If you want to camp in a tent or RV while visiting San Francisco, options are somewhat limited. There's no place at all to camp within the city of San Francisco, but this San Francisco camping guide lists some campgrounds within an hour's drive.
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San Francisco Area Campgrounds
North of San Francisco
These places are all reached by taking US Hwy 101 north across the Golden Gate Bridge:
- China Camp: On the shore of San Pablo Bay, about 20 miles north of the city. Some of the best weather in the area, with more than 200 fog-free days a year. They have no RV sites but do offer a few "en route" sites for self-contained camping vehicles.
- Kirby Cove: Few campers are hardy enough to put up with lugging all their stuff down (and back up) the steep, mile long trail to this camping spot, but what a view if you do! It's practically underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Marin RV Park: Self-contained RVs only, 10 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and a short walk from bus service to the city. Trailers allowed, but only if the tow vehicle never leaves the park.
- Mt. Tamalpais State Park: Spectacular views from the 2,571-foot peak about 20 miles north of the city. Limited camping sites are available and reservations are highly recommended.
- Novato RV Park: A privately-owned campground with 68 sites, 25 miles north of San Francisco. Pets are welcome, they have full hookups and a laundry room.
- Petaluma KOA: Located 39 miles north of San Francisco, this KOA has 300 sites with the amenities, including guided tours to San Francisco. RV and tent sites are available and they also have cabins for rent.
Closest to San Francisco
They're the closest to the city, mostly a few minutes' drive away.
- Angel Island: Angel Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, between Alcatraz and Sausalito and is reachable only by boat. Camping on the island is limited to just a few sites and tent camping only, but you'll wake up to a view of the whole bay!
- Candlestick RV Park: This is the closest campground to downtown San Francisco, located off US Hwy 101 south between the city and the airport, on the edge of San Francisco Bay. They have about 200 sites for RVs and tents and offer a shuttle bus to the city.
- San Francisco RV Resort: The next-closest alternative after Candlestick RV Park, it's just 15 minutes south of San Francisco in the town of Pacifica off CA Hwy 1. The campground flat, paved sites and pets are welcome. It lots of RV sites with full hookups (except for the ocean view sites).
- Treasure Island RV Park: Don't let the name fool you - it's not on Treasure Island, but it is close to San Francisco in Daly City. This mobile home park takes RVs only and has a handful of spaces for short-term stays.
Other Places to Camp Around San Francisco
Not as close to the city as other parks listed here, but worth a look if everything else is full.
- Mount Diablo State Park: The Bay Area's tallest peak offers a broad view that some say is surpassed only by that of 19,000-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. It's about 30 miles east of San Francisco, reached by crossing the Bay Bridge and going east.
- Tradewinds RV Park of Vallejo: A particularly good option if your trip includes Napa Valley, located about 30 miles north of San Francisco. Pets welcome, but no tents. You can get to San Francisco from there by ferry.