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Angel Island's Perimeter Road

Great way to see the Bay

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 5.8 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  The Perimeter Road provides access to pretty much everything else one can see and do on the island! It's got fantastic views around... more »

Tips:  Watch the ferry schedule and keep track of the time. It's easy to find yourself racing to catch the last ferries back to shore.

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Points of Interest

1. Ferry Slip

Ferry Slip at Alaya cove.

Before you leave this spot, check the ferry schedule. It's easy to lose track of time on Angel Island.

2. Alaya Cove

Park store, segway rental, bus rours. Nearly everybody coming to Angel Island starts here and the cove gets quite busy.

Local boaters have the dock and buoys in the cove and some tie up for overnight stays. It's also common to see kayaks stopping by for day trips.

The cove also has plenty of picnic benches.

3. Museum and offices

The park museum needs to be visited for an overview of the island's long history. There are some very well put together interpretive displays.

4. Trail Head

There is both a road and trail up to the Perimeter Road.

Bikes are required to take the switchback trail so as not to disturb the group picnic sites located here. The paved road does provide a workout on its way up to the Perimeter Road.

5. Junction

Intersection with the Perimeter Road. Follow the road clockwise around the island.

6. View

Alaya Cove overlook and across Raccoon Straits to Tiberon and Sausalito.

7. View

Alaya Cove overlook and across Raccoon Straits to Tiberon and Sausalito.

8. View

Alaya Cove overlook and across Raccoon Straits to Tiberon and Sausalito.

9. Junction

Side trail to the Stewarts Point Loop.

10. Junction-Camp Reynolds

Trail down to Camp Reynolds (West Garrison) and the island’s earliest military camp. Some of the buildings date to the Civil War period. One can walk the parade ground and see the brick hospital (1908). Additional structures include the chapel, mule barn, officers quarters, barracks, and storerooms. There are periodic cannon firings with park... More

11. Battery Wallace, Battery Ledyard

Battery Wallace, Battery Ledyard and Coast Guard Property (Point Knox). Great Golden Gate and San Francisco views and old gun emplacements to explore.

Battery Ledyard, built on the site of the old Point Knox Civil War battery. The battery was named after 1st Lt. August C. Ledyard, who was killed in action on the Island of Negros, Philippine... More

12. Junction-Perles Beach

The old trail down to Perles Beach and Point Knox. Part of this route washed out in a slide.

13. Junction-Perles Beach

A better access point down to Perles beach.

14. Junction-Battery Wallace and Camp Sites

Trail down to Perles Beach and Point Knox. Part of this route washed out in a slide.

Battery Wallace was built above and behind Ledyard, and armed with a single eight-inch rifle on a disappearing carriage. The battery was named after 1st Lt. Robert B. Wallace, 2nd U.S. Cavalry, who died Mar 13, 1900 of wounds received in action at Caloocan,... More

15. Water Supply

Drinking water.

16. Junction

Side road that returns to the Perimeter Road at point 50.

17. View

View point. Battery Drew is just around the corner.

Battery Drew was named after 1st Lt. Alfred W. Drew who was killed in action at Angles, Luzon, Philippine Islands on Aug 19, 1899. Construction started in 1898 and was completed in 1898. Deactivated in 1917.


San Francisco Bay Front, Alcatraz, and the Bay Bridge views.

19. Junction

Drinking water and side roads access to other trails.


Another viewpoint of San Francisco.

21. Junction

Trails to the upper island.


More San Francisco Bay Views.

23. Junction- Nike Missile Battery

Entrance to the Cold War era Nike Missile Battery.

A Nike anti-aircraft missile site - one of eleven Nike batteries built in the Bay Area during the Cold War, just behind Point Blunt.

The battery had three launching sections, each one with four missile launchers. Nike-Ajax missiles - liquid-fueled missiles carrying TNT warheads - had a range... More

24. Junction

Road to the Point Blunt Light Coast Guard Station.

25. Junction

Drinking water and service road. The old buildings were officers quarters. Quite a few of these structures now house park staff.

26. Junction-Fort McDowell

The road to the right heads down to Fort McDowell (East Garrison). These buildings have been used as both barracks and hospital during Pacific conflicts through WW II. On the way down, adjacent to the road on the lower field is one of the few restrooms on the island.

27. Junction and Picnic Spot

Shady spot and general gathering place. Group picnic area and access down to Fort McDowell. Very attractive old architecture and officer’s quarters.

28. Junction-Fort McDowel

Primary intersection down to Fort McDowell. The Visitor Center is down the side road and self guided tours around the complex of abandoned structures. The beach at this garrison is one of the better ones on the island and is sheltered from most of the weather coming in through the Golden Gate. The water is cold but swimable.

29. Junction-Immigration Station.

Road down to the Immigration Station.

The road down is steep! Kids and older folks should take it slowly. The Immigration Station represents an amazing and rarely told story regarding the policies and treatment of West Coast immigrants early in the 20th Century that had its roots in the mid 1800's.

The station is a work in progress to recreate... More


Pt. Campbell and a view of Tiberon, the San Rafael Bridge, and San Pablo Bay.

31. Junction

Return to the road down to Alaya Cove.

Check the time! Don't miss the last ferries off the island!