Camping Angel Island
Last year we went to Angel Island with our friends Lauren and Danny. We spent the day picnicking, throwing the football and hiking. Unfortunately our lovely day-trip was cut short as we had to catch the last ferry back to San Francisco. Ever since then, Garner and I have been wanting to go back and camp! That way we wouldn't be rushed and would have lots of time to explore.
After months of waiting for a spot to open up (California camping spots book up months/years in advance), I finally secured one night - Friday the 13th.
We took the ferry over to Angel Island which is located in the Bay. It's larger than Alcatraz with a 6-mile loop around. The Island is best known as the "Ellis Island of the West" as it was the main immigration station for Asians coming to America. It has also served as a US Public Health Service Quarantine Station and a discharge station for troops during the Spanish/American War and World War I. You can tour the barracks and the immigration stations as the Island is now considered a National Historic Landmark, as well as a State Park.
Once we arrived on Friday the 13th of April, we hiked two miles uphill to our campsite. I definitely recommend packing only the essentials (or bringing a strong husband :) ) as this was tough to do with large backpacks and loads of gear.
We roamed the island with not a single person in sight... There are only 10 campsites on the large island so it feels very private after the day-trippers leave on the last ferry. Garner and I felt like we were alone with the beautiful 360-views of the Bay (romantic but also kind of scary).
Post hike, we sat down to a nice view and a campfire dinner. There are actually no real fires allowed, so we brought a propane stove with a cooking kit (this is a life-saver!) and made sausage wraps for dinner and hot cocoa for dessert.
Surprisingly we slept well, despite the hundreds of raccoons on the island (I know, what!). We woke up early and were able to drink tea, read our books and relax before hauling our gear to the docks. There are only three ferries per day, which are fairly spread out, so you have to pay close attention to the schedule. We headed out around noon and sailed back to reality....
It was truly an incredible two days and we'd recommend this to anyone in the Bay Area who likes to explore AND has the patience to wait for an available weekend.