now. 

Bring a full water bottle but know that you can refill it at various locations around the island. 

What to Wear Visiting Angel Island

Like any time you’re considering what to wear in San Francisco, remember that layers are key. Visiting Angel Island is no different. You’ll want to wear comfortable, active clothing especially if you’re planning to hike or bike the island. 

A good pair of sneakers or hiking boots are recommended. The Perimeter trail is almost completely exposed so please wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. 

For reference, I wore leggings, sneakers, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt. I also packed a heavier jacket just in case the wind picked up that I didn’t end up needing. 

A Few More Tips for Visiting Angel Island

  • Start early. I recommend taking the earliest ferry possible so you can explore the island at a leisurely pace. We took the 10:00 am ferry to Angel Island and departed on the 3:20 pm ferry.
  • Restrooms are located at the ferry dock, Camp Reynolds, Fort McDowell, and Immigration Station
  • Masks are required the entire time on the ferry ride over
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before the ferry departs
  • Downtown Tiburon is super cute, if you have energy at the end of the day there are good restaurants and more San Francisco views.

Where to Stay Nearby

You may consider extending your stay for a night or two in Tiburon and exploring this part of the Bay Area. It’s  filled with a variety of fun activities, good restaurants, and gorgeous views. Both of the hotels below are treat-yo-self-style hotels. And totally worth it IMHO.

  • Water’s Edge : This hotel is located on the Tiburon waterfront, just a few minutes away from the ferry which can take you to Angel Island or back to San Francisco.
  • The Lodge at Tiburon : An excellent location just steps away from the Angel Island Ferry. Plus it’s absolutely beautiful!

There are plenty of hotels to choose from in San Francisco! Book your favorite here . 

Things to Do Nearby

  • Muir Woods: Spend a few hours walking among centuries old giants in the Redwood Forest in Muir Woods. All the details for how to visit Muir Woods right now are in this post . 
  • Mt. Tamalpais: Mt. Tamalpais has awesome hiking trails and views! If you’re up for a good, long hike check out the Dipsea Trail or Cataract Falls.
  • Sausalito: Just down the highway from Tiburon is Sausalito. There are many excellent restaurants to choose from and epic views across the Bay to the city.
  • Battery Spencer: On your way back to San Francisco, consider stopping at Battery Spencer for sunset. Battery Spencer offers awesome views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay, Alcatraz, and the city skyline. It does tend to get windy here, though so layer up!

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Northern California Hiking Trails

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Mount Shasta Area | Lassen Area | Trinity Alps | Shasta-Trinity NF | Klamath NF | Redwood Coast | Wine Country | Bay Area | Sierra Nevada | Hiking Advice

Exploring Angel Island’s Best Hiking Trails

April 15, 2019 By John Soares 2 Comments

Why walk Angel Island hiking trails? Primarily for the gorgeous vistas of San Francisco Bay, including San Francisco itself, along with the Golden Gate, plus the surrounding hills and mountains stretching off into the far distance. This detailed hiking trail description guides you along the North Ridge Trail and the Sunset Trail to the tippy-top summit of Mount Livermore.

You'll frequently see the Golden Gate Bridge when hiking Angel Island trails.

Thanks to author Alexandra Kenin

Cover of the book Urban Trails San Francisco by author Alexandra Kenin

Angel Island State Park: North Ridge Trail and Sunset Trail Key Data

Distance: 5.1 miles Elevation Gain: 880 feet High Point: 790 feet Difficulty: Moderate Time: 2 hours 30 minutes Fitness: Walkers, hikers Family Friendly: May be too strenuous for young children, but children may enjoy a tram tour Dog Friendly: No Amenities: Restrooms near ferry terminal on Angel Island; restaurants and bike rental companies open seasonally; in fall and winter, bring a picnic lunch Contact: California Department of Parks and Recreation Map: download the Angel Island State Park map here GPS: 37° 52′ 6.5460” N 122° 26′ 4.3332” W

Getting to Angel Island State Park from San Francisco

Public Transit: For the Pier 41 ferry: MUNI F train to the Embarcadero and Stockton St.; MUNI bus 47 to the intersection of Powell and Beach streets; MUNI buses 8, 8X, and 39 to Powell and Bay streets. For Angel Island: The Blue and Gold Fleet takes you from Pier 41 to Angel Island. (If you’re traveling from Tiburon, take the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry.) Schedules vary seasonally. Tideline Water Taxi provides on-demand service year-round. Reservations are suggested.

Parking: Parking near the ferry can be difficult. Pier 39, at 2350 Stockton St., offers a paid lot that’s open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Angel Island State Park: Why Hike Here?

At 740 acres, Angel Island is the second-largest island in the bay after Alameda Island. While most of the island lies in Tiburon, Fort McDowell, on the eastern side of the island, is owned by the City and County of San Francisco. Angel Island is a perfect place to take in views of the San Francisco Bay Area. On a clear day, you can see as far as Napa and Sonoma counties to the north and San Jose to the south.

The former military base has 13 miles of hiking trails and a lot of military history. This particular hike explores the North Ridge Trail and the Sunset Trail that often remain empty even when throngs of visitors head to the island in the summer. For most of the year, there is only one boat you can take to the island in the morning, so I start my hikes early and then have a picnic lunch at the summit of Mount Livermore (788 feet). Mount Livermore is named after Caroline Livermore, the conservationist who led the campaign to create Angel Island State Park.

Taking in the beauty on a flat portion of an Angel Island Trail.

Hiking the North Ridge and Sunset Trails

From the Angel Island ferry terminal, walk past the information booth and to your left to reach the North Ridge trailhead. After a short, but steep 0.1-mile climb, reach a picnic bench and the start of a long flight of stairs. Climb more than one hundred stairs to reach the paved Perimeter Road. Catch your breath in the shade of some eucalyptus trees, knowing that the hardest part of the hike is over.

Start Hiking on the North Ridge Trail

Cross the Perimeter Road and look right to locate the North Ridge Trail. For the next 1.7 miles, the path winds gently uphill to the north and then to the center of the island, taking you through sun-drenched sections littered with chaparral as well as fern- and moss-covered areas lined with coast live oak. At 0.9 mile turn left on the Fire Road and take a right to continue on the North Ridge Trail toward Mount Livermore.

Angel Island has many trails for hikers. Many stretches of path are shaded.

Climb Mount Livermore: San Francisco Bay Area Views!

At 1.8 miles, reach a junction with the Sunset Trail and get your first downtown views of San Francisco. Turn right on a spur trail to reach Mount Livermore. At 2 miles you will start seeing picnic benches along the trail (if these are full, there are more beyond the summit), and at 2.1 miles, you reach the summit of Mount Livermore. From here, you’re rewarded with views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, Tiburon, Mount Tamalpais, Mount Diablo, Treasure Island, the Bay Bridge, and more.

Hiking to the top of Angel Island's Mount Livermore gives great views, including Marin County.

Then Continue Hiking on the Sunset Trail

Return the way you came to reach the junction with the Sunset Trail at 2.4 miles, and turn right. In 0.1 mile bear left at the paved Fire Road (Ida Trail, unsigned), and then immediately turn right to stay on the Sunset Trail. For the next 0.8 mile, you will be on exposed trails that give you unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Along some of the grassy hills on the south side of the island, you will see charred trees, a reminder of the fire that burned one-third of the island in October 2008. As the trail wraps around the west side of the island, glimpse down at Camp Reynolds. Built during the Civil War, more than 2000 soldiers were stationed here by 1876.

Angel Island's North Ridge Trail has great views of San Francisco Bay.

At 3.2 miles, head back into the tree cover, and at 3.6 miles, take a right at a junction with the Fire Road and then a quick left. Follow the narrow trail (unsigned, but still the Sunset Trail) along a few long switchbacks through the woods for 1.2 miles until you reach the Perimeter Road. Cross the road to continue on another paved road in front of you and to the left of the bike route. Follow the road downhill for 0.2 mile to the visitor center and the Ayala Cove area. With the water in front of you, turn right onto a paved path and continue a final 0.1 mile to your start.

Angel Island: More Hiking Opportunities, Plus Biking

Explore the island on foot or by bike on the Perimeter Road. Bikes are available seasonally on the island, so depending on the time of year, you may want to bring your own or rent one in San Francisco. On your tour, visit any number of historical sites, including Camp Reynolds, Fort McDowell, the US Immigration Station, and batteries Ledyard, Drew, and Wallace.

Hiking Angel Island: Your Take

Have you hiked any trails on Angel Island? What was your experience? Share below in the comments.

About Alexandra Kenin

The author of Urban Trails: San Francisco , Alexandra Kenin is the expert on where to go hiking in San Francisco . She’s a professional guide for San Francisco hikes and walks: see her website for details, and also her Urban Hiker SF Facebook page . You can also find her on Instagram and Twitter . (And she took all the photos in the post.)

Alexandra Kenin, Author of Urban Trails San Francisco and owner of Urban Hiker SF.

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July 25, 2019 at 4:11 pm

Awesome guide. I am going tomorrow and thought I should prepare myself.

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Have fun. It’s a beautiful place!

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What to Do in Angel Island in San Francisco Bay

Angel Island State Park

Looking for an easy day trip from San Francisco? Maybe one with stunning views, beautiful natural scenery, and some history?

Angel Island, also known as the “Ellis Island of the West,” is a fantastic option.  It’s only a short ferry ride away.  While the main attraction for me was the Immigration Station, there are many other things to do on Angel Island like hiking, biking, and wildlife watching.

This guide includes everything you need to plan your day trip to Angel Island – tips for visiting Angel Island, how to get to Angel Island, the history of Angel Island, what to do, and where to eat.

Note: We were in San Francisco at the same time the Camp Fire was burning.  The air quality (as you can see in some pictures) was not healthy so some services at Angel Island were closed.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Please see disclosure for more information.

picnic tables on Angel Island

What is Angel Island?

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Angel Island is the second largest island in the San Francisco Bay. (Only Alameda is larger.)  Most of the island is considered part of the city of Tiburon.  It’s had many uses over the centuries, but since 1962, the entire island has been a California State Park.

Angel Island has had several different uses over its long history. Originally, it was a fishing and hunting site for the Coastal Miwok Indians. Then, in 1775, it was “discovered” by Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala and given the name Isla de los Ángeles or Angel Island.

Abandoned building on Angel Island

Later the land on Angel Island was used for cattle ranching. During the Civil War, batteries were built on the island to defend against potential attacks from the Confederate Navy. Angel Island was also used as a troop transit area, for soldiers coming and going in the Spanish American War, and both World Wars. They would quarantine crews coming in on ships to avoid the spread of diseases. Angel Island was also a training base for troops before heading out to war.

From 1910 to 1940, the island processed hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Asia, earning it the nickname Ellis Island of the West. During World War II, Japanese and German POWs were held on the island, which was also used as a jumping-off point for American soldiers returning from the Pacific.

During the Cold War, the island was home to a Nike anti-aircraft missile base. It was one of eleven Nike batteries built in the Bay Area. While the missiles have been removed, the area is still closed to the public. Today, there are still two active Coast Guard stations – at Point Blunt and Point Stuart – on the island which are also off limits to the public.

Parts of Angel Island became a California State Park in 1954. By 1962, the entire island had become a state park.

Angel Island and Ellis Island were both processing centers for immigrants, but the similarities stop there. Ellis Island immigrants came mostly from European countries and were treated much better than the Asian immigrants that came to Angel Island.

One simple statistic that demonstrates the difference between the two immigration islands is the processing time. Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island waited hours to be processed while the immigrants at Angel Island waited weeks or even years.

Angel Island Immigration Museum

The level of scrutiny the mostly Asian immigrants had to go through was much higher than at Ellis Island. While Ellis Island was welcoming, Angel Island was not. It came to symbolize exclusion and discrimination.

In reality, Angel Island was specifically built to keep Chinese immigrants out, following the Chinese Exclusion Act originally passed in 1882.  When you visit the Immigration Station, you will see the conditions and learn more about how the immigrants were treated.  It is quite eye-opening.

Angel Island is a beautiful area with lots to do!

10 Things to Do on Angel Island

It’s easy to fill a day on Angel Island, there are plenty of options for things to do. Outdoor lovers should take advantage of the trails and spend some time hiking or biking. History lovers will appreciate learning more about the history of the island at the museums.

Be sure to check the whiteboard located near the ferry landing for the latest information about schedules for activities on the island. Most importantly, note the times for the return ferry service – you don’t want to miss the last ferry of the day back to San Francisco!

Since it’s not too far from where the ferry arrives, it’s a good idea to stop by the Visitor’s Center.  You can get more information about the history of Angel Island and the things to see.

The Immigration Museum is one of the reasons I wanted to visit Angel Island as I am interested in the history of the relationship between America and the diverse immigrant communities that have formed part of the country over the years.

Immigration Museum on Angel Island

She showed us the different rooms where the immigrants were held, the recreation areas, and even the bathrooms. The immigrants were separated by sex and race. Europeans and those of higher social status usually managed to get through the processing center in hours or a few days. The rooms these immigrants were held in were not as shocking as the areas for Asians.

It was clear the conditions were cramped and uncomfortable in the rooms designated for Asians. Beds were rammed in so tight it was downright inhumane. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend a few hours waiting there much less the months that some immigrants did. I am not sure how anyone got any sleep.

Stacked Beds in the Immigration Museum on Angel Island

It was fascinating how the immigrants tried to express themselves through carvings on the walls. Guards would try to cover up the carvings by filling them in with putty and repainting. We saw drawings, graffiti, and poetry that has now been restored.

The Chinese immigrants wrote poetry and continued to write more when it was covered up by the guards. Some of the poems describing the hope, sorrow, and anger written on the walls have been translated so that you can understand them.

We also learned about the stressful interrogations that the immigrants had to pass to prove they were related to American citizens. Some questions I am not sure I could even answer. (How many stairs lead up to your house? How many houses are in your village?) The immigrants would have to get through the interview in English, a language they might not speak well.

angel island walking tour

Chrissa told us about the humiliating medical exams that the immigrants had to endure. The examinations were deeply personal and invasive with no expectation of privacy. No human being should be treated like that.

The stories of the individuals held on Angel Island were moving. Especially Quok Shee, who stayed longer at the Immigration Center than anyone else. After 20 months (and several appeals) she was finally allowed to enter the US.

The Immigration Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  It costs $5.00 for adults to visit or you can take a guided tour for $2.00 more.  Click here to check tour times. (Note: The museum is cash only)

memorial bench on Angel Island

You can visit two buildings of the old Civil War Military base, Camp Reynolds – the Officer’s Quarters #10 and the Bakehouse. Inside you can find out more about Angel Island and San Francisco during the time of the Civil War.

Fort McDowell is another interesting area to wander around and have a picnic. In addition to picnic tables, you will find several abandoned military buildings, a baseball diamond, a volleyball court, and restrooms.

If you are not up to walking or biking around Angel Island State Park, consider taking a tram tour. It takes about an hour and follows Perimeter Road around the island. The tram stops briefly at Battery Ledyard to enjoy the beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge , San Francisco, and Alcatraz . During the tour, the audio explains more about the history of Angel Island. You will pass by Camp Reynolds, the Nike Missile Site, Fort McDowell, and the Immigration Museum.

The tram tour starts at the cafe near the ferry dock. Check the schedule when you arrive and get tickets early, it can sell out. Try to get a seat on the right side of the tram to get the best views for taking photos. It will also be easier to hear the audio if you seat in the front.

Note: Due to the fires in the area and the poor air quality, the tram tours were not running the day we visited.

I had heard about the hiking on Angel Island. It’s actually the reason why I first became interested in visiting. I love hiking spots that are easy to get to and have amazing views (i.e. Breakneck Ridge ). Unfortunately, with our late start and poor air quality, we didn’t get the chance to do much hiking.

For this trip, our hiking consisted of walking from the ferry to the Immigration Museum. Going to the Immigration Museum we walked up the bike route to Perimeter Road and then walked along it until we saw the museum. Heading back we took the steeper route, which consisted of lots of stairs from the Perimeter Road to the ferry dock. It was shorter than I would have liked, but we still saw some wildlife and spectacular views.

Russell on one of the Angel Island hiking trails

If you have more time there are a few more hiking options, just be sure to always stay on the well-marked trails to avoid poison oak which is native to the island.

  • Perimeter Road Hike – The easiest hike on the island is the Perimeter Road, but it does have some inclines.  It’s five miles long and circles the entire island. From the ferry landing, you can reach the Perimeter road using either the stairs or the bike path.  The trail passes picnic areas, the Nike Missile Site, Fort McDowell, and the US Immigration Station with amazing views of the bay.
  • Sunset Trail – This Trail goes to the highest point on Angel Island, the summit of Mount Caroline Livermore.  It is more difficult because of the 800 feet elevation gain, but you will be rewarded with stunning views. There are even picnic tables on the summit, so you can hang out for a bit there before headed down. If you go down the same way, it’s about a 6-mile hike.  You can also turn off on the North Ridge Trail if you want to go down a different way.
  • North Ridge Trail – The North Ridge Trail is a slightly longer route to the summit than the Sunset Trail.  It starts out with 144 stairs and eventually joins up with the Sunset Trail just before the summit. If you go back down on the North Ridge Trail it’s about 7 miles or you can shorten it by about half a mile by choosing to go down the Sunset Trail.
  • Fire Road Hike – This trail takes you around the island at a higher elevation than the Perimeter Road.  If you want to go to the summit, turn off at the Ida Trail.

Biking is a great way to explore Angel Island. You can bring your own bike on the ferry at no extra cost or rent one on the island.

There is a bike shed near the ferry dock that offers standard ($15.00 hourly or $60.00 for the day) or electric bike ($25.00 hourly or $90.00 for the day) rentals on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Note: Due to the air conditions it was closed the day we went). The rental includes a helmet as everyone under 18 is required to wear a helmet when biking on Angel Island. You will need to bring your own bike lock though.

The Perimeter Road is probably the best trail for bikes on Angel Island. It’s a 5.5-mile paved path around the island. If you are not used to steep grades, it might be best to pay more for the ebike. Bicycles cannot be taken on any of the hiking trails leading up to the summit.

Deer on the road in Angel Island

We saw several deer during the short time we were on Angel Island.  It was fun to photograph and watch them. You can also see lots of different varieties of birds (we may have seen a condor!), sea lions, or raccoons.

Angel Island Deer

If the weather is pleasant and warm, consider relaxing or going for a walk on one of Angel Island’s beaches – Quarry Beach (near Fort McDowell) or Perle’s Beach (near Battery Ledyard). The beaches could also be a fun picnic spot. Don’t plan on going swimming, as there are no lifeguards, the water is rough, and the current is strong.

Since we visited during the fires, services were limited on Angel Island including food.  We decided to have a big breakfast at the IHOP near the pier and then skip lunch. You could also pick up breakfast at Boudin Bakery.  

If we would have been more prepared, we would have packed a picnic to take with us. I saw some amazing picnic spots with amazing views on Angel Island and made a mental note for next time.  (Some picnic areas can be reserved online in advance here .) The summit is also supposed to be a less popular spot for picnicking so keep that in mind if you plan on hiking.  They do allow you to bring alcohol too.

Angel Island picnic tables

There is a snack bar on the ferry that serves some food (fruit, chips, drinks, etc) but it’s probably better to either bring your own food or visit the cafe on Angel Island.  (Note: Due to the fires, the Angel Island Cafe was not open during our visit.) They serve sandwiches, salads, and appetizers beginning at 10:00 AM.

From June through October, Angel Island Cantina has live music and serves food on weekends from 11:30 AM – 4:30 PM.

Angel Island is an ideal day trip from San Francisco for kids. They will love traveling on the ferry to the island. Then once you arrive, they can go take the tram tour or do some hiking or biking. Older kids may also find the Immigration Museum interesting depending on their maturity.

If you would like to spend more than one day on Angel Island, there are a few camping sites available.  They need to be reserved in advance here .  It’s about a two-mile walk from the ferry dock to the campsites.  There are pit toilets and water nearby.  You will be roughing it, but some say the views make up for that.

Since it is an island, you will need to take a boat to get there.  The ferry schedule varies by season, so check here when planning your visit.  From San Francisco, pick up the Blue & Gold ferry at Pier 41. Depending on the timing of your trip (i.e. offseason weekends), it may not be a direct ferry, so it may take longer to get to Angel Island than you would expect.

The ferry costs $9.75 per adult each way.  You can buy the tickets at the booth where it is cash only or online in advance here .  Round-trip ferry tickets are also included in the San Francisco Go City Card.  Click here for more information .

There is also a ferry from Tiburon.  Get more information about the Tiburon to Angel Island ferry here .

Angel Island ferry boat

Be sure to make note of the ferry schedule! If you miss the last one, you may have to pay a hefty fee to get a private boat to get you off.

Angel Island has made efforts to be accessible.  The ferries have ramps and the crew will make sure you can get on and off the ferry.  There is an accessible tram to take you around the island but you will need to confirm in advance by emailing [email protected]. Most areas at the Immigration Station are accessible, although it is a steep walk to and from the Perimeter Road to the Museum, so wheelchair users may need assistance.

At Angel Island, most of your time will be spent outside, so come prepared for the weather conditions.  Always wear sunscreen and pack extra water. You want to have enough water for the entire day because while there is water at the Cafe by the ferry dock, I am not sure there are other places on the island that offer it.  Bring a jacket along, even in the summer, because it can get chilly. Don’t forget a camera (we use this one ) to capture the breathtaking views.

Anisa with friends by Angel Island Sign

You may also need to bring a few other things depending on what you have planned for your day.  If you want to picnic, it’s best to bring along supplies ( picnic blanket , food, drinks, etc) although food can be purchased at the Cafe as well.  Bring a volleyball set or baseball equipment if you plan on taking advantage of the facilities at Fort McDowell.

Those coming to Angel Island with a bike should also bring along a helmet and lock .  If you plan on renting a bike, remember they will provide helmets but they do not provide locks, so it’s best to bring one like this with you.

Also, note that the only pets allowed on Angel Island are service animals.

We had a fabulous day on Angel Island.  It was fun exploring and the Immigration Museum was moving and interesting.  I hope to make it back to the island so that I can see more of it! 

If you are wondering if visiting Angel Island is worth it, I would say yes! It’s a nice escape from the city of San Francisco and offers things to do for all interests.

Have you been to Angel Island?

Pin for Later

angel island immigration museum

  • Take the early ferry to Angel Island, there is much to see.
  • The Immigration Museum is definitely worth a visit.  It is an eye-opening experience.
  • Make sure to carry cash for the ferry and immigration museum.
  • Pack a picnic lunch, there are lots of outstanding picnic spots.
  • You can learn more about California history at the Oakland Museum .

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we will receive a small commission for some purchases made using links in our blog with no additional cost to you.  Please be assured we would not promote any product unless we believe that our readers will also benefit.  The commission does not influence the editorial content of this site.

Two Traveling Texans is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Last Updated on November 2, 2020

About the Author

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Anisa  

Anisa is an experienced international traveler with extra pages in her passport and stamps from 41 different countries across 5 continents (and counting). She was born and raised in Texas. After a 13 year stint in NYC, she moved to England to live with her husband.

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Angel Island Tram Tour Price and Schedule 2024

Angel Island Tram Tour Price and Schedule 2022

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Angel island tram tour price and schedule.

Hiking and biking are fun activities at Angel Island, but not everyone enjoys long hikes and bike rides , especially when there are some steep hillsides to climb. If you’re short on time, have young kids or don’t want a long walk, the Tram Tour is a great choice.

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The tram travels the full 5.5 mile (8.3 km) Perimeter Road on Angel Island, making a full circle and seeing all of the great views. It stops briefly at a few of the major view spots so you can take pictures. The route is marked on the map below, and it’s about a one hour ride. Recorded narration is available in several major languages.

Best of all, the Tram climbs the steep road up the hill from Ayala Cove , so you don’t have to! The tram cars are comfortable, and remind me of the trams in the parking lots at Disneyland.

They also offer Angel Island Segway Tours , which include a short orientation to riding Segways.

Insiders Tip: If you have not made an advance reservation, the tram tours fill up quickly after the first morning ferries arrive, and afternoon trams are often more crowded than the morning. Go to the Angel Island Cafe right after you arrive to get your tickets if riding the tram is an important priority.

Angel Island Tram Prices

Note: These prices are from 2023. As of January 1, 2024 these prices have not been updated, and we’ll report if and when they are.

Tickets cost $17.00 for adults, $16.00 for seniors, $11.00 for kids ages 5-12, and kids under 5 are free.

Insiders Tip: Different travel promoters sometimes have discount coupons for the Tram. You can look for them with a Google Search like this one .

Tram Schedules

You can buy tickets at least 48 hours in advance on the Angel Island Tram Tickets page. Usually they will still have some free seats if you have not ordered in advance, and if any are available you can buy your same-day tram tickets at the Angel Island Cafe , near the ferry pier in Ayala Cove.

During the busy summer travel months we recommend that you book tram tours in advance, since tickets can see out.

The Angel Island Tram runs on different schedules at different times of year:

June through September 4 (high season): 

11:30 AM and  1:30 PM every weekday. 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM on weekends

September 6 through November 27 (good weather in September and October, smaller crowds): 

11:00 AM and 1:00 PM on weekends

November 28 through February (winter season):

No tram service

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  • Getting There

To Do and See

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With land and sea and 360° views of the Bay Area, there isn’t much you can’t do or see from Angel Island. Whether you hike to Mount Livermore, bike around the Perimeter Road, or just picnic at Ayala Cove, you can see everything from wildflowers to whales and local landmarks to international icons.

Bikes can be brought by ferry or rented on the island.

Large trail guides for bicycling are located in Ayala Cove. You may also purchase a walking guide at the Welcome Center, and it includes maps of all of the island trails.

Perimeter and fire roads are available to bikers.

The 5 mile perimeter road is surfaced and can be gravelly in some spots. Mountain or hybrid bikes are recommended for the 3½ mile fire unimproved, dirt road. Expect some moderately steep but short uphill climbs. Some riders may choose to walk the short, more difficult stretches.

Foot trails and the road to Mt. Livermore are closed to bicycles for safety and resource protection.

SCHEDULE Bike Rentals are seasonal, check with the Angel Island Company before you come. Typically it is the following:

WEEKENDS ONLY February, March and early to mid-November

DAILY April - October

You also may be able to locate other bike rental services in San Francisco or Tiburon and bring a bike with you.

IMPORTANT: Helmets are required for riders under 18 years of age, and recommended for everyone.

The island is a hub for bird life, including robins, scrub jays, sparrows, juncos, hummingbirds, flickers, hawks, owls, sea gulls, ducks, egrets, grebes, scooters, geese, and kingfishers.

Blue herons, pelicans (both brown and white), and many other waterfowl can be seen feeding offshore or flying over the island on their way to feeding grounds.

Toward the beginning of spring, Canadian Geese, now year-round residents of the island: lay eggs, hatch and raise their broods near the water.

Be sure to check out the Angel Island State Park Bird Brochure

Ayala Cove has the largest public docks and moorings on the bay, and is amongst the most protected.

Available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Private boats can use the 40 boat slips or the 20 mooring buoys. Dinghies can be taken to the dock from the moorings to access to the Island.

Mooring buoys can be used overnight; boaters may access the island with their dinghy until 10:00pm. An overnight use fee of $30 applies. Pricing is subject to change.

Slips ranging from 30′ to 50′ are open year-round from 8:00am to sunset. A day-use fee of $15 applies.

The California State Park Annual Day-Use Pass can be used to pay day use dock fees. Pricing is subject to change.

Latitude/Longitude: 37.8642 / -122.4308

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MOORING Tie vessels at the bow and stern. Vessel should be secured with the bow pointing north-east and the stern facing south-west.

Please contact the Ranger’s office for additional information:

(415) 435-5390

If a Ranger is not available, please pay at the ‘Self Pay’ station near the head of the boat dock. Fees go toward maintaining the Cove.

Kayaking is a popular sport around the island, and the only way to access some of the more isolated shoreline.

11 environmental, including an ADA site (each site accommodating up to 8 people) and a kayak-accessible site (holds up to 20 people).

RESERVATIONS

To make reservations, visit the California State Park website at www.parks.ca.gov/camping

Campsites not reserved, are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information contact the rangers office: 415-435-5390

Please check in with the park staff upon arrival on the island.

Be prepared to carry and/or transport your equipment up to 2.5 miles. Some sections are uphill, total elevation gain may be over 300 feet. Tables, food-lockers, running water, pit-toilets, and a barbecue are located at each site.

Bring charcoal or a stove as no wood fires are allowed. Raccoons are active making food-locker storage very important. Travel on the island after sunset is prohibited in some areas for park security and public safety.

angel island walking tour

East Bay Site Located on the east side of the island. Open, with a view, generally protected from the wind.

East Bay Site Located on the east side of the island. Close to site 3, sheltered in a pine grove.

angel island walking tour

East Bay Site Located on the east side of the island. View and some shelter, a small site on a slope.

Ridge Site Located on the southwest side of the island. Open space with a view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Can be windy.

angel island walking tour

Ridge Site Located on the southwest side of the island. Some shelter, partial view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Ridge Site Located on the southwest side of the island. No view, but more wind sheltered, near a public area.

angel island walking tour

SITES 7, 8, & 9

Sunrise Sites (from left to right): close together, good for groups when all three sites are reserved. Can be windy. Unobstructed views of east bay.

angel island walking tour

Located below the perimeter road near Camp Reynolds, this site has beach access so that you can kayak to it, but you do not have to.

angel island walking tour

Located close to the perimeter road near Camp Reynolds, this site can only be reserved by campers who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Those who reserve the site and do not qualify will not be allowed to use it.

If the site has not been reserved, it will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to campers.

Please phone the ranger’s office for further information: (415) 435-5390.

angel island walking tour

SERVICE CAMPSITE

Available for groups performing service projects on the island.

This site is very popular, advance reservations are recommended.

Service Campsite can only be reserved through the Angel Island State Park Service Camp Coordinator

To be considered for participation, please call the ranger's office to connect with the Service Camp Coordinator at (415) 435-5390

Whether you want to fish from your own boat, from the beaches and/or pier on the island, the San Francisco Bay offers many salt water fishing opportunities including: Halibut, ling cod, rockfish, striped bass and sturgeon.

Normal fish and game laws apply. Bring bait and tackle as these are not available for purchase on the island.

The perimeter road, foot trails, and fire roads, cover the entire island, providing access to 788-foot-high summit of Mount Caroline Livermore (aka Mt. Livermore) and incredible 360 degree views.

HIKE- EASY The surfaced 5-mile perimeter road, which can be gravelly in some spots, offers a different view at every turn, including rocky coves, sandy beaches, grassy slopes, forested ridges and the occasional deer and/or raccoon. Hike time of approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.

HIKE-MODERATE Hiking to the top of Mt. Livermore provides a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the Bay Area. During the spring, wildflower growth is varied and abundant. Hike time approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.

You may purchase a walking guide at the Welcome Center with a detailed walking map and information about sights along the way.

The main trails are well marked, and are designed to avoid most hazards, including the poison oak that is native to the region.

SHORT WALKS Camp Reynolds, the former Civil War post, is an easy, 25-minute, walk to the west. It overlooks Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge. Camp Reynolds is open when volunteers are available with cannon firings on weekends during high season.

The U.S. Immigration Station (USIS) is about a 30-minute moderate walk to the north side of the island. The USIS is available for self-guided tours daily during high season.

Angel Island State Park is rich with history and artifacts which tell the cultural story of the island. For more detail, refer to the "history+about" section on this site.

The most popular sites to visit that are often open to the public are: Ayala Cove. This is where public ferries arrive, and is the former location of the United States Public Health Service Quarantine Station. A Visitor's Center is located at the head of the cove.

Camp Reynolds (aka West Garrison). Facing the Golden Gate, this includes a large collection of Civil War-era structures, and small beach access.

Ft. McDowell (aka East Garrison). This site has numerous WWI and WWII era buildings, as well as a small museum in the Guard House when staffed by volunteers. Some beach access at Quarry Beach.

Nike Site. The Nike Missile site is closed to the public, though you can walk by it. Most of the workings are underground though, so there is not much to see here. For a richer Nike Missile experience, visit Ft Barry in the Marin Headlands.

United States Immigration Station (aka USIS and North Garrison). This site includes a house museum, and tours available seasonally. Note if you bring a bicycle, you will need to leave it at the top if the hill, so you may want to bring a lock.

Endicott Batteries (Drew, Ledyard and Wallace) All three are accessible and represent slightly different construction of Endicott batteries. The terrain is rough around them, so wear sturdy shoes.

Mount Caroline Livermore (aka Mt. Livermore and formerly Mt. Ida). On a clear day, you can't beat the views! Named for a Marin conservationist who was instrumental in making the island a state park, you can see why she worked so hard once you get to the top.

Angel Island is truly one of the Bay Area’s most precious natural gems. The beautiful wildflowers, historic buildings, and spectacular views make it a popular subject for photographers.

Be sure to have fresh batteries in your camera as they are not available for purchase on the island!

Picnic tables and charcoal barbecues are available for small groups on the lawn in front of the Visitor Center in Ayala Cove,. Just a short walk from the ferry dock, BBQ's & picnic table are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional locations can be found around the island. Wood fires are not allowed. Bring a stove or charcoal, as these are not available for purchase on the island.

Some sites can be reserved for larger parties. All of these picnic areas have a BBQ and water. And all have a sink except Hill & East Garrison.

HILLSIDE - 12 tables Very shaded and located at the back of Ayala Cove on the hill to the left of the Visitors Center. There is an incline leading up to the site, but the site itself is flat.

DRAW A - 5 tables Located below Hillside, in a grove of eucalyptus trees. Draw site is flat and shaded.

DRAW B – 11 tables Located below Hillside, in a grove of eucalyptus trees. Guests booked into Draw B have access to its adjacent volleyball court. Draw site is flat, shaded and has a partial harbor view.

PLATFORM - 27 tables NOTE: this site is temporarily closed for upgrades. When complete it will be ADA compliant. Site is located near the front right of Ayala Cove, overlooking the harbor. There's a slight incline into the site, but from there it is relatively flat. It's partially shaded and has a bay view from most of the site.

EAST GARRISON -32 tables A large site located on the opposite side of the Island from Ayala Cove with views of San Francisco and the Oakland / Bay Bridge. Walking time to East Garrison is approximately 30 minutes. Tram transportation is available for an additional charge. This site is very sunny with a large field perfect for softball or soccer. It also has volleyball court and Quarry beach is a short distance away.

GROUPS For groups of 35 to 200 people there are five picnic areas that can be reserved for a fee for day-use only. You may reserve one of these sites through the California State Parks site. You can find more information at www.parks.ca.gov

A unique way to take in the natural wonders of the Island and spectacular views of the Bay – explore while riding on a Segway.

Learn to ride the Segway, an electric, self-balancing, personal-transportation device designed to travel miles on a single electrical charge. It is one of the most noticed methods of movement in the 21st Century. Professionally guided Segway tours are available during the season. This is the first such tour to operate in a California State Park.

TOUR SCHEDULE

WEEKENDS ONLY February, March, and early to mid-November

DAILY April thru October.

For information and reservations

CALL (415) 897-0715 or

Visit the Angel Island Company

Sponsored by The Ranch (formerly known as Belvedere-Tiburon Recreation), Angel Island Camp is one of Marin County’s best known and oldest summer day camps operating since 1977.

Each session offers a new theme with different activities, so kids can attend all summer long. Discover the island through games, crafts, science and explore its many trails & historic hideaways.

REGISTRATION: Call (415) 435-4355 or visit The Ranch

Looking for a completely different teambuilding activity for your team?

Experience the thrill of “Amazing Race” and “Survivor” games offered by Angel Island Company.

For information and reservations: Call (415) 897-0715 or

Visit the Angel Island Company.

Take a fascinating journey into the island’s historic and cultural past on a captivating, audio-enhanced TramTour.

Visit the United States Immigration Station as well as other historic sites, while enjoying breathtaking views of the Bay, San Francisco skyline, Sausalito, Tiburon and Golden Gate Bridge from the comfort of our open-air trams. The tour includes stops at several scenic spots on the Island, including a brief stop at the grounds of the United States Immigration Station. Length of tour is 1 hour.

DAILY April thru October

For information and reservations call

(415) 897-0715 or

Visit Angel Island Company.

Angel Island State Park offers the following guided tours when staff and volunteers are available.

Camp Reynolds – Take a guided tour of Camp Reynolds (aka West Garrison), see some of the oldest buildings on Angel Island and learn about the life of a soldier during the late 1800s! Tour includes the Civil War era Bake House and Quarters 10, a Victorian era Officer’s home (with an optional cannon firing!). Tour capacity is 5-40 people, length is about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Appropriate for 4th grade and up. It is about a 40 minute walk one way (2 miles) to this site from Ayala Cove.

Ft. McDowell (aka East Garrison) – Tour the Ft. McDowell Chapel and Guard House (aka Visitor Center) of this WWI and WWII Army base, and learn about the varied military history of Angel Island. Tour capacity is 5-40 people. Tour length is about 1 hour. Appropriate for 4th grade and up. It is about a 45-50 minute walk one way (2 ½ miles) to this site from Ayala Cove.

Hike – Take a guided hike to Mt. Livermore, the top of Angel Island, or explore the trails. Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Island and the Bay Area. Tour capacity, length, and appropriateness depend on the trail and the ability of the group and hike leader. If you have a specific area of interest, please note at the time you make your reservation.

Bike – Visit a historical site, or bike all the way around the Park with a guide! Learn about the natural and cultural history of the island and the Bay Area. Tour capacity, length, and appropriateness depend on the route and the ability of the group and bike leader. If you have a specific area of interest, please note at the time you make your reservation.

U.S. Immigration Station – Today the U.S. Immigration Station serves as a house museum dedicated to interpreting and making connections between the experiences of those who made the journey to America over 100 years ago and the continuing story of immigration in America today. In operation from 1910-1940, the Station served as the main immigration processing center for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from all over the world looking to start a new life in America. Visit the U.S. Immigration Station tour page for details.

Explorer’s Tour – Learn how Angel Island got its name, and about the first Spanish explorers to enter the San Francisco Bay. Each student will get to draw their own map of the island. Tour capacity is 5-40 people. Tour length is about 45 minutes. Appropriate for K-4th graders. This tour is offered in Ayala Cove.

Please contact the Angel Island State Park Tour Coordinator at [email protected] or call (415) 435-5537 for additional information

SCHOOL GROUPS (K-12) may be eligible for a reduced rate for ferry tickets and guided tours.

Located in Ayala Cove, one-hundred yards from the ferry dock, the Visitor Center, which once served as a bachelor officers’ quarters, provides a self-guided overview of the Island and it’s history.

The Visitor Center also has a viewing room which shows two twenty-minute films. One film covering the history and natural beauty of the island, the other, Carved in Silence, tells the story of the island’s part in immigration history.

Our Community. Our Island. Our Legacy.

Angel Island Conservancy // PO Box 866 / Tiburon / CA 94920 // [email protected] // Tax ID No. 51-0152954 // FACEBOOK // FLICKR // INSTAGRAM

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Alcatraz and Angel Island Combo Tour – Alcatraz Cruises

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Our season has ended - check back in March!

  • Round-trip ferry ride to Alcatraz Island
  • Round-trip ferry ride from Alcatraz Island to Angel Island
  • Award-winning Cellhouse audio tour on Alcatraz Island
  • Daily optional programs and exhibits
  • One-hour narrated tram tour of Angel Island

Please note:  The roads and walkways on Alcatraz are steep. The distance from the dock to the Cellhouse is approximately 1/4 mile (.4km) and the elevation change is 130 feet (40 meters), the equivalent of walking up a 13-story building. The roads and walkways are wide with several places to stop along the way to rest and take in the breathtaking views. Comfortable athletic or walking shoes are strongly recommended. If you have mobility concerns, please see our  Sustainable Easy Access Transport (S.E.A.T.)  Tram information.

Allow 5½ hours to complete your visit to both Islands.

March : Weekends only: March 14-15, 21-22, 28-29 April : Daily April 4-26 for Spring Break. (Easter, Sunday 4/12) May : Weekends only: May 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-25 (includes Memorial Day Monday) 30-31 June-September : DAILY service June 1 through September 30 October : Fridays, Saturday, Sundays & Mondays: 2-5, 9-12 (includes Columbus Day), 16-19, 23-26, 30-31

The combination of two of San Francisco Bay’s most famous Islands, Alcatraz and Angel Island, make for a great day on the bay. This seasonal tour includes ferry rides to and from Alcatraz and Angel Island, a one-hour narrated tram tour of Angel Island, and the Alcatraz Cellhouse audio tour.

On Alcatraz Island, walk the Cellhouse at your own pace with the award-winning audio presentation “Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Tour”. Stop to picture yourself in a dark solitary confinement cell, hear the stories of life inside from real prisoners, and feel the intensity of a prison breakout from correctional officers who lived and worked on the Island.

Your one-hour Angel Island Tram Tour is a short walk from the Angel Island dock. An audio tour is now available in French, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish that is offered only before the tram tour begins. Please see an agent on Angel Island to retrieve the headset before boarding the tram.

Accessibility requests can be sent in advance by emailing the special arrangements team at  [email protected] .

The second hour of your tour is spent as you choose: taking a walking tour, enjoying the cafe or chatting with a ranger at the Visitor Center.

Please note: All other tours or activities, such as the Immigration Station or segway/bicycle rentals, on Angel Island are not included in the Alcatraz & Angel Island Combination Tour ticket. Immigration Station is only open Wednesday through Sunday.

For more information about Angel Island please visit  http://angelisland.com/ .

Cellhouse Audio Tour Included

Tour the Cellhouse at your own pace with the award-winning audio presentation “ Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Tour ”. Stop to picture yourself in a dark solitary confinement cell, hear the stories of life inside from former inmates, and feel the intensity of a prison breakout from correctional officers who lived and worked on the Island.

No one can tell the Alcatraz tale quite like the men who lived it. Hear both sides of life in the Island prison including such famous events as escape attempts, “The Battle of ’46”, “Food Riots”, and “Surviving Solitary Confinement”.

The Cellhouse audio tour is available in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Please note: Audio tour refunds are available for Alcatraz Day Tours only. There are no audio tour refunds available for Alcatraz Night Tours. If you prefer not to take the Cellhouse audio tour, we will be happy to refund the audio program portion of the Alcatraz tour ticket price. Please inquire with a supervisor at the entrance to the Cellhouse for refund amount. Audio tour refunds are not given through the Alcatraz Cruises Ticketbooth or the central reservations office.

Please arrive at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing at least one half hour prior to your scheduled departure time. The 9:40AM departure (Yellow Group) goes to Angel Island first so you will have to stay throughout the whole program. Please note that no refunds will be issued to those who miss the ferries or choose to skip the Angel Island portion of the tour.

Start day on Alcatraz Island

Departure at 9:30AM (SELECT 9:15 OPTION)

(Green Group)

  • 9:30AM – Depart Alcatraz Landing for Alcatraz Island
  • 9:50AM – Arrive Alcatraz Island
  • 12:15PM – Depart Alcatraz for Angel Island
  • 12:45PM – Arrive Angel Island
  • 2:40PM – Depart Angel Island for Pier 33
  • 3:15PM – Arrive Pier 33

View Full Itinerary 

Start day on Angel Island

Departure at 9:40AM (SELECT 9:30 OPTION)

(Yellow Group)

  • 9:40AM – Depart Alcatraz Landing for Alcatraz Island
  • 10:30AM – Arrive Angel Island
  • 12:55PM – Depart Angel for Alcatraz Island
  • 1:30PM – Arrive Alcatraz Island
  • Any regularly scheduled ferry – Depart Alcatraz Island for Pier 33

Where to Meet

Alcatraz Landing

Pier 33, San Francisco, CA 94133

RELATED TOURS

Angel Island

Enjoy outdoor-only access to several areas on Alcatraz Island, including the Alcatraz Gardens, and iconic San Francisco Bay vistas.

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Alcatraz Time 10:29 AM (PST)

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Early Bird Tour

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  • Programs & Events
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Tour Options

We are the official provider of alcatraz island tickets.

Ticket Quantity

As the official concessioner to the National Park Service, Alcatraz Cruises offers several Alcatraz Island tour options, from in-depth, behind-the-scenes experiences to daily visits to Alcatraz Island. Your visit to Alcatraz Island includes round-trip transportation and the award-winning “Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Audio Tour”.

Tour Options Overview

Compare what’s included per tour.

2.5 / hours

Round Trip Ferry to Alcatraz

Famly Packs are available **

Adult $37.25

Special Tour Activities

On-Board Narration

Guided Tour

Adult $44.25

4.5 / hours

No Children Allowed

Adult $89.25

5.5 / hours

Angel Island Tram Tour

Adult $71.50

Pertinent Information

Language translations.

The awared-winning Cellhouse audio tour is available in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portugues, Russian, and Spanish

When to Buy Tickets

Tickets are available for purchase 90 days in advance. Advance purchase is highly recommended due to seasonal sellouts.

Tour Duration

Duration of tour is approximate based on duration data averages.

Family Packs

Family Packs are available for the Early Bird and Day Tours only. The family Pack includes 2 Audlt and 2 Child (ages 5-11) tour ticets. Family Pack Alcatraz tour tickets can only be purchased by phone at 415.981.ROCK (7625) , or in person at the ticket booth located at Pier 33 Alcactraz Landing.

Group Tours

If booking a tour for a group of 15 people or more, please contact Alcatraz Cruises Group Services Department at 415.438.8361 ; or e-mail [email protected]

First Visit, Least Crowded

Departing Pier 33 at 8:45AM; this is the first Alcatraz Island tour of the day. The Early Bird Tour is the same as the Day Tour, so get a head start on your Alcatraz Island adventure and avoid the crowds arriving later in the day.

Available Daily (except when closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day).

Tickets Include

  • Round-trip Ferry Ride to Alcatraz Island
  • Award-winning Cellhouse Audio Tour
  • Daily Optional Programs and Exhibits

Learn more about the Early Bird Tour

*Prices subject to change without notice

** Family pack tickets can only be purhcased by calling 411.5981.ROCK (7625) or in person at the ticket booth, located at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing.

Experience the Cellhouse. Explore the Island.

Step back in time and experience the legendary Island that has been a Civil War fort, a military prison and one of the most notorious federal penitentiaries in US history.  Tour the Cellhouse at your own pace with the award-winning audio presentation “Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Tour”.  Stop to picture yourself in a dark solitary confinement cell, hear the stories of life inside from real prisoners, and feel the intensity of a prison breakout from correctional officers who lived and worked on the Island.  

In addition, this memorable tour includes multiple   Park Programs : an orientation video by Discovery Channel; ranger and docent tours; historic gardens and abundant wildlife.

Learn more about the Day Tour

Only Visitors, Night Views

Your tour begins as you leave the Landing and enjoy a guided tour around Alcatraz Island by ferry, pointing out the hidden spots used for attempted escapes, and prison structures unreachable by foot.  Once docked, a ranger-led walk up the hill to the Cellhouse stops to highlight the layers of history from pre-Civil War to military cannon, and family life on the Island.

Tour the Cellhouse at your own pace with the award winning audio presentation “Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Tour”.  Stop to picture yourself in a dark solitary confinement cell, hear the stories of life inside from real prisoners, and feel the intensity of a prison breakout as told by correctional officers who lived and worked on the Island.

You are the only visitors on the Island, so take advantage of special   Park Programs   during the course of the evening and enjoy breathtaking views of San Francisco as night falls.

Available Monday through Thursday

  • On-board Narration During Round-trip Ferry Ride
  • Docent Guided Tours and Talks

Learn more about the Night Tour

Behind the Scenes Tour

Limited group size, in-depth exploration.

Discover areas previously not available to the public!  Join a group of 30 people or fewer on a Ranger-guided adventure to explore clues to the Island’s fascinating past…a tunnel here, an underground jail there, and special gardens with stunning views.  Stories, artifacts, and hidden doorways will satisfy your passion for Alcatraz secrets!

Continue your comprehensive Alcatraz Island experience by taking the Cellhouse audio tour at your own pace, with the award winning audio presentation “Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Tour”.  Stop to picture yourself in a dark solitary confinement cell, hear the stories of life inside from real prisoners, and feel the intensity of a prison breakout from correctional officers who lived and worked on the Island.

For more insights, take advantage of special Park Programs   during the course of the evening tour and enjoy breathtaking sunset and city lights of San Francisco as night falls.

Available Thursday through Monday

  • Exclusive Behind the Scenes Ranger Guided Tour

Learn more about the Behind the Scenes Tour

PLEASE NOTE: This is a physically strenuous tour that lasts 5 hours. All participants must be 12 years of age or older due to the lengthy duration of the Behind the Scenes Tour. FAQ’s for Behind the Scenes Tour

Alcatraz and Angel Island Tour

Two islands, full day experience.

The combination of two of San Francisco Bay’s most famous islands, Alcatraz and Angel Island, make for a great day on the bay. This seasonal tour includes ferry rides to and from Alcatraz and Angel Island, a one-hour narrated tram tour of Angel Island, and the Alcatraz Cellhouse audio tour. Details about your time on Alcatraz and ferry schedule are below; click here for details about your time on Angel Island.

Your one-hour Angel Island Tram Tour is a short walk from the Angel Island dock. The second hour of your tour is spent as you choose: taking a walking tour, enjoying the cafe, chatting with a ranger at the Visitor Center. Please note: All other tours or activities, such as segways or bicycle rentals, on Angel Island are not included in the Alcatraz & Angel Island Combination Tour ticket.

On Alcatraz Island, walk the Cellhouse at your own pace with the award winning audio presentation “Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cellhouse Tour”. Stop to picture yourself in a dark solitary confinement cell, hear the stories of life inside from real prisoners, and feel the intensity of a prison breakout from correctional officers who lived and worked on the Island.

Available weekend service March – October 2017. Additional daily service June 3 – October 1, 2017.

  • Round-trip Ferry Ride from Alcatraz Island to Angel Island
  • One-hour Narrated Tram Tour of Angel Island

Learn more about the Alcatraz and Angel Island Tour

Alcatraz Island Named #1 Landmark in the U.S.

In 2015 by tripadvisor reviews.

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IMAGES

  1. Angel Island Getting Out

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  2. Round-Trip Angel Island: A Devil of a Swim · Evan Morrison

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  3. Angel Island

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  4. Bay Area's Historic Angel Island Immigration Center Receives State Funding

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  5. The Best 11 Things to do on Angel Island

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  6. The Best 11 Things to do on Angel Island

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VIDEO

  1. Angel Island Act Restored

  2. It's Angel 😇 ✨️

  3. Angel Island (Present)

  4. Angel Island Zone Act 2

  5. MALTA MANOEL ISLAND: Walking around island

  6. Angel Island Act 1 and 2

COMMENTS

  1. Angel Island State Park Tours

    5-Star Rated Angel Island State Park Trips and Activities! Book Top Tours on Viator. Angel Island State Park Tours are Selling Out Fast. Book Now to Avoid Disappointment

  2. 10 Top Things to Do on Angel Island State Park: Hiking, History and a

    The tour runs on the weekend in low season and everyday in high season. Tickets are $16.50 for adults and can be booked in advance here. 7. Hike the Historical Route or the Ridge Trail. There are twelve miles of hiking trails on Angel Island and all of them will give you a great mix of quiet forest and killer views.

  3. Immigration Station and Angel Island Tour Information

    The cost for a guided tour is $2 in addition to the admission fee. ANGEL ISLAND IMMIGRATION STATION MUSEUM (AIIM) Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. Saturday through Sunday, and holidays, 11:00 am to 3:30 pm. Admission is Free; visits are self-guided (no tours available)

  4. Hike

    Angel Island State Park offers one of the best ways to see San Francisco. Angel Island offers an abundance of hiking opportunities. Whether you take a guided hike or head out on your own…. Reservations with a minimum of 25 participants are required. Please email our Event Sales Manager at [email protected] for more information.

  5. A Detailed Guide for Visiting Angel Island State Park

    With an area of 1.2 square miles, it is the second-largest natural island in the Bay Area, providing an oasis of calm and wilderness amidst the bustling cityscape. Angel Island State Park has a fascinating history, tracing its roots back to the indigenous Miwok tribes who originally inhabited the island. Over time, the island has worn many hats ...

  6. Perimeter Loop, Angel Island CA

    This five mile walking tour around the island's circumference takes in most of the major sights and curiosities, including military batteries and barracks, the immigration station known as the Ellis Island of the west" and picture perfect views all around the bay. ... Awesome views from every part of Angel Island. Quarry Beach only gets morning ...

  7. Angel Island SP

    Angel Island Café, Bike Rentals, Tram Tours, for schedule: angelisland.com . About The Island. Angel Island State Park, the largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay, offers some of the best views of the surrounding Bay Area. With great hiking trails and many other recreational opportunities readily available, Angel Island is truly a ...

  8. Angel Island Perimeter Loop, California

    Angel Island Perimeter Loop. Check out this 6.0-mile loop trail near Belvedere Tiburon, California. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 13 min to complete. This is a very popular area for birding, hiking, and mountain biking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring.

  9. The Best 11 Things to do on Angel Island

    Blue & Gold Fleet. The Blue & Gold Fleet operates only on the weekends; Friday through Sunday. It has two departures from San Francisco's Pier 41; 11:00 am and 1:30 pm. To return to San Francisco there are two daily trips at 2:15 pm and 4:15 pm. The return ferry ticket cost $19.50/adult.

  10. Tram Tours

    The Angel Island tram stops at Battery Ledyard, one of the best photo opportunities in the bay area. The backdrop is the entire skyline of San Francisco, Alcatraz, and The Golden Gate Bridge. Our fleet of open-air trams have a maximum seating capacity of 50 guests. We also have a wheelchair-accessible tram, but please email us prior to your ...

  11. Plan Your Visit

    Now, you have an opportunity to walk in their footsteps by visiting the Angel Island Immigration Station, once known as the "Ellis Island of the West," located in the heart of San Francisco Bay. ... Bike Rental, Tram Tour, and Cafe Information ($) STEP 3: Getting To The Immigration Station. Ayala Cove is located 1.2 miles from the ...

  12. Things to Do On Angel Island

    Start your Angel Island adventure with the 9:20 a.m. ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Terminal. Make your first stop at the Immigration Station for a self-guided visit in the museum. (Tip: Skip the crowded tram tour in favor of a breezy 20-minute walk.) Often called the "Ellis Island of the West," Angel Island was the West Coast holding ...

  13. [4k HDR] Angel Island State Park

    I invite you to a relaxing walking tour on Angel Island State Park in San Francisco, one of the best places to visit in San Francisco Bay Area, California. T...

  14. Angel Island State Park

    Cruise in comfort touring San Francisco Bay's majestic Bay views. Power Boats. from. $250.00. per adult. The area. Pier 41, San Francisco, CA 94109. Neighborhood: Fisherman's Wharf. Packed with family-friendly entertainment, quality hotels, and good food, there's something for everyone at Fisherman's Wharf.

  15. Things to do « Angel Island Conservancy

    This is the first such tour to operate in a California State Park. Tours are provided weekends only in February, March, and early to mid-November and daily April thru October. For information and reservations call (415) 897-0715 or visit Angel Island Company.

  16. Best Hikes and Trails in Angel Island State Park

    According to AllTrails.com, there are 3 biking trails in Angel Island State Park and the most popular is Angel Island Perimeter Loop with an average 4.7 star rating from 1,604 community reviews. This unique park sits in the middle of the San Francisco bay, and offers incredible views of Marin, the City, and the East Bay.

  17. Exploring Angel Island's Best Hiking Trails

    Angel Island State Park: North Ridge Trail and Sunset Trail Key Data. Distance: 5.1 miles. Elevation Gain: 880 feet. High Point: 790 feet. Difficulty: Moderate. Time: 2 hours 30 minutes. Fitness: Walkers, hikers. Family Friendly: May be too strenuous for young children, but children may enjoy a tram tour.

  18. Angel Island Biking & Hiking: Perimeter Road

    The Most Popular Angel Island Biking & Hiking Routes. The Perimeter Loop — This route is about 5.5 miles (9 km) long, most of it on a paved asphalt road, and it both starts and ends at Ayala Cove. The road has gradual uphill and downhill sections (none as steep as the short road that leads up the hill from Ayala Cove), and many reasonably ...

  19. What to Do In Angel Island

    Take an Angel Island Tram Tour. If you are not up to walking or biking around Angel Island State Park, consider taking a tram tour. It takes about an hour and follows Perimeter Road around the island. The tram stops briefly at Battery Ledyard to enjoy the beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, and Alcatraz. During the tour ...

  20. Angel Island Tram Tour Price and Schedule 2024

    Angel Island Tram Prices. Note: These prices are from 2023. As of January 1, 2024 these prices have not been updated, and we'll report if and when they are. Tickets cost $17.00 for adults, $16.00 for seniors, $11.00 for kids ages 5-12, and kids under 5 are free. Insiders Tip: Different travel promoters sometimes have discount coupons for the ...

  21. To Do and See « Angel Island Conservancy

    This tour is offered in Ayala Cove. Please contact the Angel Island State Park Tour Coordinator at [email protected] or call (415) 435-5537 for additional information. SCHOOL GROUPS (K-12) may be eligible for a reduced rate for ferry tickets and guided tours.

  22. Angel Island: Segway Tours

    The place is Angel Island, in the middle of San Francisco Bay and accessible by ferry from Tiburon. So, bring your walking shoes, or your bike, or rent one on the island. But can also tour the island with a Segway. The Segway is a self-balancing, electric, personal transportation device with two wheels that travels paths and trails of the ...

  23. Alcatraz and Angel Island Combo Tour

    October: Fridays, Saturday, Sundays & Mondays: 2-5, 9-12 (includes Columbus Day), 16-19, 23-26, 30-31. The combination of two of San Francisco Bay's most famous Islands, Alcatraz and Angel Island, make for a great day on the bay. This seasonal tour includes ferry rides to and from Alcatraz and Angel Island, a one-hour narrated tram tour of ...

  24. Tour Options

    Your one-hour Angel Island Tram Tour is a short walk from the Angel Island dock. The second hour of your tour is spent as you choose: taking a walking tour, enjoying the cafe, chatting with a ranger at the Visitor Center. Please note: All other tours or activities, such as segways or bicycle rentals, on Angel Island are not included in the ...