Alcatraz Island

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco

Alcatraz Island is part of the National Park Service and is rich in natural and human history. It is home to the first lighthouse and West Coast US-built military fort, the infamous historic federal penitentiary and natural attractions like bird colonies and tide pools. Access to Alcatraz is by ferry only. Reservations are highly recommended. Ferry access to Alcatraz includes a self-guided audio tour of the prison.


Alcatraz Cellhouse Audio Tour
Tide pools

History of Alcatraz

Alcatraz history includes 29 years as a federal penitentiary, the first lighthouse on the West Coast, and Native American occupation.

Getting to Alcatraz (parking, public transportation, boat ride)

Private ferry is the only point of access to Alcatraz Island. Ferries depart from Pier 33 near  Fisherman’s Wharf.


How should I dress for Alcatraz? The weather can be cold and windy on Alcatraz Island. Dress in layers and wear a hat and sunscreen. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
How far in advance should I purchase tickets? At least a week in advance for summer and holiday season visits.

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