Are you interested in spending your vacations once more camping? Then this article will definitely interest you. San Francisco is one of the most popular places for camping holidays and for very good reasons. It’s a beautiful city with many attractions, yet it is also surrounded by nature and mountains where campers can get away from the busy streets whenever they want. Therefore it’s no surprise that there are more than a few camping areas nearby San Francisco to choose from.
In this post, I will highlight the 12 best campgrounds near San Francisco and provide you with all the necessary information. Read on!
1. Rob Hill Campground
My first pick for best campgrounds near San Francisco is Rob Hill Campground in San Francisco. It sits on a place called “the Presidio,” which is a historical landmark and provides an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Bridge. And since it is quite secluded, it’s the perfect place to spend some time alone with nature.
The campground has two large group sites that can accommodate 30 people each and have access to amenities such as flushable toilets and hot showers. A reservation is required to use the group campsites due to their popularity. Unfortunately, the campground does not allow trailers or RVs due to the winding roads in the area.
The best thing about this place has got to be that it’s in San Francisco. You feel like you’re really getting away when you go camping here because it’s surrounded by nature yet close to all of the great city adventures. It’s like two awesome experiences for the price of one, and it’s a place I highly recommend to others.
2. Kirby Cove Campground
Another great camping area in San Francisco is Kirby Cove Campground, which is operated by the National Park Service. This campground is perfect for those who want to take a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. The campground is located along a cove of the northern side of the Marin Headlands, which has been part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1972.
The Kirby Cove Campground has five hike-in campsites available for campers with vehicles to drive in. Each campsite can accommodate ten people and three vehicles. However, there are no potable water stations available here. Therefore, you should bring enough water and supplies for your stay since there are no services nearby.
Kirby Cove Campground also features a nice little hike called the Kirby Cove Trail. The trail can be accessed near the end of the parking lot and leads to a lookout point at the top of a hill, which provides a great view. And if you are planning on bringing your RV, I recommend doing some research about where hook-ups are located beforehand, so nothing feels wasted when setting up camp.
I would recommend Kirby Cove if you are looking for a secluded weekend away from the city without having to travel too far.
3. Big Basin Redwoods State Park
This park is one of the oldest State Parks in California and offers campsites surrounded by towering Redwood trees. Inside the park, you can find four campgrounds with amenities ranging from flushing toilets and hot showers to running water and electricity. In total, this area has 146 campsites, which are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. So you’ll want to arrive in the early morning to ensure that you get a campsite.
Since this is California’s oldest state park, all trees here are absolutely massive. The redwoods just tower overhead, making it feel like you’re in a whole different world. Plus, the drive through the park itself is beautiful. It’s a great place to go camping if you want a rustic experience and don’t mind roughing it a bit.
My favorite part about Big Basin Redwoods State Park was how close it was to civilization but still felt remote from everything else that was going on around. With its natural beauty and multiple waterfalls, it’s a great place to go if you like to be active even while camping. It adds some fun but still takes you back to nature, and that makes it one of the best campgrounds near San Francisco.
4. Francis Beach Campground
Francis Beach Campground is located in Half Moon Bay City on the Pacific Ocean, which enables it to provide amazing views of the ocean. The campground contains 52 campsites with coin-operated hot showers and flushable toilets. Although there are no hook-ups or tent sites at Francis Beach, RVs are allowed along with trailers.
The campground has several different types of sites that can accommodate any size party, such as individual and group campsites. Campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to arrive early. And while there are no fire rings or grills at the campsites, you can gather around the community fire pit for an evening of stories and laughs.
My favorite part about this place is the view. Just walking down the hill to the beach and looking out at the ocean is breathtaking. And this makes it one of the best campgrounds near San Francisco to everyone because it really is a unique experience. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway and is close to many other attractions and cities.
5. Lake Del Valle Family Campground
My next pick for the best camping ground near San Francisco is one of my personal favorites, Lake Del Valle Family Campground. It offers great family-friendly camping opportunities in the Livermore area with a variety of accommodations for everyone at your party. You can choose from tent camping, trailer camping, RV camping, and group campsites to fit your needs.
With its 150 campsites (some of which directly hook up to water and sewage), this is easily one of the most popular places to camp out near the city. With so many options available on such a beautiful piece of property, you might have some tough decisions as to what activity you want to partake in first. This is because this place has it all: a lake, kayaking and tubing opportunities, great fishing, and tons of hiking trails. What else could you ask for?
This place is great if you want to get away from it all and have some time to spend at a lakeside retreat. Lake Del Valle itself is a great place to catch some sun and enjoy a day on the water. In addition, there are biking trails surrounding the lake for those who want to take a trip by bike or foot. Plus, there is also a marina that offers boat rentals and fishing supplies.
All in all, Lake Del Valle is a great camping destination with lots of things to do for the entire family. Whether you are looking to build sandcastles or go bass fishing for the day, you can certainly enjoy your time at Lake Del Valle.
6. Haypress Campground
Although it is not quite as well known, Haypress Campground is another great choice for camping near San Francisco. It resides in Verdant Tennessee Valley, making it an excellent choice for those wanting to feel one with nature. Best of all is that it is free to camp here. But you’ll need to reserve a spot in advance.
This campground has a total of five hike-in campsites that are perfect for a weekend trip with a few friends. And to reach the campsite, you will need to take an easy three-quarters-of-a-mile hike from the parking area. Each campsite can accommodate up to four tents comfortably, with easy access to vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings.
In addition, you can also decide to take a three-mile hike to Hawk Campground, which is also located in Tennessee Valley. It features three additional hike-in campsites which can accommodate four tents.
The Haypress Campground is a great place to camp if you want to get away from the sights and sounds of civilization for a couple of days. It is less busy than other campgrounds near San Francisco, but still provides that great outdoors camping experience. And if you are looking to go on a hike or horseback ride, this is also an excellent spot to do that.
7. Anthony Chabot Family Campground
This list of best campgrounds near San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Anthony Chabot Family Campground. It’s located in Oakland, which is 45 minutes from San Francisco.
The campground has a total of 53 standard campsites with access to hot showers and flushable toilets. There are also 12 RV sites at this campground, which is a nice option for those who don’t want to share their space with an RV. This makes it a great family campground that can accommodate nearly any size party.
This campground is also close to many things to do outdoors, such as hiking trails and biking paths. And one of the most popular trails is Honker Bay Trail which leads you to Lake Chabot. The great thing about this place is that it has a boat launch so you can bring your boat and enjoy fishing.
A trip to Anthony Chabot Family Campground is fantastic for those who want a quick weekend getaway without having to drive very far. And it’s super easy to access, so you don’t have to worry about missing work or school.
8. Portola Redwoods Campground
Another fantastic camping spot near San Francisco is the Portola Redwoods Campground in Portola Redwoods State Park. It provides a secluded atmosphere for anyone who wants to get away from the bustle of the city.
The park offers 55 campsites with access to flush toilets, coin-operated showers, and potable water throughout the campground. RVs and trailers are welcome at this site, but no hook-ups are available. Unlike most other campgrounds on my list, fire rings can be found at some sites here, so you can roast marshmallows if desired.
Although there aren’t any group sites available for large parties, there are several tent sites that can accommodate them. In addition, there’s plenty to explore with hiking trails leading through redwood trees and waterfalls throughout the park.
What I like about this place is how family-friendly it is. Whether you’re looking for a place to go with your spouse or kids, this is a great option. It’s not very crowded, and I found the campsites to be clean and well maintained as well as easy to access. This makes it one of the best campgrounds near San Francisco for anyone looking for a family-friendly trip.
9. Coast Camp, Point Reyes National Seashore
Coast Camp is probably the most popular camping destination near San Francisco with its pristine beaches and amazing views. It is located inside the Point Reyes National Seashore, which is just about an hour’s drive from San Francisco,
There are four hike-in campgrounds with access to water faucets and vault toilets. These campsites provide a more rustic experience and require that visitors carry in their own supplier. In addition, shelters are available for large groups camping trips. Unfortunately, no RVs or trailers are allowed.
One of the things I loved about my stay at Point Reyes is that it seemed like one of the most serene places on Earth. There were only a couple of people staying in the campground while I was there, which allowed me to enjoy the peacefulness of Point Reyes.
The campsites tend to fill up during weekends, so advanced reservations are highly recommended, especially during the summer months. There are seven different campgrounds available at Point Reyes.
All in all, this is one of my favorite campgrounds near San Francisco because perfect for a quick weekend trip outside of the city. It’s only an hour away. So you can easily make the drive if you so desire.
10. Back Ranch Meadows Campground
My next favorite camping spot in San Francisco is the Back Ranch Meadows Campground in China Camp State Park. It might just be my new favorite camping area around the city since it has all of the necessities you need out in the wilderness while offering a more secluded feel.
The park offers 33 campsites with access to flush toilets, coin-operated showers, and potable water throughout the campground. You can also be provided with a wheelbarrow to bring your belongings from the parking lot to the campsites. Reservations are not required at China Camp, but they are very hard to come by during the weekends since the campsites do fill up quickly.
One of the most interesting sites available at China Camp State Park is the China Camp Village, located within walking distance from the campground. This historical concession town once housed Chinese fishermen who lived and worked here. Also within the park is China Camp Beach, which is a great place to surf and relax on the sand with family and friends.
If you are looking to get away from it all without having to drive too far, Back Ranch Meadows Campground is a great choice for you. It’s well worth spending some time exploring this off-the-beaten-path destination.
11. Bicentennial Campground
Another of the best campgrounds near San Francisco is Bicentennial Campground, which can be found at Marin Headlands. In addition to being a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, it offers plenty of activities for people who love spending time outdoors.
Bicentennial Campground provides a total of three campsites with access to flush toilets, picnic tables, showers, food storage lockers, and potable water. Each site is within a short walk from the campground’s parking lot, which makes for easy trips back and forth from your car.
This camping area was my favorite because it has many things to do close by, such as hikes and exploring the Cypress tree groves forest. And it’s the perfect distance to get away from all of the hustle and bustle, but still, be able to come back whenever you want. Plus, the isolated location of this place is great because it isn’t commercialized, so you get more of a natural experience.
12. Angel Island Environmental Campsites
Angel Island Environmental Campsites are located on Angel Island State Park. The only way to get to Angel Island is by ferry or private boat, and reservations at the campsites can be made online. Tourists coming to this park can explore some of the most beautiful views that Northern California has to offer.
There are three campsites on the island, and each campsite is equipped with a fire ring, vault toilet, and access to water. And because these sites are only accessible by boat, they are limited to people who come over on organized outings such as school trips or company retreats. This means that you won’t have to worry about anyone interfering with your quiet getaway.
Angel Island State Park also features a small beach, making it a great place to go swimming, fishing, and even kayaking. The best part of staying at the campgrounds here is waking up early in the morning and catching the unobstructed view of San Francisco Bay that can be seen from the island.
Angel Island State Park is a great destination if you want to feel what it’s like to live in harmony with nature. Once you get there, it’s like you’re in your world and far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I enjoyed my stay here and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great camping experience.
If you are looking for some ideas of the best campgrounds near San Francisco, I highly recommend checking out one of these campgrounds. They all offer unique experiences that can’t be had anywhere else. And they’re a great opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors without having to travel too far from home. Finally, pack accordingly when going on a camping trip since it gets chilly at night, even in the summer. Also, check the weather before you go out just to be on the safe side. As long as you’re prepared for overnight conditions, camping is always fun.