Alcatraz Island National Historic Landmark


Contact Information:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Fort Mason, Building 201 - Alcatraz
San Francisco, CA 94123
Visitor Information
(415) 561-4900 
(415) 705-5555

Additional Information:
Official Park Page

Need a place to stay?
California Lodging

Alcatraz Island: Maximum Security
Alcatraz: A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years
Eyewitness on Alcatraz: Escapes Prisoners And Families On The Rock
Alcatraz Prison in American History
Battle at Alcatraz: A Desperate Attempt to Escape the Rock


Alcatraz IslandOut in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, the island of Alcatraz is a world unto itself. Isolation, one of the constants of island life for any inhabitant - soldier, guard, prisoner, bird or plant - is a recurrent theme in the unfolding history of Alcatraz. Alcatraz Island is one of Golden Gate National Recreation Area's most popular destinations, offering a close-up look at a historic and infamous federal prison  where hardened criminals like Al Capone and the Anglin brothers once lived.

Visitors to the island can not only explore the remnants of the prison, but learn about the Native American occupation of 1969 - 1971, early military fortifications and the West Coast's first (and oldest operating) lighthouse. The island features many natural features as well - gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare.

Outdoor interpretive walks are offered throughout the day by NPS rangers and volunteers. You can also enjoy the history of Alcatraz at your own pace with a self-guided tour (map and written guide available at the dock). Attend a 14-minute video presentation of the Island's 200 year history - an excellent introduction to Alcatraz. Several exhibits present the various periods of Alcatraz's history, including the U.S. penitentiary (1934-1963). The Cellhouse recorded tour allows you to join former Alcatraz inmates and correctional officers as they remember life on Alcatraz in this award winning 35-minute recorded tour.

Getting There:
Blue and Gold Fleet is the only concession that supplies transportation to Alcatraz Island. Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended.