From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers visitors over 1000 species of plants and animals to discover. Bordered by the San Andreas Fault, home to several cultures over thousands of years, the Seashore preserves a tapestry of stories and interactions of people and is a great place for camping near San Fransisco. Point Reyes awaits your exploration.
Five campgrounds/loops are available for reservations - four hike-in/bike-in campground/loops and one boat-in loop along Tomales Bay. There is NO car or RV camping at Point Reyes National Seashore
For more information, visit the Back Country Camping page on the Point Reyes National Seashore website.
Activities include hiking, limited bike riding along the borders of the Philip Burton Wilderness, bird watching, and beach walking. In the winter season whale watching and northern elephant seal populations may be viewed (though not in the backpacking or boat-in areas).
Camping facilities at Point Reyes National Seahsore include four hike-in/bike-in-only campgrounds in the southern area of the park and twenty boat-in-only campsites on Tomales Bay. Camping is allowed only in designated campgrounds and sites. Dispersed camping is not allowed. There is NO car or RV camping at Point Reyes National Seashore
Amenities at the hike-in/bike-in sites included picnic tables, charcoal-only grills, and food storage lockers with centrally located vault toilets and drinking water. No pets permitted. Boat-in sites have no amenities (except for vault toilets on Marshall and Tomales Beaches and picnic tables on Tomales Beach).
Hike-in/Bike-in Campgrounds ( referred to as "loops", include:
COAST CAMP - Coast Camp is nestled within a small coastal grassy valley with easy access to the beach and tide pools. The beach is within 200 meters (200 yards) of the campground. The shortest approach to Coast Camp is via the 3 km (2 miles) slightly uphill hike on the Laguna and Firelane Trails starting at the Laguna Trailhead just past the hostel. An alternate route following the Coast Trail starting near the hostel offers an easy, flat 4 km (3 miles) route and is open to bicycles. Eleven reservable sites for up to 6 people each and two reservable group sites for up to 25 people each are available. Sites 1 - 7 are in a small semi-protected canyon.
GLEN CAMP - Glen Camp is a quiet and secluded camp deep within a wooded valley protected from ocean breezes. The shortest hike to this camp is a moderate 7 km (5 miles) hike along the Bear Valley and Glen Trails. To access Glen Camp by bicycle, start at the Five Brooks Trailhead, follow the Stewart Trail to the Glen Trail, then north to the Glen Camp Loop, and finish by descending to Glen Camp. This is a strenuous 10 km (6 mile) bike ride. The nearest beach access is a 4 km (3 mile) strenuous one-way hike to the beach at Wildcat Camp. No groups, horses, or pack animals are allowed at Glen Camp. Eleven reservable sites for up to 6 people each are available.
SKY CAMP - Sky Camp is located on the western side of Mt. Wittenberg at an elevation of 310 meters (1025 feet). In clear weather, enjoy sweeping views of Point Reyes, Drakes Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. The easiest and shortest approach is a 2 km (2 miles) moderate uphill hike or bicycle ride from the Sky Trailhead (elevation 250 meters (840 feet)) on Limantour Road. It is a steep 6 km (4 miles) one-way hike down to the beach. Ten reservable sites for up to 6 people each and one reservable group site for up to 25 people each are available.
WILDCAT CAMP - Wildcat Camp is located in an open meadow on a bluff overlooking the ocean with a short walk to the beach and a 3 km (2.0 miles) round-trip walk to Alamere Falls. It is a 10 km (6 mile) hike from Bear Valley or a 9 km (6 miles) hike on the Coast Trail from Palomarin with access to Bass Lake. The only bicycle route is via a strenuous 11 km (7 miles) ride along the Stewart Trail from the Five Brooks Trailhead. One reservable site for up to 6 people, three reservable sites for up to 4 people, and three reservable group sites for up to 25 people each are available.
TOMALES BAY - Tomales Bay boat-in camping is allowed on west-side National Park beaches north of Tomales Bay State Park's Indian Beach. These beaches are tidally influenced and generally are small sandy coves backed against steep cliffs. Campers on Tomales Bay beaches must arrive by boat and may not hike, bike, or ride horses to the beaches. Beaches are not assigned; campers choose available beaches on a first-come, first-served basis after launching. Overnight parking for boat-in campers is availabe at the Tomales Bay Resort and at the Miller Boat Launch and is othewise prohibited within Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay State Park. The beaches are primitive and without facilities with the exception of vault toilets at Marshall and Tomales Beaches and two picnic tables at Tomales Beach. Unless using the vault toilets at Marshall and Tomales Beaches, boat-in campers must bring portable toilets to remove human waste. In addition, all trash must be removed. Boat-in campers must bring water, racoon-proof food storage, and firewood. Permanent and seasonal closures exisit on some beaches. Check with the Bear Valley Visitor Center for updates. Twenty permits are available each day - nine to parties of 1 to 6 people, eight to parties of 7 to 14 people, and three to parties of 15 to 25 people.
Point Reyes is a peninsula, one and half hours north of San Francisco providing a welcome respite for the surrounding urban area. Wooded hillsides give way to chaparral and grasslands with 150 miles of hiking trails and several beaches.
The Seashore shares the peninsula with Tomales Bay State Park, a day-use area popular for swimming and picnicking.
Charges & Cancellations
There is no peak season at Point Reyes, rates are the same year round. An Individual or Standard site accomodates 1-6 poeple, and are $20 per night. . A group site accomodates up to 25 people ( $40 per night 7-14 people, and $50 per night 15-25 people).
ADA Access: N
We went this past weekend. Beautiful weather, not too hot. It was a hike-in camp site called sky camp. It was a 1.3 mile hike uphill so that was pretty rough. It was our first time going to a hike-in camp site. The site (003) was perfect. You couldn’t see the next camper, very secluded, you could hear them, but it wasn’t an issue at all. The site we had was a short walk to the restrooms and water fountain with potable water. We did a morning hike and the trails were absolutely stunning. It was quite a ways to be able to see the ocean, so we didn’t actually complete the hike but got very close. We probably won’t be doing a hike-in any time soon, because our kids are not fan of it (13,11 and 8) but for adults it’s doable. The seclusion and beauty you get is well worth it!
The pristine shores of the Western beaches of Tomales Bay await you. Primitive sites are unmarked, first come first serve, and accessible only by boating in. If you plan it right, you may catch a bioluminescence show in the water once the sun sets (plan for new moon times). I recommend, launching your boat from the Miler Boat Launch in Marshall (eastern side of the bay). Overnight parking is $5. First campsites are a 30 minute paddle across the bay. The best (less crowded) can be reached by heading north 45- 75 minutes out. Campsites are by reservation only and require checkin at Pt. Reyes Station.
Things to note: Outside of the two largest beaches, there are no amenities (toilets). You must haul everything in and out on your boat (that includes your waste).
Wonderful place! Clean toilet onsite. Good access to beach but protected from onshore wind. Can hear waves at night.
Riding through the country on this one was half the fun. Lots of rolling hills, herds of cattle, and a really fun windy drive. The seashore was awesome and we saw lots of elephant seals having a noisy morning.
Point Reyes is HUGE! There are a half dozen camping spots in this beautiful park. Tomales Bay is a boat in only campground on Indian Beach a unique experience if you have access to a boat.
There are plenty of drive or walk in sites if you don't have a boat. Pick your terrain the coast, meadow, or woods and there is a campground for you.
You can easily spend a week here with all of the trails, horseback riding, mountain biking and kayaking options.
California, Washington and Oregon have lovely coast but this location is truly unique! Besides the quality of the locations and the nature and wildlife afforded you, the distance between spots is just incredible. Within walking distance from any one camp site or beach is another one. You could see all of Marin in a week without even touching a car if you were so inclined to do some hiking!
The two lighthouses are splendid excursions, Samuel P Taylor Park is a must for easy fun camping and some good small river access. Kehoe and North Beach are always empty and incredibly vast while Stinson gives you a bit of the packed beach and fun crowd vibe along with a great snack shack in the middle and beautiful rentals and B and B's just off the sand.
Make sure to check out the dunes at Limontour and if possible the cliffs of Drakes Beach!
Point Reyes in California has to be my all time favorite camping site. There are miles and miles of beaches surrounded by dunes, hills, and cliffs. You might even notice the water glowing at night due to a special kind of algae. Those are just some reasons why I'd give Point Reyes a 100/100 on the camping scale.
This is a backpack camp, on the coast. You can get there from the ranger station in the middle of the park, but I recommend taking the time to go to the south end, after checking in at the station, to the trailhead called Palomarin. The trail is largely up on the bluffs above the coast, with killer views. Good place to see whales. Halfway there, the trail goes inland and passes a bunch of little lakes. Bass lake off to the left is a great swimming hole. Nice lunch stop. A mile or so before you get to camp there is a side trail to the left for Alamere Falls. Watch out! I've gotten ticks and poison oak here, and the route down to the beach is perilous. Better to dump your pack at camp and walk up the beach. So beautiful!