Home » Travel » North America » USA » A Day On Angel Island – San Francisco Bay

With a beautiful day forecast there was no way that I was going waste the day. After a hearty breakfast I walked down to Pier 41 and purchased my ticket for the ferry to Angel Island. A friend had recommended it to me, knowing how I love to hike. I had an hour to kill before my ferry so it was the perfect opportunity to have a meander around Pier 39. A little retail therapy, caffeine refill and a chance to admire the seals on their pontoons. You’ll hear them before you see them, that’s a promise 😉

Time for the ferry; it’s the Angel Island and Tiburon ferry that you’ll need if you decide to venture there. We’re soon leaving the cityscape behind us and heading across the bay, passing Alcatraz en route.

Views of Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito and Tiburon all look so inviting. The ferry pulls into Ayala Cove, where quite a few of us disembark. I head straight to the information centre, purchase a $1 map of the island and I’m ready to go.

I headed up the North Ridge Trail, my aim was to reach Mt. Livermore (788 feet), the highest point on the island, named after Caroline Livermore, a Marin County conservationist who was instrumental in preserving the island for public use.

I was very fortunate to meet a lady along the way and we decided to walk together. These experiences are often enhanced when shared with like minded people. We stopped regularly to admire the stunning views and take photo’s. The paths are very good but they are dirt paths and you do need to keep your eyes open for tree roots and the odd embedded stone.

It is a popular place to visit but don’t be surprised if you don’t see anyone else for a while; with a choice of paths you may be totally alone and able to be at one with your surroundings. If you’re reliant on your phone it may be a problem; I had no signal for a time and decided to switch it to ‘flight safe mode’ to save my battery for later.

A bit of history about the island; it was first visited by the Coast Miwok over 2000 years ago. These indigenous people set up camps and used the island mainly as a fishing and hunting site. 

In 1775, Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala sailed the San Carlos into the Bay Area and anchored at what is now called Ayala Cove. Along with his pilot, José de Cañizares, he developed one of the first maps of San Francisco Bay. It was these men that christened the island Isla de Los Angelas (Angel Island).

In 1863, during the Civil War, the U.S. Army established Camp Reynolds on the island, in order to protect San Francisco Bay. It later became a garrison for infantry companies, including troops serving in campaigns against American Indians in the West.

If you are as fortunate as I was, you’ll be able to see views of Marin County, San Francisco and of course, Golden Gate Bridge. I’m sure that you’ll also see some deer, blue jays and dragonflies as well, if you’re lucky 😀.  

There is always so much to see and do when I come to this wonderful place. I hope that you’ll be tempted by one of the items that I have written on the area.

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4 thoughts on “A Day On Angel Island – San Francisco Bay”

  1. Beautiful photos. A healthy does of nostalgia as I grew up in Tiburon (I can actually see my parents’ home in one of those photos) and spend a few summers taking the ferry over to Angel Island each day for Summer Camp as a kid. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sheena Findlay

      Glad you enjoyed it Andrew. Such a wonderful way to spend a day and take in the beautiful area.

  2. Getz destinations

    Visiting angel island through your blog is an awesome experience. I would love to spend me holiday around there. However this is a place which is free from hassle and we can buy some quality relaxing moments.

    1. Sheena Findlay

      It is definitely an ideal area to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. I hope you get there someday.

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