Visitors to Angel Island, one of the land masses poking out of the San Francisco Bay tend to split between hiking geeks and history geeks. The good news for travelers with disabilities is that hiking is not required to enjoy the history and the beauty of Angel Island State Park.
Getting There: Ferries to and from Angel Island leave daily from Pier 41 on Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. The Blue & Gold Fleet ferries are sort of, mostly wheelchair accessible, but it’s best to call ahead to make arrangements for assistance. The Angel Island ferries do have both indoor and outdoor deck seating and restrooms. Only service animals are permitted on board and on Angel Island. (This regulation helps protect indigenous species on the island.)
Read the full Accessible Angel Island story at Oyster Locals…
Though the post was written for Oyster, it covers most of what I’d have to say in a TWP post. I was honestly and pleasantly surprised by the number of options I had when I checked out Angel Island. The Segway tour is ridiculously expensive, but the tram is totally rideable. Just be sure to wear a jacket!
Last weekend the SF Chronicle printed an article by John Flinn about camping on Angel Island. For a perfectly healthy, bluff dude like Mr. Flinn, camping Angel Island in the freezing damp of a San Francisco December might be a fabulous thing to do. For me, not so much.
My system can’t regulate my core temperature properly, which means I can’t stay warm after the sun goes down. Cold triggers my pain. I can’t sleep on the ground or on a 1-inch foam pad, period. I will be too cold and in too much pain. And yes, Mr. Flinn, I’ve got a wool hat, nylon balclava, wool socks, thermal underwear, arctic mummy bag, wool blankets, hot water bottles–all of that, and I’d still be curled in a miserable fetal ball, freezing and awake. Been there, done that, no more thank you very much. I can’t pee into a plastic water bottle without leaving the warmth of my sleeping bag, either.
For those of us with chronic pain and illness who need a warm bed and indoor plumbing, I recommend checking out the hotels in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Also accessible to Angel Island are the chi-chi boutique hotels of Tiburon. You can pretty much fall out of your room in the Waters Edge Hotel and onto an Angel Island ferry.