Visit the Gardens of Alcatraz
Getting to the Island
The island is open to visitors every day year-round except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Although there is not an entrance fee, there is a charge for the ferry service, supplied by a private company under contract to the National Park Service. For additional information on schedules, prices, parking, and to purchase tickets in advance (tickets are made available about 90 days in advance) please visit the Alcatraz Cruises website. Alcatraz frequently sells out, as much as a week in advance, in summer and near holidays.
When to Visit
The best time to visit the Gardens of Alcatraz is from January to September, and especially in the spring. The gardens are open for viewing, however, all year round. The weather can be unpredictable so be prepared for wind, cold, or rain. For more information on the island’s weather, click here.
We offer docent-led tours of the island gardens twice a week on Wednesday and Friday mornings starting at 9:40am. Meet at the Alcatraz dock. Take the first or second ferry departure of the day from Pier 33. The tours lead you through all the restored gardens, including those that are off limits to most visitors—Officers’ Row and the Rose Terrace. We also offer open garden ‘Ask the Gardener’ tours on Wednesday and Friday. Location is posted with the rangers. Bad weather may cancel programs. If you are interested in scheduling a garden tour for your group, send an email to SFritz@ParksConservancy.org.
Download the Self-Guiding Brochure
I finally got him to admit that he didn’t know he was in prison anymore.”Fred Reichel, warden’s secretary, 1934-1941, referring to how inmate Dick Franseen felt about gardening.