Car-Free Camping on Angel Island

After reading the inspiring Post-Car Adventuring Bay Area travel book, we wanted to do one of the adventures outlined in the book.  All of the adventures outlined in the book are very well researched and informative, and we highly recommend that you buy it here. We were so excited to try out one of the trips, but when we got online to reserve a site at Mt. Diablo, we found out that it was entirely booked. In frustration, we ran a search for “Bay Area Camp Sites”, where we found that there were actually campsites available on Angel Island! We booked and started searching for tents on craigslist (we’d only ever gone camping before with more experienced friends). Getting to the island was surprisingly easy – directions and cost breakdown after the jump!

Directions to Angel Island from BART:

  • Disembark BART at the Embarcadero station (since we were coming from downtown Berkeley, this part only takes 22 minutes!).
  • Walk towards the Ferry Building in order to catch the adorable F trolly that runs along the waterfront towards Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • Exit the F trolly at Pier 39 (end of the line)
  • Walk to Pier 41 and buy tickets to Angel Island at the Blue and Gold Ferry kiosk (make sure and mention that you’re camping, as there’s a discount).
  • Enjoy the beautiful cruise to Angel Island (which goes by Alcatraz and makes a stop at Tiburon before the final stop at Angel Island).
  • Hike to your campsite. We highly recommend campsite 4 – stunning views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate bridge and the Bay Bridge. Enjoy the views!

View of Tiburon from Angel Island

And the cost breakdown:

Many of our friends have had a great experience with and highly recommend it for defraying (or eliminating) the costs of little weekend trips like this one!!

Sure, camping without a car takes a little more forethought and planning – but not many other campsites in the world can claim views like this….in such close proximity to urbanity!

Our campsite’s dining room – check out the view of the Golden Gate!

Our bedroom and living room! We got the tent the day before we left on Craigslist, and enjoyed relaxing in the hammock.

Eric enjoying a gourmet picnic dinner, with the San Francisco skyline in the background.
Pretty sailboats in the water between Tiburon and Angel Island.


Do you have any car-free camping recommendations that we should try next?

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4 Responses to Car-Free Camping on Angel Island

  1. I would really like to suggest that you do a piece to the delightful city, Lisbon. It may be useful to your visitors I am certain.

    • Madeline Barker Mai says:

      We would LOVE to do a piece on Portugal’s darling capital. Unfortunately, plane ticket costs, etc. However, if you’ve got some connections…we’d be there in a heartbeat! ;) Obrigada pelo comentário!

  2. Carley says:

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  3. Elyse says:

    Hi! We were thinking of renting a site here too! Thanks for the review. I was looking online and there are many camp sites on the island. Yours looks like a great view, do you mind sharing what site you chose? It looks like there is East Bay, Ridge, or Sunrise view? Thanks for your advice! -Elyse

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