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Name: Alcatraz Island Light   Map it!

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Nearest Town or City:
San Francisco, California, United States

Location: Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, about 3 miles east of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Click to enlarge: Photo    Large photo
Photo: Lighthouse Digest archives

Managing Organization:
Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Telephone: 415-705-1042


Contact Address Information:
Fort Mason, Building 201
San Francisco
California, 94123, United States

Alcatraz Island was the site of the west coast's first lighthouse. The present lighthouse is adjacent to a former fort and prison.

Tower Height: 84

Height of Focal Plane: 214

Characteristic and Range: White flash every 5 seconds.

Description of Tower: Reinforced concrete octagonal/pyramidal tower with masonry foundation.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1909 storage building. 1909 keeper's quarters destroyed by fire in 1970.

Earlier Towers?
1854: Cape Cod style dwelling with brick tower in center. 1909: Lighthouse was torn down to make room for maximum security prison.

Date Established: 1854 (6/1/1854)

Date Present Tower Built: 1909

Date Automated: 1963

Optics: 1854: Third order Fresnel lens; 1902: Fourth order Fresnel lens.

Fog Signal: Originally bell; now electric Klaxon automated fog signal.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation, in National Park.

Open To Public? Grounds only.

There is a visitor center on the island.

Tours to Alcatraz Island leave Pier 41 at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Phone (415) 705-5555 or (415) 773-1188, or see for prices and schedules. An audio tour is available.

Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: Michael Gafsin (Cafsin ?) (1854-1855), John Sloan (1855-1860), Jacob Lerner (1860-?), B.F. Leeds (c. 1906).

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