Located to the south of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, Red Rock Island is situated right on the dividing line between San Francisco and San Pablo bays. Its unique location means that the only way to access it is by air or water, making property viewings quite an adventure.


The history of Red Rock Island is as fascinating as its landscape. It was first claimed by Selim E. Woodworth, a former state senator, in the 19th century. Woodworth built a cabin on the island and maintained a hunting preserve. The island was initially known as “Molate Island” due to its shape resembling a conical stone used by painters to grind colors, called “moleta” in Spanish.

After Woodworth’s ownership, the island served as a mining location for manganese, a valuable metal used in steel and aluminum production. In the 1920s, Red Rock Island was privately purchased, passing through various owners over the years. Finally, in 1964, it landed in the hands of San Francisco attorney and part-time real estate buyer David Glickman, who acquired the island for $49,500.

In 1964, grand plans were conceived for Red Rock Island, including the idea of transforming it into a 10-story hotel and casino with a yacht harbor on the north side. Water and power were planned to be supplied via lines connected to the San Rafael Bridge, and the removed part of the terrain was intended to be sold for highway roadbed construction. However, these ambitious plans never came to fruition, and the island remained uninhabited.

In 2001, the California Department of Fish and Game was offered the opportunity to buy the island, but they declined. Interestingly, in 1985, a ‘sex guru’ spiritual leader named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh attempted to purchase the island to expand his Oregon commune but was unable to complete the sale after his commune collapsed.

Over the years, Red Rock Island has been put on the market multiple times. In 2007, Glickman announced that the island was for sale for $10 million, and it was listed again in early 2012 for $5 million. Now, in 2023, Brock Durning, who inherited the island from his father, has placed it on the market for $25 million and listed it for the first time on a multiple listing service, allowing brokers to see other agents’ listings.

Viewings for the island are available by appointment only, and Red Rock’s listing agent, Chris Lim, has various adventurous options for potential buyers. You can access the island by chartered yacht, boat, seaplane, helicopter, Jet Ski, kayak, or even paragliding. The breathtaking views of San Francisco, Belvedere, the Oakland hills, and the Bay Bridge are sure to captivate anyone who visits.

Lim, who spent an entire day on the island to truly understand its unique charm, is eager to find a prospective buyer who appreciates the island’s exceptionally rare nature, whether for conservation or potential development.

While Red Rock Island may lack some of the conveniences of modern living, it offers an unparalleled opportunity to create your private paradise in one of the most stunning locations in San Francisco Bay. With its rich history, breathtaking views, and unique character, this island is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those seeking the ultimate retreat.


In the world of real estate, private islands come in various forms and price ranges. For example, an entire island with a lighthouse and a one-room home in Maine was recently sold for just $400,000, despite the absence of bathrooms or running water. On the higher end of the private island spectrum, a Florida mansion worth $218 million offered 11 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, and an array of luxurious amenities.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, a private island off the coast of Scotland was listed for a modest $187,000. However, potential buyers interested in turning it into their home would need to inquire about planning permission, as there are currently no buildings on the land.

In a world where privacy and exclusivity are highly valued, Red Rock Island stands as a unique opportunity for those with the vision and means to turn it into their personal haven. While it may lack some of the comforts of modern life, the island’s natural beauty and potential for development make it a truly one-of-a-kind property in the San Francisco Bay area. So, if you’re seeking an adventure and the chance to create your private paradise, Red Rock Island awaits.

By AdminNN

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