MTB Project Logo

Million-dollar views for less than twenty bucks.

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key







444' 135 m


10' 3 m


731' 223 m


731' 223 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (25°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Unknown

Family Friendly A fun place to explore with shorter rides possible.


Mount Livermore rises 800 feet above the middle of San Francisco Bay and is the summit of Angel Island. Don't visit Angel Island without a bike or without hiking to the summit at least once.

The only way to get around Angel Island, other than organized tours, is on foot or by bike. Bicycles are only allowed on the paved Perimeter Road or on the dirt Fire Road Loop that encircles the island a few hundred feet above the paved road. Only State Park vehicles and tour trams use the paved road.

Most bicyclists stay on the Perimeter Road doing a single loop around the island, while fewer venture up onto the Fire Road Loop. This ride completes a loop on both trails and includes an optional hike to the summit.

Need to Know

Ferries to Angel Island depart from San Francisco ( and Tiburon ( Tiburon is closest with paid parking near the ferry and free parking a few blocks away. Fares are $16-$18 including bike and park entrance. Schedules vary by season with reduced service in the winter. Pay attention to the last ferry departure time.

Avoid busy summer weekends and foggy days if possible. Best times are during fall and spring or warm spells during the winter.


Disembarking at the ferry pier on Ayala Cove, there are restrooms and a small caf directly across the way. A short distance away is the two-story visitor center with picnic grounds. If this is your first visit, you may want to stop in and get oriented. Across the road is the start of the bypass trail that takes you up to the Perimeter Road. This is a wide singletrack that avoids the steep paved driveway.

This ride follows the Perimeter Road counter-clockwise since this is the shortest way to views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. It's not flat. It climbs gradually circling the cove with eventual views over Ayala Cove and across to Point Tiburon. As it turns south, you reach an old dilapidated building that was part of the Civil War-era, Camp Reynolds. The side trail leads down to the parade grounds and garrison. Near the brick building at the end of the parade grounds is a small beach (with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge), a picnic table, and restrooms.

A little further on the Perimeter Road is the first expansive view west to the Golden Gate, Alcatraz Island to the south, and the city beyond. Views abound along the southern stretch of the road as it follows the island contours above the steep shoreline. There's a steep downhill near an old Nike Missile site where a sign says bikes must be walked.

As the road turns north along the eastern shore you encounter another mostly abandoned military installation called Fort McDowell. Another side trail leads to Quarry Beach.

Next stop is the old Immigration Station. Just before reaching the station, the Fire Road Loop starts between two whitewashed buildings - a park maintenance building and a fire station. Follow this road as it climbs steadily to the loop section. This ride follows the loop counter-clockwise. As it circles the north side, the trail is mostly shaded in oak woodland which opens up to shrub and chaparral on the west and south sides. There are views all around from a higher perspective.

About three-quarters of the way around near the southeast corner of the island is the Ida Trailhead for an optional hike to the summit. A bike rack is available for locking bikes. The Ida Trail is the most direct and probably steepest of the summit hiking trails. It's only 3/4-mile and partly paved as it climbs 400-ft. The summit affords a 360-degree view of the entire bay.

After completing the Fire Road Loop, it's about a mile on the Perimeter Road back to Ayala Cove.

History & Background

Angel Island was a U.S. Army base from the late 1800's and old buildings and other remnants are all around. It was called the "Ellis Island of the West" after the Immigration Station was established in the early 1900's. During the Cold War it housed one of the Nike-missile defense sites that ringed San Francisco Bay. The State Park was established in the early 1960's.


Shared By:

Bob Gardner

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 5 votes


  4.0 from 5 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in California


163 Views Last Month
14,052 Since Feb 11, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate



San Francisco Bay from the Fire Road Loop.
Feb 12, 2016 near Tiburon, CA
Abandoned military facilities.
Feb 12, 2016 near Tiburon, CA
Bridge panorama.
Feb 12, 2016 near Tiburon, CA
Fun family outing on the Perimeter Road.
Feb 12, 2016 near Tiburon, CA
Mount Tam and Tiburon from Fire Road Loop.
Feb 12, 2016 near Tiburon, CA
Waiting for last ferry at the Ayala Cove café.
Feb 12, 2016 near Tiburon, CA


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Jul 16, 2023
Baldo Faieta
Jan 2, 2022
James Bishop
Jan 16, 2021
Eric Anderson
Sep 22, 2019
Ryan Pechulis
Amazing trail! The turn for the fire road section can be hard to miss. Go up the service road between the two white buildings. 10.3mi
May 6, 2019
Antonio Macias
Oct 4, 2018
Philip Thorneycroft
Crushed this ride quick on me cx bike. Brought no water but found a great cold spigot halfway up the link from the fire road loop 10.3mi
Sep 1, 2018
Dattatray Patil
Sep 13, 2017
Guy Didier Godat
Simple rides, perimeter road, and fire road. Some stunning views. — 1h 00m

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started