415.331.1540 | nps.gov.goga
There are not many major cities where you can hike to the ocean’s edge and hear the sea lions, climb mountains for sweeping vistas, descend into flower-filled valleys and still get back in time to go to the city for dinner. Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), the Marin Headlands are an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city they overlook. There are four campgrounds in the Headlands that each offer a distinctive escape:
1. HAWKCAMP 3 sites, max. 4 people/site
Located above the Gerbode Valley, this is the most remote site of the GGNRA campgrounds and therefore for the more serious hiker/camper. Hike through valleys full of wildflowers and possibly spot a bobcat or roaming deer. Reservations 415.331.1540, Marin Headlands Visitor Center.
2. HAYPRESS 5 sites, max. 4 people/site
In Tennessee Valley, this is a family-friendly site featuring a nice sheltered spot for a group and a large pasture for the kids to run in. Reservations 415.331.1540, Marin Headlands Visitor Center.
3. KIRBY COVE 4 sites, max. 10 people/site, max. 3 cars/site
Nestled in a grove of eucalyptus and cypress trees, this site is barely half a mile west of the Golden Gate Bridge and one of the most popular, given the unique view under the bridge. The foghorn can blow you out of your sleeping bag, but the view and easy beach access are worth it. Reservations 877.444.6777 or recreation.gov.
4. BICENTENNIAL 3 sites, 2 people/site
A lesser-known campsite in the GGNRA, this one is perched on the cliffs near the Point Bonita Lighthouse and has beautiful views of the Farallons and city on clear days. Visit the lighthouse (open Sat, Sun, Mon 12:30–3:30 p.m.) and test your acrophobia on the
suspension bridge. Reservations 415.331.1540, Marin Headlands Visitor Center.