We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Angel Island

Picture perfect San Francisco Bay views on this tranquil tour of a remote island with hardly a car in sight.

Content provided by

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Away from the hustle of the city, Angel Island offers a retreat to tranquility surrounded by magnificent San Francisco Bay views.

... more »

Take this guide with you!

Save to mobile
Get this guide & thousands of others on your mobile phone
EveryTrail guides are created by travelers like you.
  1. 1. Download the EveryTrail app from the App Store
  2. 2. Search for the Angel Island guide
  3. 3. Enjoy your self-guided tour
Get the app

Points of Interest

1. Ayala Cove

Welcome to Angel Island! A great place to enjoy the San Francisco Bay and get away from the bustle of the city. Separated from the mainland since the last ice age 10,000 years ago, the island was used almost exclusively for grazing livestock until the military established a base here during the American Civil War in 1863.

Virtually every part of... More

2. Angel Island Visitor Center

Many of the Angel Island park rangers live here on the island, and are possibly the best possible source of advice and information about the State Park. Be sure to make good use of their knowledge.

(415) 435-5390

3. Junction

Turn right onto Perimeter Road. A counter clockwise route around Angel Island is what we have in store today. It's a perfect way to enjoy the San Francisco Bay views, make easy work of some small hills and visit some of the island's best landmarks.

4. Side Trip: Point Stuart & Camp Reynolds

Briefly escape from the perimeter road onto a smaller off-road single-track trail out to Point Stuart where you can enjoy calm, quiet views of the San Francisco Bay from Tiburon to Alcatraz Island.

The route returns downhill to the former army garrison of Camp Reynolds before snaking back up a steady incline (approx 170ft) back to the road.

... More

5. Alt Route: Battery Drew

This short diversion cuts a corner off Perimeter Road, heading uphill to reach Battery Drew before rejoining the road a little distance later.

Take this route if you want to check out the century-old Battery Drew, but don't think of it as a shortcut as the effort to climb the small hill will wipe out any distance you save.

6. Battery Drew

Built at the turn of the 20th century, Battery Drew remained in service until 1917 and like all coastal defenses in this area, it saw no action (which has to be a good thing!). Records show that the 8-inch gun only ever fired a total of 26 practice rounds.

You'll find evidence of decommissioned coastal defenses all over the island and throughout ... More

7. Side Trip: Fort McDowell

After carrying your bike down two short sets of steps you're free to explore the heart of Fort McDowell and the sandy Quarry Beach. This side trip adds only a short distance to your journey length.

8. Fort McDowell

Our side trip is the best way to explore Fort McDowell, from the enormous barracks and the buildings by the former boat dock all the way back up to the former hospital.

Decommissioned in 1946 some of these buildings are in a poor state of repair and shouldn't be entered, while others you are free to explore.

... More

9. Quarry Beach

Beneath an army barracks isn't the place you'd normally expect to see stretches of golden sands, but this tranquil little spot is a great way to enjoy views of the bay and the San Francisco city skyline as the water gently laps by your feet.

10. Immigration Station

Angel Island was the first American soil to greet almost one million immigrants between 1910 and 1940. New arrivals were usually processed within three days, but thanks to a long-repealed Chinese exclusion law, a different treatment awaited the 175,000 Chinese immigrants who were confined here for months in prison-like conditions.

Operations... More

11. Cove Cafe And Cantina

Serving anything from a breakfast croissant to an afternoon beer or ice-cream, the Cove Cafe is a welcome sight for a weary cyclist!

One word of warning however - they close rather early. So when heading back to the ferry, check in here first or you might have to wait in refreshment limbo until the ferry arrives.

(415) 435-3392
Hours vary... More

12. Drinking Water

13. Drinking Water

14. Restrooms

15. Restrooms

16. Restrooms

17. Restrooms


18. Restrooms


19. Restrooms