Alcatraz Island Lighthouse
Located at San Francisco California

If you are planning to Visit the Alcatraz Lighthouse
The only way to get to Alcatraz Island is by boat. However, there is a buffer zone around Alcatraz Island where no boats other then only authroized boats can go; so don't try sailing your own boat to Alcatraz. You need to buy tickets for Alcatraz Island. Tickets for an Alcatraz tour sell out quickly so you need to make advance reservations anywhere from one week to one month in advance. To make advance reservations, you may do so at

Driving directions
After crossing the bay bridge into San Francisco take Take the FREMONT ST exit.
Take the FOLSOM ST ramp and Turn LEFT onto FOLSOM ST.
Drive down to PIER 39 at FISHERMAN'S WHARFE There is a parking garage at Pier 39 for a day event you can figure into your budget close to $25.00 parking for the day

While you are in San Francisco, make plans also to visit the Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39.

Just a little Lighthouse History
In 1852, the Gold Rush was well underway, and ship traffic to San Francisco was steadily increasing. Alcatraz Island was a logical place for a lighthouse. On June 1, 1854, the Alcatraz lighthouse began operations, and the Alcatraz light became the first lighthouse in operation on the Pacific Coast.

As buildings on Alcatraz were one by one built, because of the height of the buildings it became difficult to see the original Lighthouse, so in 1909, the original lighthouse was replaced with the 84-foot concrete lighthouse seen today.
The lighthouse keepers lived in a home at its base and climbed the tall tower to clean the lens and keep the oil lamps full.
In 1934, Alcatraz became a federal maximum-security prison.
In 1963, shortly after the federal prison closed, the lighthouse was automated, and the last of the lightkeepers left the Island.

In 1969, a group of Native American Indians attempted to reclaim the land saying that an 1868 federal treaty allowed Native Americans to use all federal territory that the government wasn't actively using. After almost two years of occupation, the government forced them off, but not before some of the historical buildings including the lightkeepers' quarters were destroyed by fire.

Check the weather at Alcatraz Island Lighthouse

As I said, the only way to get to Alcatraz is by boat.

My son MAC, standing on the bow of the boat

Getting a little closer to the Island.

A shot of one of the ruins and the lighthouse.

Some photo's of the Lighthouse on Alcatraz Island



While on Alcatraz Island make plans also to see the prison
you can see photo's of the prison under the "Places of interest" link on our home page