Alcatraz Island reopened Monday morning for limited tours by reservation, after being closed since the statewide lockdown began in December, and after only being open for about three months in total since the pandemic began.
The outdoor areas of the island are opening generally to the public — though visits to the island will require reserved spaces on limited-capacity ferries. These areas include Eagle Plaza, Sally Port, the Recreation Yard and the historic gardens. Access to the Cell House will require signing up for the Cell House audio tour.
There's also a new exhibit in the New Industries Building commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Alcatraz Occupation by Indians of All Tribes.
"It is my pleasure to begin welcoming visitors back to Alcatraz Island," said Laura E. Joss, general superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), in a statement. "We have been working closely with our public health partners to align our operations with local guidance and provide access to the island for the first time this year. We expect everyone to follow CDC guidance, wear a mask, and give each other space to safely enjoy their experience at this iconic site."
Alcatraz closed last March as Bay Area-wide lockdowns began and then didn't reopen to the public until August. The island then shut down again in early December, and had remained closed since then.
Alcatraz typically sees 1.4 million people in a normal year, and it will now be accepting only 25% of its usual capacity of visitors at a time.
Tours are all self-guided for now, and the GGNRA says that guided tours and ranger talks will resume "at a later date."
As KPIX reports, food service will not be available on the Alcatraz ferries and food is prohibited on the island, so make sure to eat before you go.
The first ferry of the day leaves Pier 33 at 10 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and the last ferry leaves Alcatraz at 5:40 p.m. on those days. Tuesday to Thursday the first ferry is at 2 p.m., and the last ferry leaves at 7:40 p.m. Adult tickets are $41, and children are $25, and a family pack — two adult and two child tickets — is $119.60.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images