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Backpacking at Angel Island

Camping in the middle of San Francisco Bay offers a window on the region's wonders after dark.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6 miles
Duration: Multiple days
Family Friendly

Overview :  Angel Island can charm the socks off a day-hiker, but it's even better by night, when the state park closes up shop and sends the... more »

Tips:  Call the Angel Island ranger's office at (415) 435-5390 before you start planning your trip to get the latest on fees and access to... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Ayala Cove starting point

This is where the ferry will drop you off. It's up to 2.5 miles to your campsite from here.

2. East Bay sites

Sites 1, 2 and 3 face the East Bay -- Oakland and the Bay Bridge -- are on the wind-sheltered side of the island. This means less ocean breeze blasting your tent at night, but also less of a view of San Francisco's night skyline. Descriptions of each campsite from the Angel Island Association Boating/Camping Page.

Site 1: "Open, with a view,... More

3. Sunrise sites

Sites 7, 8 and 9 are close together and offer the best option for group camping. They provide the best view of the East Bay/San Francisco skyline but are more exposed to ocean breezes and therefore colder at night.

4. Ridge sites

Sites 4, 5 and 6 along this ridge are more exposed to ocean winds and therefore chillier after dark. From the AIA Camping Page.:

Ridge Site 4: "Open space with a view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Can be windy."

Ridge Site 5: "Some shelter, partial view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge."

Ridge Site 6: "No view, but... More

5. Kayak campsite

This site is near the shore but accessible via a path from Perimeter Road. You can paddle up to it, but a kayak/boat is not required to camp there.

6. ADA campsite

This is near Perimeter Road not far from Camp Reynolds. Only those who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act are allowed to reserve the site. If you don't qualify, you won't be allowed to use it.

Lone exception: Campers have a first-come, first-serve shot at the site if it hasn't been reserved.