Angel Island State Park

Tiburon, California

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1 Review
3 out of 5
You have to love a hike that you can only reach by ferry. But the Angel Island hike does not take you away from it all. Instead, you take in gobs of civilization from a lofty and isolated plateau. On a clear day from Mount Livermore, you can see all four major bridges on the Bay. You can watch the fog roll over the city, like a slow-moving avalanche. Even with limited visibility, you can admire landmarks of the unique San Francisco skyline and the street-faire towns of Sausalito and Tiburon in Marin County. Looking at it a different way, you have a prison-to-prison view atop Angel Island: San Quentin to Alcatraz, both with their fascinating histories. That’s the keyword here: history. Angel Island, the largest island in San Francisco Bay, spans a microcosm of U.S. history. It served as hunting ground for the Miwok Indians before becoming a Spanish cattle ranch, a quarry during the war between Mexico and the U.S., and a Civil War post for the Union. It was a quarantine station during the Spanish-American War, then a detention camp during the Philippine Insurrection. It was once the largest Army discharge depot and processing center on the West Coast, a World War I immigration station, a POW camp during World War II, a Nike missile site (1955 to 1962), and finally, a public park. Today, a few rangers and a small army of dedicated volunteers— mostly retired persons—take care of this rich historic island. Bring a picnic lunch and carry water. Binoculars and a Bay Area map are recommended. This eTrail also includes suggested nearby attractions, camping & lodging, restaurants, and local outdoor retailers.

Angel Island State Park Professional Review and Guide

"You have to love a hike that you can only reach by ferry. But the Angel Island hike does not take you away from it all. Instead, you take in gobs of civilization from a lofty and isolated plateau. On a clear day from Mount Livermore, you can see all four major bridges on the Bay. You can watch the fog roll over the city, like a slow-moving avalanche. Even with limited visibility, you can admire landmarks of the unique San Francisco skyline and the street-faire towns of Sausalito and Tiburon in Marin County. Looking at it a different way, you have a prison-to-prison view atop Angel Island: San Quentin to Alcatraz, both with their fascinating histories. That’s the keyword here: history. Angel Island, the largest island in San Francisco Bay, spans a microcosm of U.S. history. It served as hunting ground for the Miwok Indians before becoming a Spanish cattle ranch, a quarry during the war between Mexico and the U.S., and a Civil War post for the Union. It was a quarantine station during the Spanish-American War, then a detention camp during the Philippine Insurrection. It was once the largest Army discharge depot and processing center on the West Coast, a World War I immigration station, a POW camp during World War II, a Nike missile site (1955 to 1962), and finally, a public park. Today, a few rangers and a small army of dedicated volunteers— mostly retired persons—take care of this rich historic island. Bring a picnic lunch and carry water. Binoculars and a Bay Area map are recommended. This eTrail also includes suggested nearby attractions, camping & lodging, restaurants, and local outdoor retailers."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Tiburon
Distance: 6.2
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3 hours
Season: Year-round, 8:00 a.m. to sunset
Trailhead Elevation: 20 feet
Top Elevation: 720 feet
Local Contacts: California State Parks

Angel Island State Park Reviews

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3/14/2006
Good, beautiful on a good day. Not as much wildlife as one may see on other area trails. Can be a bit crowded on weekends or holidays.
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