This is an ada compliant walkup campground situated near the top of Mount Tamalpais. Featuring 13 sites ranging from standard campground style to a few more secluded areas. As a first come first serve campground and camping in the middle of a gale storm we had our pic of sites and explored the entire campground. I picked a site more secluded from the rest. While there is some road noise from below it does give some of the feel of a back country trip with none of the hassle. There is a ranger station with maps and selling firewood. Stinson beach is a 3 mile hike away or a short drive down the mountain if you are in need of more supplies.
The Pantoll campground is up on Mount Tam which rises up above San Francisco. I came from the north and wound my way through the incredibly Marin countryside before heading up Tam. Take care on the drive up to Pantoll, no matter which way you come at it the road is steep and winding. I'm not sure I would want to drive up or down in the dark because the road has so many sharp curves, you wouldn't be able to see the magnificent views if you were traveling in the dark either.
There are just a handful of campsites on the hill above the Pantoll Visitors Center. Campers must park in the lot by the visitors center and then carry their belongings up the hill to their site. There are several sites within a few hundred feet of the parking lot and toilets while others are much further up the hill. Each site is equipped with a fire pit, a grill, picnic table, and small food locker (not animal proof). The lower sites are pretty close together so you will certainly hear your neighbors and hikers passing by. I enjoyed that wifi was available as are flush toilets and an outdoor sink for washing dishes.
It was also SO windy the night I was there and the ground wasn't ideal for staking a tent.
100% take a drive or hike up to the summit and admire the views of San Francisco, Marin, and the bridges. There's lots of good hiking, mountain biking, and road biking. If you happen to be there on a weekend morning, you will encounter lots of locals out for a hike or ride.
Basic camping sites. Very popular during the summer, so get there early to get a spot or you will have to go to another campground along the road. Also bring cash for camping/parking fees.
The real draw here is to hike down to Muir Woods. And I mean down to Muir Woods. Save your energy for the hike back up. Absolutely worth it, though, for the gorgeous views.
It is a great camping spot other then a frequented road being so close causing a lot of highway sounds. But the fire pits are wicked stone grills and would be a lot of fun to cook on. But do not give off the classic camp vibe.
This is the only first come first campground around as far as I know. Sites are spacious and include grills and fire pits. I hear some of them have really nice views but we wanted to be near the parking lot so that worked for us. It was really windy but up above in the trees so our tent wasn't blowing away.
We passed through this area while doing a hike that started from the campground and I wish I could go back there right away. First off the campground is really nice and has an organized check in building with a separate bathroom facility. We didn't see any showers but there are flush toilets and sinks. The sites are nice size and level but the downside is they are pretty close together and right next to the parking area so there isn't much privacy. I liked how the campground was tent only so it wouldn't be overrun with RVs. Overall it isn't the best camping I have ever been to but the hikes make it worth it.
Now, the important part of the review. If you stay at this campground make sure to go down the Steep Ravine trail through the redwoods. It is one of the most amazing hikes I have ever done. We were constantly stopping to take pictures and check out all the trees and you can make it a great loop by starting on the Matt Davis trail then coming back up Steep Ravine. Either way make sure to explore the hikes in the area and I would even suggest taking several days to check them out.