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Visiting the Island

View of Ayala Cove from Visitor CenterVisitors can hike the foot trails and fire roads that circle the island and climb to the 788-foot high summit of Mount Caroline Livermore.

The water at Perle's Beach is considerably rougher, and the beach is more exposed to wind and weather. The view, however, is spectacular, and Perle's Beach is a delightful place for walking and general beachcombing. There are no lifeguards, and swimming can be hazardous because of the very strong currents that run past the island with each change of tide.

Beaches at the Island

The beaches at Quarry Point and Ayala Cove are both sandy and protected from the afternoon breezes that so often blow in from the ocean through the Golden Gate. Quarry Beach is especially pleasant for sunbathing. There are no lifeguards, and swimming can be hazardous because of the very strong currents that run past the island with each change of tide. The water at Perle's Beach is considerably rougher, and the beach is more exposed to wind and weather. The view, however, is spectacular, and Perle's Beach is a delightful place for walking and general beachcombing.

Hiking Trails

Foot trails and fire roads circle the entire island, and climb to the 788-foot-high summit of Mount Caroline Livermore. Special caution should be used around the historic buildings, and in the vicinity of the bluffs, which tend to erode easily, and provide unreliable footing. The main trails are well marked, and are designed to avoid most hazards, including the poison oak that is native to the region. Bicycles can be used on the island-circling system of main roads, and can be brought to the island on the ferryboats. Foot trails and the road to Mount Livermore are closed to bicycles for safety and resource protection. A concessionaire operates a snack bar, bike rentals, and limited tram service during the summer, and by special arrangement during the rest of the year.