Do this. “Hike in” means a paved lot with wheelbarrows to help you get your gear to your site which is less than a mile.
Yes these can be hard to get but the new “rolling reservation “ means dates are released 6months to the day not a whole month at a time. Be flexible and you can get a site. We have also stayed in the cabins which are a fantasy experience but the tent sites are cheaper and easier to get.
Tent sites have raccoons and are $25/night Cabins have mice and are $100/night
Site 2 is on the edge of the world. Several trees had been chopped down and there was little shelter but an unbelievable view! We camped for two nights in November and it was sunny and chilly.
Raccoons are abundant and brazen. They got into my lock top storage container but didn’t even try the flimsy food locker. Our bandit made off with a loaf of bread and the marshmallows.
Other tips: Site 1 is very exposed. Site 2 is ample for two tents if needed Site 3 ample for two tents with just a cedar fence between site 2 and 3 Site 4 is tucked down on the hillside with a great view south.
Beach access is via larger boulders. Have good shoes.
Firewood is available onsite for $7. Clean outhouse near tent sites. Clean bathrooms near parking lot- no soap or showers.
I've been here two times and enjoyed it each time. The bathrooms are clean. There is running water and a small beach access for campers (if you're willing to climb over some rocks). I recommend going in August when there is less wind. July can still be very windy, some nights were calm and some were not.
You can surf, go hiking, or fishing. To hike towards Stinson Beach or Dipsea Trail - head back up to the gate entrance and walk across the street. There is a hidden hiking trail entrance called Rocky Point on the right side where you can begin your hike from.
Only one parking space per vehicle & if you need ADA access they have one for the cabins and environmental site #7 is wheelchair accessible. 5 people max per campsite, although it says 8 online.
I recommend environmental site #5 if you want more privacy and a closer ocean view from your campsite.
Beware of raccoons. Make sure to clean your site after every meal and store your items well. I wouldn't depend on the storage they have for you on site to keep raccoons out (even with a lock).
P.S. Call them beforehand for the gate code before leaving. You'll need it to enter the premises.
Finally got lucky and got a semi weekend reservation in Cabin 5. Bring something to hang over windows if you need privacy. Wood is for sale to heat up the cabin in the wood burning stove which you need especially during the colder months. Other than that the cabin is basic. It had the main area with the stove and there is 1 single platform there for a shorter adult to sleep. A tiny room with 1 single platform for a kid to sleep (it’s short). And then a bedroom with a single platform for a shorter adult and a double platform for shorter adults. Tall people beware. You can probably get by sleeping diagonal or with your feet hanging off.
Views are epic and you can walk down past the cabins in front of you and down to the beach mostly during low tide. The windows in the main part of the cabin open up to let air in. Lots of flies too.
Make sure you get a gate code to get in and a cabin code to unlock your door.
They have wheelbarrows to haul your stuff to and from your cabin
Awesome, but hard to get to if you dont have the gate code
Extremely hard to get a reservation. Can get very windy! Georgeous spot to pitch your tent on the ocean cliffs. Unique and wonderful place to camp. Lots of space between you and other campers. Wear layers of clothing. Can't beat the view!
If you want to escape the city, this is the place to go. Just a short drive from San Francisco lies Steep Ravine campground at the southern end of Stinson Beach. The campsite sits right on the Pacific Ocean and offers some of the best sunsets imaginable. And being so close to SF you'd be surprised at how many stars appear at night.
The campsites are set up well, you'd never know other people were nearby. The only sounds you hear at night are some frogs chirping and the waves crashing below.
The campground also has its own beach to explore.
Incredible views, hiking, and hot springs, BUT:
bring layers of functional clothes since the weather on the coast of the SF bay can be anything from roasting to foggy frigid cold during the day and night year round. Don't just look at weather online and go.
Be ready to ACTUALLY camp, not just clamping drive in, unless you have one of the cabins. Many people have less than stellar experiences due to being underprepared.
The best views of the Bay Area are no doubt from Mt Tam. So much great hiking in this area.
The entire Mount Tamalpais watershed is within 30 minutes drive from this location. The hiking trails that join from the coast all the way to Mill Valley and central Marin are walking distance from this site. Be warned though, the hiking is steep, really good hiking but bring good shoes and be sure that you are physically ready for a hard workout!