View-packed Angel Island
in San Francisco Bay

On the trail, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay

On the Perimeter Trail
Angel Island State Park

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ACROSS THE WHITECAPPED TURQUOISE of the bay, San Francisco spreads under a breezy-clear sky. The cables of the Bay Bridge shine in the afternoon sun, and the radiance of the day touches everything – the towers of the financial district, the apartments on Russian Hill, a cruise ship docked along the Embarcadero, the grid of streets that descend to the waterfront, and even Alcatraz, docked in front of North Beach.

To the right is the dark green expanse of the Presidio forest, ending at the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, still wreathed in the last wisps of this morning’s fog.

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San Francisco Panorama from Angel Island San Francisco and Alcatraz from Angel Island San Francisco from Perle's Beach, Angel Island State Park


San Francisco from Angel Island on a foggy summer day San Francisco and Alcatraz in summer fog




THIS IS THE VIEW from Angel Island – one of the most remote and most secluded places in San Francisco Bay. So rural is this place, and so peaceful is it, that the only distraction may be a deer feeding mere yards away from you.


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Ayala Cove, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay Angel Island from Racoon Strait Ayala Cove dockside, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay

Hiker and the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay Mule deer, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay Doe and fawn, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay

ANGEL ISLAND STATE PARK CONTAINS 1.2 hilly acres of grassland, oak woodland, and forest. A ten-minute ferry ride from Tiburon, it’s just far enough from the mainland to give it a feel of wilderness isolation. The island is a favorite destination for hikers, for picnicking, for biking, and backpacking.

This is not a place for hurrying. What may have begun as a hike around the island becomes a series of short walks between viewpoints – of the redwood forests on Mount Tam, of San Francisco and the Golden Gate, of Berkeley and the East Bay hills, and of the sailboats and freighters on the bay.


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Trailside view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay


Golden Gate in fog from Angel Island, San Francisco Bay


ON SUNNY AFTERNOONS, the cooling sea breeze stirs whitecaps, making a rushing sound as it ripples across the water. But in the forest there are pockets of warmth, scented with the fragrances of eucalyptus and pine.

Along the way you’ll find occasional reminders of history come and gone: a civil war-era Army camp and parade ground, a world wars-era military base, an immigration station, and even the remnants of a Nike missile site.

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Fort McDowell, Angel Island,San Francisco Bay View from old Fort McDowell, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay Racoon Strait and Tiburon from Angel Island, San Francisco Bay
THESE ONCE-BUSTLING PLACES are empty now. The island has long since been given back to nature and those who enjoy it, including the people you meet along the trail – some on foot and some on mountain bikes. And perhaps a few carrying their backpacks for a night in the wilderness with a city view.

Later in the afternoon, it’s wise to keep an eye on the time in order not to miss the last ferry of the afternoon. One of the good things the ferry provides is a place to sit after a full day of hiking or biking. It’s a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the views on the way back to the mainland.

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Sailboat and Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay Sailboats and the City,San Francisco Bay Sailboat and Golden Gate Bridge, late afternoon, San Francisco Bay
Sailboats and island bluffs, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay Tiburon waterfront, San Francisco Bay
Gulls, Angel Island Ferry, San Francisco Bay



You can catch a ferry to Angel Island from Tiburon in Marin County, Pier 39 in San Francisco, and Oakland and Alameda in the East Bay.

Learn More About Angel Island


Go to the Angel Island Conservancy website for more about the island, its history, and ways to enjoy your visit. Among the website's many resources are hiking and biking tips, camping information, photography of the island, and descriptions of specific points of interest.


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