Hike: Angel Island State Park
Aug 26

Distance: ~ 6 miles loop, with optional 2 mile RT to summit of Mt. Livermore
Elevation Gain: up to 1000'
Est. Time: 8 hours including ferries
Dogs are not allowed on Angel Island

Description (from the park brochure):
Angel Island State Park, the largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay, offers some of the best views of the surrounding Bay Area. With great hiking trails and many other recreational opportunities readily available, Angel Island is truly a hidden gem in the midst of the urban Bay Area.

From 1910 to 1940, the U.S. Immigration Station processed hundreds of thousands of immigrants, the majority from China. During World War II, Japanese, and German POWs were detained at the Station before being sent to facilities farther inland.

The Island has been a cattle ranch and beginning with the Civil War at Camp Reynolds, the Island has over 100 years of military history. With the outbreaks of WWI and WWII thousands of troops both returning and embarking for conflicts around the world were processed through Angel Island. In the '50s and '60s, the Island saw its last military service as a home to a Nike missile base.

A map of the park may be viewed or downloaded from the Angel Island State Park website:

Hike details:
After disembarking from the ferry at Ayala Cove and making a short stop at the Visitors Center (restrooms available here) we will loop clockwise around the island. The first stop will be the restored Immigration Station. There is a nice museum here describing the experiences of Asian immigrants to the US in the early 20th century. The museum opens at 11 and the entrance fee is $5. Continuing clockwise we arrive at Fort McDowell (East Garrison). There are picnic tables here and this could be our lunch stop. After lunch the road passes by a decommissioned Nike missile site and some abandoned pre-WWI gun batteries set up for the defense of SF Bay. Back at Ayala Cove we will take the Sunset Trail to the summit of Mt. Livermore for 360 degree views of the bay, returning back to Ayala Cove the way we came and catching the return ferry.

What to Bring:
Sunblock and a hat are recommended, along with water, although water is available at several points around the island. Dressing in layers with a windbreaker is a good idea as it can be cold and windy. Bring snacks and a lunch.

The meeting point for the hike is near the dock at Ayala Cove on Angel Island at 10:20 AM. This is 10 minutes after the ferry arrives to allow the crowds to dissipate. I will be wearing my 1970’s MIT Track jacket.

The Blue & Gold Ferry is the only commercial transportation from SF to Angel Island. The cost is $9.75 each way. You will need to purchase 2 one way tickets. Tickets may be purchased at the departure point or in advance online (this is strongly recommended). Here is the link for online purchases:

Here is the ferry schedule:
To Angel Island
depart Pier 39/41 9:45 AM arrive Ayala Cove 10:10 AM
It is possible to catch this boat 30 minutes earlier departing the SF Ferry Bldg. at 9:15 AM

Return to SF
depart Ayala Cove 4:25 PM arrive Pier 39/41 5:30 PM
This is the last departure of the day, so we need to start heading toward the dock by 4 PM. The ferry stops in Sausalito along the way. It does not return to the Ferry Bldg.

There is an earlier boat departing for SF at 2:05 for those who need to leave sooner.

Remember you need to purchase 2 one-way tickets.

It is possible to take a ferry from Tiburon to Angel Island departing Tiburon at 10:00 AM and arriving Ayala Cove at 10:10. Return departures are hourly at 20 past the hour. Last boat leaves at 5:20. Tickets are $15.00 RT, buy on the boat, cash only. If you do plan to take the Tiburon ferry, please let me know.

I recommend taking public transit to the the ferry terminal in SF. If you choose to drive let me know when you RSVP and I can suggest some reasonably priced parking.

Carpooling is always a nice idea. If people want to get into a carpool, we've set up an unmoderated discussion group you can use to set up carpools. To join it, go to and then send a message to, or post from the web interface at the above address. This requires you to get a free yahoo account; sorry about this, but in our experience, they've been harmless and respect your spam preferences. Unfortunately (cynics cackle here), the old email signup interface seems to have stopped working. In any case, in the message, be sure to include where you're coming from, contact information and how many of you there are.

Rain policy:
Rain is extremely unlikely in August you can check the forecast the morning of the hike. The NWS forecast for Angel Island may be found at

If it's raining significantly, the hike is off. If the weather is ambiguous, we will send out an email to the list on the morning of the hike. You can easily join that email list by going to the web page and clicking on the "Join This Group!" button. After you're on the list, you'll receive emails about each upcoming hike ~1 week in advance. The volume on that list is very low (~2 emails/month), so spam won't be a problem.

Joining any hike is entirely voluntary and participants assume any and all risks associated with the activities. By registering or attending this event, participants agree to the conditions posted: HERE

Event Closed

Date and Time

Saturday, August 26, 2017
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM PT

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Ayala Cove, Angel Island
Ayala Cove Tiburon, CA 94920

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