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.
Bike Rentals are seasonal, check with the Angel Island Company before you come. Typically it is the following:
February, March and early to mid-November
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.
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. The mooring system is designed to accommodate up to four boats per buoy. Therefore, a maximum of two boats may
“raft” together on one set of buoys.
Please contact the Ranger’s office for additional information:
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).
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.
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.
East Bay Site
Located on the east side of the island. View and some shelter, a small site on a slope.
Located on the southwest side of the island. Open space with a view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Can be windy.
Located on the southwest side of the island. Some shelter, partial view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Located on the southwest side of the island. No view, but more wind sheltered, near a public area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HISTORIC SITES TO VISIT
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.
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.
February, March, and early to mid-November
April thru October.
For information and reservations
(415) 897-0715 or
Visit the Angel Island Company
SUMMER CAMP FOR KIDS
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.
Call (415) 435-4355 or visit
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
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.
February, March, and early to mid-November
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@example.com 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.