U.S. Immigration Station Tours

U.S. Immigration Station - Poem

Visit the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island, 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. A direct result of the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, the U.S. Immigration Station detained immigrants an average of two weeks while they endured interrogations and medical exams – sometimes for no reason other than their national origin.

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.

Many of the facilities at the Immigration Station are ADA accessible. Please visit the park’s site for additional information about access and tours or call (415) 435-5537.

Guided Tours

Tour capacity is 5 – 40 people. If a group has more than the maximum number allowed, groups will need to book additional tour times. Please note that without a reservation, tours are offered on a first-come first-served basis when staff are available and for groups of 5 or more. Tour length is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Tour content is appropriate for 4th grade and up.

Please contact the Angel Island State Park Tour Coordinator or call (415) 435-5537 for available guided tour dates and times.

Times: 11:00am, 12:30pm, 1:45pm daily
(tour times subject to change; please check with park staff for availability)

Upon arrival, please check-in with park staff at the Immigration Station Barracks admissions desk, located at the top of the long staircase (near the main Barracks entrance) to verify where your tour will begin.


Forms of payment accepted: cash or check payable to California State Parks


Self-Guided Tours

The inside of the Immigration Station Barracks and the WWII Mess Hall (including Room 105) can be viewed by self-guided tour. Park staff and docents are available throughout the building to answer questions. The grounds (outside of the buildings) are free to the public.

Times: Weekdays – 11:00am to 3:00pm
             Weekends – 11:00am to 4:00pm


Tickets for the self-guided tour can be purchased at the Immigration Station Barracks admissions desk located at the top of the long staircase (near the main Barracks entrance). No reservations are required. Forms of payment accepted: cash or check payable to California State Parks.

Immigration Station Ranger Talks

Ranger talks, lasting approximately 15 – 20 minutes, are offered to the public at no cost on the Immigration Station grounds throughout the day on both Saturday’s and Sunday’s. Please check in with park staff at the Immigration Station the day of your visit for more information about these talks.


K-12 Scholarship Program for Immigration Station Tours

Angel Island Conservancy seeks to engage, educate, and inspire the next generation of youth through its Student Service-Learning Scholarship Program which enables under-served youth from qualifying low-income schools (K-12) to visit Angel Island State Park for educational and recreational purposes.  Teacher’s are required to submit an application – ”scholarship” funds are currently available.


Getting to the Immigration Station

The shortest and most direct route to the Immigration Station is via the Northridge Trail (located at Ayala Cove ferry dock area).  The trail consists of  144 stairs up to the paved Perimeter Road, once you reach the road turn left and travel approximately one mile. The USIS is on the left-hand side.  Signs are posted to direct you down the hill into the site. Approximate walking time: 30-40 minutes

To avoid the stairs walk towards the Visitor Center in Ayala Cove and follow the road up the hill, turning left when the road ‘T’s, the walk is approximately 1.5 miles. Approximate walking time: 1 hour

Follow the green “Bike Route” signs from Ayala Cove  toward the Visitor Center.  As you approach the Visitor Center you will make a left onto the bike trail.  At the top of the bike trail make a sharp left (u-turn) and continue on the Perimeter Road until you reach the USIS. Expect to bike 1.5 miles.  The USIS is on the left-hand side. Due to steep terrain and vehicle traffic, bicycles are not permitted on the USIS grounds and must be secured on the bike racks located just outside the entry gates.  Approximate biking time: 20 minutes

USIS shuttle service is available for a fee to and from the USIS grounds.  Departing from Ayala Cove (ferry landing), the shuttle is scheduled to get you there in time for tours and pick up after tours are completed (Don’t confuse the shuttle with the tram! The tram is a tour around the island, the shuttle is a ride to and from the USIS). For cost and schedule contact the Cove Café at (415) 435-3392 or visit them online.


Ferry Fees

Ferry fees are not included in tour costs and are paid separately to the ferry company of your choosing.  Visit their sites for a current ferry schedule.

K-12 school groups may be eligible for a reduced ferry ticket price. Please contact the Angel Island State Park Tour Coordinator or call 415-435-5537 to inquire about your groups eligibility.


Recommended Reading & Viewing

Angel Island Prisoner 1922

Carved in Silence (DVD)

Images of America; Angel Island

Island; Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants

Kai’s Journey to Gold Mountain

Miwoks to Missiles
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Our Community. Our Island. Our Legacy.

Angel Island Conservancy // PO Box 866 / Tiburon / CA 94920 // 415.435.3972// info@angelisland.org // FACEBOOK // FLICKR // INSTAGRAM