Alcatraz - Accessibility

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3 minutes, 5 seconds

Enjoy volunteer Alex welcoming visitors to Alcatraz and explaining the accessible features of the Island.


Accessible Features

  • Tactile Model of Island and Pier 33
  • Accessible Parking at Pier 33
  • Accessible Restroom Facilities
  • Audio Described Tour
  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Open Captioning
  • Braille Transcript of Cell House Tour
  • Accessible Tram (S.E.A.T)
  • An American Sign Language version of the cell house audio tour is available on an individual hand held digital device. This new tour is free, and requires no reservation. Now Deaf visitors can experience the cell house tour in the same way as hearing and blind visitors, with the ability to skip, repeat, or fast forward through segments of the tour.

Upon Arrival

To visit Alcatraz Island you will need to purchase tickets from Alcatraz Cruises. Visit their at for accessibility information regarding Pier 33 and Alcatraz Cruises. Pier 33 contains accessible parking stalls; upon arrival please show the parking attendant your disabled placard.

You can request Assistive Listening Devices at the ticket booth on Pier 33. Located on Pier 33 is a Tactile Model of Alcatraz Island and Pier 33. While on the boat a safety and introduction video is recorded in American Sign Language. Please direct your attention to the television screens on the boat.

Inside the Park

Once you arrive on the island you will be asked to listen to a short introductory announcement on the dock. The dock contains an accessible restroom facility. To your left you will find the accessible tram (S.E.A.T), which transports visitors with mobility impairments to the Cell House. The distance from the dock to the Cell House which is located at the top of the island is about 1/4 (0.4 km) of a mile and the elevation change is 130 feet (40 meters). This is roughly equivalent to climbing a 13 story building, but spread out over a 1/4 mile. In the Cell house there is an elevator to provide access to the second story. Here you can also request an audio described or Braille transcript of the Cell House tour. The audio described tour includes 12 strategically placed tactile markers and a tactile replica of the bar spreader used in the famous escape. There is an accessible restroom facility located adjacent the Cell House.

If you would like to access the barracks, building 64, before getting onto the S.E.A.T vehicle at the dock, you will need to head uphill approximately 100 feet from the dock to access the entry ramp. This route is extremely steep proceed with caution. Inside the barracks building is a theater, exhibits and a bookstore. The movies are open-captioned and are compatible with our Assistive Listening Devices.

Please be advised that most of the roadways and walking routes throughout the island contain extreme slopes. There is an accessible ramp leading into the New Industries Building. The area in front of the Morgue Building contains heaving concrete and severe changes in level. The route leading to the Check Station is very steep and there is an 8" step to get into the building. The route leading from the Cell House to the Recreation Yard contains approximately 45 stair steps.

The Cell House Audio Tour is available in American Sign Language. Please indicate to a Cell House staff member that you need the American Sign Language version of the tour and they will provide you with a hand held device. The Cell House tour is also available in written format if preferred.

Assistive Listening Devices may be used on all Ranger Led tours; but remember, you will need to request a device at the Pier 33 ticket booth.


Please remember to return your Assistive Listening Devices to the ticket booth at Pier 33. For more info about Alcatraz, click here.

Click on the links below to see what others have to say:

The National Park Service is striving to make your experience as accessible as possible. Please feel free to submit comments and suggestions via email by clicking here or by calling 415-561-4700. Individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf/blind or have speech disabilities may utilize the following Federal Relay Service numbers:

  • (800) 877-8339 Federal Relay Service
  • (877) 877-6280 VCO
  • (877) 877-8982 Speech to Speech
  • (800) 845-6136 Spanish
  • (866) 893-8340 TeleBraille

Last updated: December 10, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022


(415) 561-4700
Pacific West Region Information Center (415) 561-4700 Special Event & Commercial Film Permits (415) 561-4300

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