|FIELD TRIP: The history of Alcatraz--The Rock-- includes a Civil War fortress, federal prison, bird sanctuary, first lighthouse on the West Coast, and the birthplace of the American Indian Red Power movement. Visiting Alcatraz is a self guided experience which you can do at your own pace. Park Service staff offer free programs throughout the day on a variety of topics: escapes, military history, American Indian occupation, natural history, etc.|
Once on the island you can stay as long or as short as you wish - there is a ferry departing about every half hour and you can return to San Francisco on any ferry. The group leader will let you know which ferry she will be taking back.
There are numerous videos and exhibits on the island, as well as a complimentary cell house audio tour which covers the penitentiary era (1934 - 1963). On arriving at the Alcatraz dock, you will be greeted by a park ranger who will give you a brief orientation including information on any special activities available that day.
The weather on Alcatraz can be some what unpredictable and can change quickly - it may be warm and sunny in the city and very windy and cool on the island. Summer days can sometimes be as cool as winter due to thick fog and strong winds. We recommend dressing in layers.
There is no food service available on the island - only water is available on site. Eating, drinking and smoking are only allowed at the dock level. (Alcatraz Island information courtesy of the National Park Service) .