Author Topic: Camping near San Francisco  (Read 2707 times)

chantellee

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Camping near San Francisco
« on: February 20, 2016, 02:23:59 PM »
My husband, myself and (will be at the time) 8 month old baby are planning a car camping road trip from British Columbia, Canada to San Francisco. It will be approximately 3.5 weeks from the last week of March into the start of April.

I've scoured the forum and found some helpful threads on the Oregon Coast already.

We would like to camp (to save money!) near SF for a few days. There seem to be few campsites within an hour's drive of SF. Kirby Cove and Steep Ravine are booked up. Rob Hill is groups only and $125 per night. We could try the first come first serve campgrounds such as Bootjack or Pantoll at Mt Tam State Park; I'm hesitant about leaving it last minute and driving around too much with the baby. There are two KOAs, one north and one south of SF but they're an hour and a bit away.

I checked AirBNB and we can probably book a private room for $100. The hostel at Fisherman's Wharf doesn't have private rooms available (for the baby).

I'm close to resigning myself to just staying in a cheap hotel or AirBNB room. We want to explore SF so doing an hour drive from a campground each day (and back!) doesn't seem logical.

Am I missing any potential camping sites? Anyone with an AirBNB place that they recommend?

Thanks!

mm1970

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2016, 02:37:39 PM »
I don't have experience camping near San Francisco, so I'd go AirBNB route.

When we visit "the area" to visit friends, we always stay at the Hampton Inn in Mountain View.  It's a hotel that caters to business travelers, so Saturday nights they are pretty cheap (~$140), but mid-week they are $300.


Cassie

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 03:11:28 PM »
When we go to SF we usually pay between 100-120/night. We stay at nice but older hotels with small rooms.

llorona

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2016, 04:00:26 PM »
If you actually want to see San Francisco, I would go with AirBnB and stay in the city itself.

If on the other hand you are set on camping, here are a some possibilities although you will definitely spend time trekking back and forth to SF:

Butano State Park in Pescadero. Very beautiful campgrounds with generously sized tent sites: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=536

Anthony Chabot Regional Park. Adequate/so-so camping experience, but since you have a car, you could park at BART and easily take the train into SF: http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/anthony%20chabot/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=EB&parkId=110004

China Camp: They have tent sites. I can't actually vouch for this one so you'd want to look up reviews on Yelp or Trip Advisor.
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=466

Point Montara Lighthouse: Hostel with shared and private rooms. I haven't stayed here but have heard good things about it.
http://www.norcalhostels.org/montara




« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 06:14:05 PM by llorona »

emilypsf

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2016, 04:32:48 PM »
Agree that it depends on how much you actually want to see the city versus the area.  There is not much close to the city.  Angel Island might be the closest, but no way would I want to carry all my stuff on a ferry and across the island with an 8 mo old.  Check out China Camp.  It's pretty close.  Samuel Taylor is further, but I like it better.  IMO, Lake Chabot is not great camping and in the part of the Bay Area that I think would be the least likely to interest tourists (no offense to anyone who lives there).  There are several in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but they are pretty far away to go into SF daily.  There is also an East Bay Regional campground in Livermore that you could check out, but it's also pretty far out there.

LizaJane

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2016, 05:04:40 PM »
Just FYI, maybe not for this particular trip, but possibly for future reference
https://freecampsites.net/#!27948&query=sitedetails

It says you can stay here for up to eight hours at time in a 24 hour period.

My husband and I van camp and have used this website with good luck in the past. The campsites we have been to are first come first served, tho.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 05:20:41 PM by LizaJane »

Another Reader

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2016, 05:27:02 PM »
Angels Camp is nowhere near San Francisco.  It's in the Sierra Foothills, about 3 hours east.

llorona

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2016, 06:12:48 PM »
@Another Reader: You're right! I mean China Camp, which is in Marin County. Post edited.

spokey doke

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2016, 12:30:27 PM »
Some of the cheapest airbnb places in the city I found were for camping in someone's yard (food for thought).

I'm headed to SF for a week soon and will be paying around $60/night for a room in a shared house in South SF, but it is right on a BART stop, so travel into and out of the city will be a snap (and much better than driving and then PARKING!!!).  I'd search airbnb along the BART route...
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 12:33:39 PM by spokey doke »

chantellee

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2016, 12:43:11 PM »
Thanks everyone. We will look into AirBNB more!

fishnfool

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Re: Camping near San Francisco
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2016, 05:49:11 PM »
Butano State Park is about a 30 - 40 minute drive from SF. Might be a good option?

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=536