The Ridge Sites campground on California’s Angel Island State Park is located in the middle of San Francisco Bay and is home to three walk-in environmental campsites. What makes the Ridge Sites camping area special is the amazing views of the San Francisco skyline (especially at night) and the Golden Gate Bridge. You can even see the Bay Bridge’s new LED light display from the Ridge Sites.
Access to Angel Island is via kayak, private boat, or via ferry from Tiburon in Marin County and San Francisco. The Ridge Sites can be windy at times as they face the Golden Gate and get the full ocean winds. Picnic Tables, vault toilets, food lockers, barbecues, and access to running water are provided. Food locker use is important as there is a large raccoon population on the island.
Angel Island – Ridge Sites Bottom Line
The Ridge Sites, like all of the campsites on Angel Island State Park, offer great scenery, however the Ridge Sites offer one of the only places in the world where you can camp and get iconic views of the one the most recognizable city skylines in the world. The Ridge Sites camping area does not offer much in the way of privacy, however the sites are far enough apart that you still get some sense of seclusion since there only a few other campsites.
The best time to go is in the summer as it is warmer and less likelihood that the fog will block the spectacular views. However, spring and fall also offer good weather and you are more likely to be able to get a reservation with shorter notice. The one thing you need to keep in mind is that camping on Angel Island is a backpacking experience, so please be prepared to carry your camping gear a couple miles up and down hills to your campsite.
Ridge Sites Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||3|
|Fire Rings:||No – Wood fires are not allowed on Angel Island|
|Cell Phone Service:||All Major Carriers|
|Operating Season:||Campground open year round|
|Other:||Restaurant and Cantina located near the harbor.|
|Geo Coordinates:||37.8594264, -122.438893|
|Nearest City/Town:||Tiburon, California|
|Location:||Marin County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||No|
|Proximity to Stores:||1 mile (via ferry) to Tiburon|
|Directions:||Access to the Island is by private boat or public ferry.
From San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda take the Blue & Gold Ferry Service
From Tiburon – Tiburon/Angel Island Ferry Service
|Phone:||415.435.5390||Facebook:||Angel Island State Park Facebook Page|
|Web:||California State Parks||Twitter:||Angel Island Twitter Feed|
|Reservations:||Reserve a Campsite Now|
When To Go
Summer temperatures – Highs: 70’s and 80’s; Lows: 50’s. Winter temperatures – Highs: 50’s and 60’s; Lows: 30’s and 40’s.
What To Do
For being such a small island there is suprisingly a lot to do on Angel Island. One of the more popular activities is hiking the many trails on the island. One of my favorite activities however, is hiking to the small cantina near the doc in the main harbor and relaxing on their patio and enjoying a few cold ones.
Prior to the arrival of pioneers and settlers to the bay area, Angel Island was used by the Coastal Miwok Indians for hunting and fishing. Later on it was used by Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala, and more recently as a cattle ranch and a U.S. Army post.
Angel Island served as as a processing station for of Chinese and Asian immigrants from 1910 to 1940 and was later used to house German and Japanese POWs during World War II. Nike missiles were stationed on the island during the Cold War.
Angel Island became a State Park in 1954.
Image Credits: Kai Schreiber