Angel Island


brochure Angel Island - Brochure

Brochure of Angel Island State Park (SP) in California. Published by California Department of Parks and Recreation.

Angel Island State Park Our Mission The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (415) 435-1915. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact Angel Island played a major role in the settlement of the West and as an immigration station. Trails and roads crisscross the island, providing easy access to historic sites and breathtaking views of San Francisco, Marin County, and the Golden Gate Bridge. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service Angel Island State Park P.O. Box 318 (mail) Tiburon, CA 94920 (415) 435-1915 © 2003 California State Parks (Rev. 2016) Arriving immigrants ca. 1910 A ngel Island is a grass- and woodlandcovered refuge in San Francisco Bay. The island affords breathtaking vistas of Marin County, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate. Coast Miwok once inhabited the island, and for nearly 100 years  —  from the Civil War to the Cold War  —  the federal government used its strategic location for military bases, a quarantine station, and an immigration station. Today, visitors can enjoy the view from the island’s historic sites and facilities. CULTURAL HISTORY Early Inhabitants Coast Miwok began visiting the island about 2,000 years ago. These indigenous people established camps and used the island primarily as a fishing and hunting site. In 1775, Lt. Juan Manuel de Ayala, a Spanish navigator, sailed the San Carlos into San Francisco Bay and anchored in what is now Ayala Cove. With his pilot, José de Cañizares, he developed one of the first maps of San Francisco Bay. They christened the isle Isla de Los Angeles (Angel Island). The Army on Angel Island In 1863, during the Civil War, the U.S. Army established Camp Reynolds on Angel Island to protect San Francisco Bay. The island later became a garrison for infantry companies, including troops serving in campaigns against American Indians in the West. The Army designated the entire island Fort McDowell and renamed Camp Reynolds the West Garrison in 1900. The East Garrison at Quarry Point evolved from a detention camp for soldiers returning from the Spanish- American war to a serviceImmigration Station, nicknamed discharge depot. “the Guardian of the Western During World War I, Gate,” processed nearly a million East Garrison served as a immigrants from more than 80 recruitment and replacement countries. Immigration staff ensured depot and a discharge point that new arrivals were healthy and for returning troops. Angel self-sufficient. European immigrants Island was an embarkation and first-class passengers faced site for World War II soldiers only an inspection aboard ship and headed toward the Pacific war were detained infrequently. U.S. Immigration Station zone and a processing facility Chinese persons were specifically for prisoners of war. excluded from immigrating to the U.S. by When troops returned, a 60-foot sign with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Most of the illuminated words “Welcome Home, the 175,000 Chinese who arrived at Angel Well Done” greeted them from the island. In Island were detained for a few weeks  —  some July 1946, the Army abandoned the island, were detained up to 90 days and a few for declaring it surplus property. almost two years  —  while their applications The Army returned in 1954, during the Cold were considered. Many detainees expressed War, to build a Nike missile site. By 1962 their anxiety and despair by writing and the system had become obsolete, and the carving on the wooden barracks walls. Some Army decommissioned the base and left the Chinese wrote poignant poems, still legible island. Most of the island was turned over to today. Due to appeals, most immigrants were California State Parks in 1963. eventually granted entry to America. A 1940 fire destroyed the administration The Quarantine Station building, closing the Immigration Station. The In 1891 a Quarantine Station was opened at first restoration phase of this National Historic Ayala Cove (then known as Hospital Cove), Landmark has been completed as a tribute to where ships from foreign ports could be immigrants from around the world. fumigated and immigrants suspected of carrying diseases could be kept in isolation. Better medical examinations at the ports of embarkation and improved medical practices eventually made lengthy quarantines unnecessary; in 1946 the U.S. Public Health Service abandoned the Quarantine Station at Angel Island. The U.S. Immigration Station From 1910 to 1940, the United States Civil War reenactment at Camp Reynolds NATURAL HISTORY Ten thousand years ago, this island was part of the mainland. Angel Island was created by rising oceans at the end of an ice age. Plant Life In the 1800s, cattle grazing and wood harvesting eliminated much of the native oak woodland and coastal brush habitats covering Angel Island. The U.S. Army and the Immigration Service planted many non-native trees, such as eucalyptus and Monterey pine. Since the creation of the state park in 1963, oak, bay, madrone, and other native trees and shrubs are reclaiming their habitats. Wildflowers cover the island in spring. Animal Life Deer and raccoons, both excellent swimmers, are the only large land mammals on the island. Harbor seals and California sea lions often sun on the rocks. Birds include scrub jays, hummingbirds, flickers, hawks, and owls. Near the coves, visitors may find egrets, grebes, blue herons, and brown pelicans. The Angel Island mole, endemic to the island, is not found anywhere else in the world. Getting to the Island Angel Island is reachable year-round by public ferries. Schedules are at angelisland. Activities and Services For camping and group picnic reservations, call (800) 444-7275 or visit Flicker Picnicking The island’s scenic picnic areas have tables, running water, and barbecues. Camping The park’s four environmental camping areas have water and pit toilets nearby. The East Bay Sites are generally protected from wind. The more exposed Ridge Sites offer views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. The Sunrise Sites can be reserved individually or combined as a group camp for up to 24 people. The Kayak Camp on the west side —  near a small beach  —  also accommodates groups up to 20. Kayak campers must secure their boats from high tidewaters. Campers must carry their equipment up to two miles and bring camp stoves or charcoal, as no wood fires are allowed on the island. Boating Boat slips are available first-come, firstserved from 8 a.m. until sunset. Overnight mooring buoys are available first-come, first-served. A fee is charged for both day-use and overnight mooring, with a seven-night limit. All boaters must tie fore and aft due to swift currents. Tours Tours of historic buildings and sites are available. Call (415) 435-5537 or email for information and scheduling. Tram and Segway tours are available seasonally; visit Hiking and Bicycling Hikers have 13 miles of trails and roadways, while cyclists have access to nine miles. Foot trails and Mount Livermore are closed to cyclists. The speed limit is 15 mph. Cyclists under age 18 must wear helmets. Watch for vehicles on roadways. Bicycles can be rented seasonally from the Angel Island Company on the island. For more activity Golden Gate Bridge view information, visit or call (415) 435-3392. Accessible FEATURES A number of facilities, several restrooms, one campsite, and the tram tour are accessible. Visitors are encouraged to visit the website at for more information about accessible features. please remember • State law protects all park natural and cultural resources  —  wildlife, rocks, plants, and structures. Do not disturb them. • Only service animals are allowed on Angel Island. • Stay on designated trails to avoid ticks and poison oak. • Do not feed raccoons or other wildlife. • Roller skates, roller blades, scooters, and skateboards are not allowed anywhere on the island. • Wood fires are not permitted. • Wind and weather conditions can change rapidly in all seasons. Dress in layers. Richmond Angel Island SP a ed am /Al N 10 0 Ayala Cove 880 10 Km 200 Visitor 300 Center 40 0 East Bay Sites 1, 2, 3 500 S u n s et dg e Ri Trail 600 Draw Group Picnic Areas (A & B) Mt Livermore 788ft 240m Site 10 Guard House il Kayak Group Camp a Tr il East Garrison Group Picnic Area 60 0 ANGEL ISLAND S TAT E PA R K Fi Battery Wallace re R Ridge Sites 4, 5, 6 40 0 0 0 US Coast Guard (off limits) San Francisco Bay 400 Feet 100 Meters US Coast Guard (off limits) Accessible Feature Environmental Camping Overlook Picnic Area Unpaved Road Boat Docks 8 a.m. to sunset; mooring buoys Group Picnic Area Park Building Restrooms Trail (no bicycles) Water Information Park Office Paved Road 200 Battery Drew Park Land (no entry after sunset) 0 Nike Missile Site 100 Perles Beach e vi c i Ser bl Pu No 10 Four Corners 0 20 US Coast Guard (off limits) Park Land d 300 r Rd Perimete Point Knox oa R oa d cess (West Garrison) Quarry Beach 500 Camp Reynolds (East Garrison) Ac Point Stuart Legend Fort McDowell a Tr Ida 700 P o int S t ua r t L o o p Battery Ledyard Quarry Point Sunrise Sites 7, 8, 9 c 100 US Coast Guard (off limits) Café Hill Group Picnic Area Platform Group Picnic Area This park receives support in part through two nonprofit associations: the Angel Island Conservancy ( and the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation ( Point Simpton R d th 5 co or c ifi ac an ce O 280 5 Mi co cis an Fr ay B P 0 1 S (North Garrison) Point Ione 580 an SAN FRANCISCO 0 OAKLAND 80 US Immigration Station r 101 F e r ry t o S a n F r a n c i s 24 Berkeley on State Park e et im Tiburon co ra Angel Island China Cove r Pe Mt Tamalpais SP c Ra St it Point Campbell F e r r y to O a k l a n d 580 uron Tib 80 131 1 4 to San Rafael San Pablo Bay rry 101 China Camp SP Fe Samuel P. Taylor SP Point Blunt © 2009 California State Parks (Rev. 2016)

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