Description - In the middle of San Francisco Bay sits Angel Island State Park, offering spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais.
Copyright: - California State Parks
Angel Island with San Francisco in the background
- In the middle of San Francisco Bay sits Angel Island State Park, offering spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. The island is also alive with history. Three thousand years ago the island was a fishing and hunting site for Coastal Miwok Indians. It was later a haven for Spanish explorer Juan de Ayala, a cattle ranch, and a U.S. Army post. From 1910 to 1940, the island processed thousands of immigrants. 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. In the '50s and '60s, the island was home to a Nike missile base. Today, there are two active Coast Guard stations - at Point Blunt and Point Stuart - on the island. Angel Island became a State Park in 1958.
Angel Island offers San Francisco's East Bay view. Some protection from wind. Bring camp stove or charcoal, no wood fires allowed. Dock area and finger piers are closed at sunset. After sunset private boats must anchor offshore or on mooring buoys in Ayala Cove. See Ranger for night storage of personal dingy. Night travel on Island is PROHIBITED in some areas; for Park security and public safety.
Recreation - The island is circled by foot trails and fire roads. Visitors can climb to the 781-foot high summit of Mount Caroline Livermore. Bicycles can be brought to the island on the ferry and used on the island's main roads. A concessionaire operates a cafe and tram tours during the summer and by special arrangements during the rest of the year. Bikes can also be rented. There are beaches at Quarry Point and Ayala Cove on the island. There are no lifeguards and swimming can be hazardous. Perle's Beach, although more exposed to wind and weather, offers a spectacular view and opportunities for walking and beachcombing.
Climate - Climate in the San Francisco-Bay area varies greatly with elevation and the amount of coastal influence. Areas with more coastal influence experience moderate temperatures year round with fog likely from June through mid-August. Plan your coastal visit in the late summer or fall to ensure the best conditions for viewing the scenery. Also, occasional clear days between winter and spring storms are incomparable. Areas further inland experience greater temperature extremes, with relatively cooler winters and hot summers. Inland areas often receive frost on winter nights. As throughout most of California most of the precipitation comes in the winter months, with April through October normally very dry.
Access to the Island is by Public Ferry or private boat. Campers should arrange travel before reserving. Register before sunset at the Ayala Cove Park. There is NO weekday ferry service to Angel Island during the winter.
San Francisco Ferry: 415-705-5555
Tiburon Ferry: 415-435-2131
Vallejo Ferry: (707) 643-3779
Oakland/Alameda: (510) 522-3300