BACKPACKING TRIP IN ANGEL ISLAND STATE PARK
TRIP · 3-day backpacking trip
FOR · Friends & first-time backpackers
VIBE · Moderate & fun
COST · $$
DISTANCE · 20 minute ferry ride from SF
IDEAL DATES · April - October
PETS · Not allowed, except for service animals
WHY ANGEL ISLAND STATE PARK?
Spanish explorer Lt. Juan Manuel de Ayala named Isla de Los Angeles (Angel Island) in 1775. It has since been a military base, immigration station, and now a state park. Angel Island is the largest natural island in the bay so you'll have sweeping views of the SF skyline. Reserve a campsite early and catch a ferry from SF or Tiburon to camp in one of the most unique places in the Bay Area.
RESERVE A RIDGE CAMPSITE FOR SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF THE BAY
Angel Island has a total of 16 campsites, and hike-in Ridge campsites have some of the best views. Ridge campsite 4 and 5 are the ones to reserve, but they're fairly exposed to the sun & wind. Ridge sites 5 & 6 are more sheltered.
Camping on Angel Island involves a one or two mile trek from the Ferry drop-off area, which makes this a perfect trip for campers who want to try backpacking. It's about a 40-minute walk from the ferry to Ridge campsites. Weekends can get swooped up fast, but if you can squeeze in a mid-week trip, you'll have more campsites available.
Check-in: After 2 PM | Check-out: 12 PM
View Campground Map
Nightly Rate: $30
EACH CAMPSITE COMES WITH:
- A picnic table
- Space for up to 8 people
- Food storage locker
- Potable water (nearby)
- Trash collection (nearby)
- Restrooms (nearby)
STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW
Raccoons can be rambunctious on the island so be sure to store food & scented items in your campsite's storage locker overnight and when you're away from camp
Charcoal grills & camp stoves are allowed, but wood fires are not
You can bring your bike onto the island & make it a bikepacking trip! Roller skates, roller blades, skateboards & scooters aren't allowed though.
Pack layers! The weather can get windy & cold, especially in the evenings
Due to strong currents and the lack of lifeguards, swimming is discouraged
Cute harbor seals can sometimes be spotted basking on the shores of Angel Island.
JUMP ON THE 10:15 AM BLUE & GOLD FLEET FERRY FROM PIER 41 IN SF
- Blue & Gold offers one daily ferry from SF to Angel Island
- Round-trip tickets are $19.50 for adults and $11 for kids
- It's only a 20-minute ferry ride!
ARRIVE AT ANGEL ISLAND & HIKE TO RIDGE CAMPSITE
- Perimeter Road is paved & wraps around the entire island
- Trek along Perimeter Road (for less than 40 minutes) to Ridge Campsite & set up camp!
PACK A LUNCH & WALK TO PERLES BEACH
- From Campsite 4 & 5, it's just a short walk down to a sandy beach with stunning views of the SF skyline. Enjoy a picnic lunch!
CHECK OUT CAMP REYNOLDS (WEST GARRISON)
- Return to Perimeter Road, hike counter-clockwise, and check out Camp Reynolds, a historical landmark
IF YOU'RE FEELING AMBITIOUS...HIKE THE ANGEL ISLAND PERIMETER LOOP
- Continue hiking counter-clockwise along Perimeter Road. This easy loop is 5.5 miles long, with 528 feet of elevation, takes you around the entire island
- Stop by Angel Island Immigration Station overlooking China Cove, Fort McDowell (East Garrison) & Point Blunt Lighthouse along the way
RETURN TO CAMP & COOK UP DINNER
- Soak up glorious views of the Bay!
MAKE BREKKIE, PACK A LUNCH & TAKE SUNSET TRAIL TO MOUNT LIVERMORE
- Hike 0.5 miles from Ridge Campsite to Sunset Trail, which then takes you up Mount Livermore, the tallest peak on the island. It's about 656 feet of elevation gain and about 4 miles round trip.
- Pack a daypack with lunch, sunscreen, sunhat, bug spray & water
- Have lunch at the top of Mount Livermore
CHECK OUT QUARRY BEACH FROM MOUNT LIVERMORE
- Instead of returning to camp, take Ida Trail and continue hiking east towards Fort McDowell
- Find a spot to hang out and relax for the afternoon
RETURN TO CAMP & ENJOY A SUNSET DINNER
- Cook up your last dinner on Angel Island!
PACK UP & CHECK OUT BEFORE NOON
👀 Cook up brekkie, clean up around camp & throw away any random pieces of litter
CATCH THE 2:15 PM FERRY BACK TO SF!
PAY IT FORWARD LIKE BEZZI
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