Escape with SMOG! Alcatraz Swim

SMOG alcatraz photo 1.jpg
SMOG alcatraz photo 1.jpg

Escape with SMOG! Alcatraz Swim

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Alcatraz Course Map

Alcatraz Course Map

Saturday Oct 5th

San Francisco, CA

Come join us for the ultimate Bay Area open water swim! This event is not a race, just a friendly SMOG community swim in an exciting, safe, and comfortable environment. Join the Swim Mechanic, Bryan Mineo, and SMOG SF leader, Megan Tobin for an exciting and unique adventure. It is a great opportunity for those training for similar events, including the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, or people who just want an unforgettable, world famous swimming experience! 


  • Approximately 2 mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. 

  • This swim is for relatively strong swimmers. You should be able to do this distance in a pool (140 lengths of a 25 yard pool) or during our regular group open water swims without stopping. 

  • Price: $225

  • In addition to the swim itself, registration includes an event t-shirt and a swim cap.

SPACE IS LIMITED. Register today!

Check in time is 7 am at Aquatic Park, with an estimated 8 am jump. This is an approximate check-in time, but swimmers will receive an email prior to the event with finalized details.

The swim can last between 30 minutes and an hour-and-a-half depending on your level of comfort, ability, and the conditions. You will be well supported with experienced support crew nearby on kayaks or paddleboards. 

During the swim, we’ll take a boat(s) to just off the southeast side of Alcatraz Island and jump in to start our swim. Swimmers aim south towards San Francisco and get pushed west with the current, ending at the beach in front of the St. Francis Yacht Club. 

Do I need to wear a wetsuit?

Wetsuits are not required, but around 90% of swimmers choose to wear them for Alcatraz swims. Water temperatures for Alcatraz swims are usually in the mid-50’s to mid-60’s. For comparison, pools used for competitive swimming are between 77 and 82 degrees (Fahrenheit).

What should I bring?

We recommend that you bring the following to your Alcatraz swim with SMOG:

  • Swimsuit/Wetsuit

  • Goggles

  • Towel

  • Warm clothes, food, and water for afterwards

  • Ear plugs (optional)

You’ll receive a brightly colored SMOG swim cap for the crossing!

 BEFORE the swim:

  • arrive well-rested, well-hydrated, and well-fed

  • do light stretches and warm up your shoulders

  • stay warm

  • be familiar with the swim route and landmarks for sighting

  • be mentally prepared

DURING the swim:

  • jump from the boat quickly and begin swimming immediately when instructed to begin

  • follow the directions carefully

  • swim quickly across the current at the beginning of the swim

  • only make the right turn once you have crossed most of the current (many swimmers will never really turn, as they will be pushed west in the current)

  • when swimming parallel to shore, stay at least 200 yards from the shore

  • take long, smooth strokes

  • use an efficient pull

  • sight frequently

  • breathe frequently

  • minimize stopping

  • be confident and determined

  • NOTE: swimmers who are too far off the course will need to be picked up by a boat and repositioned for safety.