Travel Wild West USA

A Rainy Hike on Alcatraz Island

If you live out west, chances are you’ve been to this island before. But for a lot of the country, we’ve never been to explore the most famous prison in the world.

We had two days off in San Jose, California while we were working there, so we decided to rent a car and head to San Fransiscio.

alcatraz island, alcatraz sign

It was a rainy day, and traffic was wild. We had booked a 9:30 boat over to Alcatraz island, planning to spend a few hours there, and then do lunch and explore the city a bit.

Since traffic was so bad, and we left a little later than we meant to, we missed the 9:30 cruise and had to jump on the 11:00am boat instead.

The boat over to Alcatraz was not too bad. They have food and drink-it sort of reminded me of the Staten Island Ferry, but smaller.

The actual island was way bigger than I thought. We were literally hiking at times, but around a prison camp/tiny city.

Inside the main jail, there was an audio tour you could take, and it was a bit erie, as everyone had headphones on and the whole jail was oddly quiet.

solitary, alcatraz solitary

There were a few cells you could actually walk in and out of, and a few people told me I should go and take a photo with flash inside, so that we could see any ghosts.

While we didn’t have any luck with ghosts, it was insane to think about being locked up in that tiny cell all day.

alcatraz, solitary cell, jail

I was glad to have a camera with a flash,  because boy these cells were dark.

Read More about my camera gear.

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There were a lot of nooks and crannies on this island. We found an old workhouse, where the people imprisoned there were put to work. It was empty when we were there, but had a beautiful photo display of the last day the jail was open.

alcatraz, workhouse on alcatraz

The long, empty hall echoed as you walked through it. They even had small cardboard cutouts of guards around the walkways, which could give you a good scare if you weren’t ready for it.

The rest of the island was more of a city; a home for the guards and their families, a dorm room style building for new guards, and a small hiking trail that led down to the water.

outside alcatraz, Alcatraz jailhousealcatraz, alcatraz cliff, alcatraz ruins

The rock walls were really stunning. I’m impressed they were able to build this place, and operate it for as long as they did.


If you’re in, or near San Fran, this historic island is well worth the $30 price tag to visit. Just make sure to bring your umbrella.


With this adventure, I’ve checked off one of my bucket list items; Alcatraz Island is now the furthest west I’ve traveled!

Check out that post.




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