Alcatraz Island is located 1-1/2 miles offshore from San Francisco, California. The small island has served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and finally, a federal prison.

The penitentiary was closed in March of 1963. Half a century of salt water saturation had severely eroded the buildings, the bay was being polluted by the sewage from the inmates and the Bureau of Prisons families on the island, and it was far more expensive to operate than other prisons.

Beginning on November 20, 1969, a group of Native Americans from many different tribes occupied the island. During the nineteen months and nine days of occupation, several buildings were damaged or destroyed. A number of other buildings were destroyed by the U.S. Government after the occupation had ended.

In 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received landmarking designations in 1976 and 1986. Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The images on this site are spherical panoramas. Once a page has loaded, click and drag on the image to control your viewing direction.

Click here to begin the tour, or you can click on any of the links below to go directly to that section of the tour.

Please note: Some of the spaces shown on this site (citadel, morgue, building 64, lighthouse...) are not accessible to the public at this time because of safety issues. Other areas (new industries building, hospital...) are only accessible on National Park Service guided tours.