Things to do on angel island

Angel Island State Park presents a wealthy mixture of wilderness and California historical past, simply fifteen minutes from downtown San Francisco. This information will inform you the highest issues to do on Angel Island, together with sensible suggestions for tips on how to get onto the island and tips on how to get round as soon as there.

Angel Island State Park: view of Tiburon
View of Tiburon from Angel Island State Park.

About Angel Island State Park

Angel Island sits on a strategic location close to the mouth of the Golden Gate. It was as soon as a searching and fishing web site for the Miwok Native People, who’re believed to have used it for a summer time camp. However it has additionally been at varied times- a cattle ranch, a military submit throughout the civil conflict, an immigration and quarantine station, a World Conflict II POW camp and a chilly conflict missile web site. This lengthy historical past implies that the island has a treasure trove of historic websites to be explored.

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The transition right into a state park within the early 1960’s, Angel Island preserved its cultural historical past, however it had the extra profit preserving the island’s lovely pure assets. The island is a microcosm of California coastal biology with the everyday grassy chaparral, coast stay oak bushes and native grasses. There are mule deer, raptors, sea birds, an endemic mole species and even one lonely coyote who stay on the island. And, you’ll discover harbor seals, sea lions and dolphins swimming round it.

Learn Extra: In case you are into historical past, I additionally advocate that you simply plan a go to to the Bodie ghost city state park within the Jap Sierras or Malakoff Diggins State Park, each are a part of California’s gold rush origin story.

Angel Island State Park Map

The ten Finest Issues to Do on Angel Island

Visiting Angel Island is an ideal day journey from San Francisco and it’s best to plan to spend the whole day. This 740 acres comes full of mountain climbing and historic actions that may greater than fill your time. Actually, I’ve visited various occasions, together with strolling the ring street and visiting historic websites, biking the ring street and doing a photograph shoot of the deserted buildings and mountain climbing the higher trails to Mt. Livermore.

Once you go to, take into consideration whether or not you’re extra within the historical past of the island, or exploring nature and superior views after which optimize your go to for that, utilizing the next Angel Island actions.

Things to do on Angel Island: hiking perimeter road

1. Stroll or Bike the Paved Perimeter Highway

Angel Island has a 5 mile paved street ringing the important thing historic websites. Strolling the perimeter street will take about 2.5 hours and biking it’ll take about 45 minutes. However that’s irrelevant. Should you selected the perimeter street, do it as a result of you have an interest in stopping at the entire historic websites alongside the way in which.

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Should you like this mixture of mountain climbing and historical past, you also needs to try this information for mountain climbing Lands Finish. It has nice coastal views and lots of cool historic websites on the path.

Angel Island Immigration station bunkhouse
Immigration Station bunkhouse.

2. Tour the US Immigration Station

The Immigration Station operated from 1910-1940 and it functioned just like the West Coast’s model of Ellis Island. It was constructed to course of 1000’s of immigrants from 80 nations…and certainly it did. However the immigration station was additionally software for imposing the discriminatory Chinese language Exclusion Act of 1882.

The coverage was designed to make it very tough for Asians, notably Chinese language nationals, to immigrate to the US. It had the sensible impact of creating the immigration station a detention camp for Asians. There are disturbing echos of this coverage at present resonating in US immigration coverage, so visiting the station presents some very related perspective.

You’ll be able to wander the station by yourself, utilizing the explanatory plaques. For $5, you possibly can enter the primary detention constructing and do a self-guided tour. That is properly price each the time and the small sum of money. You may also take a ranger-led guided tour. Deliver money.

Angel Island immigration station: poem carved on wall

Most of the detainees carved ideas and poems onto the partitions as an expression of their misery.

“Detained on this wood home for a number of tens of days,It’s all due to the Mexican exclusion regulation which implicates me. It’s a pity heroes haven’t any manner of exercising their prowess.

I can solely await the phrase in order that I can snap Zu’s whip. Any longer, I’m departing removed from this constructing. All of my fellow villagers are rejoicing with me. Don’t say that every thing inside is Western styled. Even whether it is constructed upon jade, it has was a cage.”

— carved into the wall on the Immigration Station.

Angel Island immigration station: immigration paperwork
Show of immigration papers.
Visit Angel Island: Fort McDowell Ruin
Fort McDowell smash.

3. Go to Fort McDowell

The US navy has has a presence on Angel island since 1863. In 1899, they constructed a quarantine station for sick troops at Fort McDowell (on the jap garrison). Over time, the realm transitioned right into a discharge depot and it turned a significant facility for processing navy personnel for abroad task.

You’ll be able to nonetheless see the stays of the hospital, barracks, a large number corridor and the jail.

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Angel Island Battery Wallace Explosives
Wallace Battery.

4. Crawl Across the Battery Drew, Battery Wallace and Battery Ledyard websites.

In 1898, this collection of gun batteries had been constructed on excessive factors alongside what’s now the perimeter street. You’ll be able to nonetheless crawl round and look into the gun emplacements and weapons storage rooms. That is notably enjoyable in case you are into URBEX.

Angel Island Camp Reynolds

5. Go to Fort Reynolds

This lovely row of historic buildings are discovered on the western fringe of Angel Island. The bottom was inbuilt 1863 in response to the the civil conflict and as a staging space for incursions towards the Native populations. There’s a good little seaside right here with beautiful views of each 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 street across the island. The tour is about 1-1/2 hours and it consists of an audio historical past of the island. The tour is nice in case you are brief on time or have mobility points. Nonetheless, it’s on a hard and fast schedule which doesn’t offer you a lot time for prolonged exploration.

The tour runs on the weekend in off-season and on a regular basis in excessive season. Tickets are $16.50 for adults and may be booked upfront right here.

Fungi on Angel Island

7. Hike the Historic Route or the Ridge Path

There are twelve miles of mountain climbing trails on Angel Island and all of them will provide you with an amazing mixture of quiet forest and killer views. Each of the next options prime out at Mt. Livermore, the place there are views for days and picnic tables. After your hike, you possibly can sit back in Ayala cove whilst you wait on your return ferry.

For the mountain climbing + historical past route, take the perimeter street to the Immigration Station and discover the realm. After you get again on the perimeter street, flip proper onto the hearth street (the signal factors towards the campsites), double again towards the north aspect of the island and join with the North Ridge path. Head as much as Mt. Livermore, then take the Sundown path down. Roughly 5.5 miles complete.

In case you are simply eager to hike and aren’t as within the historic websites, the ranger suggests going up utilizing the North Ridge Path and coming down utilizing the Sundown path. That manner, you’ll get some good peaceable forest and deer on the way in which up and the return can be open chaparral with killer views of SF and Tiburon. Roughly 4.5 miles.

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Angel Island Visitors Center museum

8. Discover the Angel Island Customer’s Heart

The Customer’s Heart is situated close to the ferry dock. It’s has displays on the how the Miwok used the island for his or her summering grounds, the navy historical past of the island and a few pure historical past.

Angel Island State Park: Views of San Francisco

9. Brake for Views

The most effective Angel Island issues to do is to easily cease for the entire jaw dropping 360′ views of the bay. There are numerous methods to seek out nice views of the Golden Gate Bridge, however few of them offer you such a large angle of the gate.

As you stroll alongside the Angel Island trails, you’ll get peek-a-boo views at components of the bay, then you definitely’ll come to an open lookout level and…BAM…the entire scene opens up.

  • From Ayala Cove: Views of Tiburon
  • From the Immigration Station: Views of Level 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 completely every thing.
Angel Island barracks

10. Have A Picnic

There are numerous nice spots for a picnic on Angel Island. You could find a grassy space at each the immigration station and at Fort Reynolds. There’s a set of picnic tables on the prime of Mount Livermore. And there are benches and grassy areas close to the customer’s middle and ferry dock.

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

(This text comprises affiliate hyperlinks. Which means for those who select to buy, I’ll make a small fee.)

FAQs for Visiting Angel Island State Park

Listed below are the entire logistics that you simply’ll must be ready on your day at Angel Island.

Learn Extra: Get the total downlow on all CA parks with this whole California State Parks checklist.

Angel island ferry: San Francisco view

See Extra of San Francisco

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Plan Your Journey to SF

Save time planning your journey to SF with these insanely helpful hyperlinks:

  • Discover the most effective areas to remain in SF.
  • Work out tips on how to get from SFO airport to downtown SF.
  • Or, in case you are driving, rating a deal on a automobile rental.
  • Transcend the plain vacationer websites by buying certainly one of our beneficial San Francisco guidebooks. They cowl city hikes, foodie spots, self-guided strolling excursions and even an city atlas.

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