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  • Jeremy O'Briant
  • "What are the best weekend camping getaways near SFO?"

Jeremy O'Briant

San Francisco, California

What are the best weekend camping getaways near SFO?

I grew up camping, but am new to California and would like to find a getaway for the weekend.  What are the best places within driving distance (2-4 hrs) from downtown SFO to add to my bucket list?  Want something with a little bit of privacy/character... but not looking to totally rough it so would like to have bathroom/shower facilities. 

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  • Jeanne Allen

    top answer by

    Steep Ravine Cabins

    These are so unique! They are cabins perched on a cliff at the base of Mt Tamalpais, with unbelievable views and a short drive to Stinson Beach. No showers but they do have shared toilets. The cabins have wood stoves for heat, elevated sleeping platforms for your sleeping bag, a table for dining, a barbeque for cooking. You have to book months ahead of time though unless you go during the week.Steep Ravine Cabins

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Whoa, this looks amazingt! I need to visit! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Valerie Axworthy

    answered by

    Oh my look no further than the Sierra Nevada Mountains! Specifically in Sierra City.

    Sierra City

    Sierra Cityimage from westernmininghistory.comThis area will forever be my favorite place to vacation. When i'm in these mountains, I always contemplate if I ever want to leave. It is so breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful. It is a tradition in my family to go fishing at Sardine Lake Resort.

    Sardine LakeSardine LakeIt is not a big lake but its perfect for fishing and not at all touristy. The surrounding mountains hug the lake so perfectly, we always call it our private lake :) We usually catch Brown and Rainbow trout. There are a series of lakes that are above this one. They are all nestled below the Sierra Buttes Lookout (which is a grueling hike but totally worth it when you make it to the top). It looks over 3 lakes!

    Sierra Buttes LookoutSierra Buttes LookoutI highly recommend checking out the campgrounds around this area. We usually don't camp but instead stay in the Yuba River Inn. We have been staying here every summer for 25+ years. The family that owns these cabins are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

    Yuba River InnYuba River InnI hope this helps! I cannot express enough how much I love this area, I want others to experience the same beauty:)

    Have fun and don't forget the bug spray!

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  • Kim Garcia

    answered by

    Pescadero CA was fun! We drove from Noe Valley and spent the weekend. It's a small little beach town, with GREAT hiking, goat farm (fresh goat cheese!) and lots of other quaint activities. We stayed here, in Costanoa Coastal Lodge & Camp, but they have camping on site as well, and it's not very "rough". http://www.costanoa.com/index.html

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  • Scott Boultinghouse

    answered by

    Big Basin State Park is a great local park. There's a lot of stuff around Boulder Creek.

    And I know it's a little far North, but Standish-Hickey State Park and that area near Willits is a great base for exploring the redwoods of N. CA

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  • David Abramovich

    answered first by

    Angel Island! You have to book the sites well in advance, but the views are unparalleled. Also check out Mount Tamalpais or if you want to go further, Big Sur is amazing (check out Fernwood Resort for some tent cabins) or Mendocino up north.

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    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      All really great spots! I still have yet to go camping on Angel Island but I've heard it's awesome! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Janet Cook

    answered by


    You might try the Pinnacles National Monumentsouth of San Jose (quick before it gets too hot), @Mt. Diablo in the East Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore

    Point Reyes National Seashoreimage from rvforsaleguide.com(quick before summer fog begins)/fabulous place in Fall/Spring). Also south of San Jose is a place Henry W. Coe State Park great little wilderness area where they wanted to run the high speed rail but were stopped...again go quick before it gets too hot. Also there are a few backpacking/camping spots in the Peninsula Open Space District that are lovely (may also be places in the East Bay MUDDistrict) and lots of wonderfulness in the Big Basin State ParkBig Basin area/Santa Cruz Mountain area. And of course Big Sur/Ventana Wilderness area.

    A good camping book for California: California Camping by Tom Stienstra.

    For future, more wide ranging trips, don't forget to look at BLM land.

    Have fun! Janet

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  • Darcy Lloyd

    answered by

    Big Basin State Park and Portola Redwoods State Park are both great options south of the City. Portola is a much smaller campground, and Big Basin has some great hiking trails. Pantoll Trailhead, Mt Tamalpais State ParkMt. Tam also has great hiking north of the city

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  • Eric Armijo

    answered by

    Try Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County.

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  • Annie Aitken

    answered by

    Check out Big Sur!

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    • Valerie A.

      Valerie A.

      Annie! Thanks for the recommendation. I hope you're having fun on your travels abroad :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Tracey Kessler

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  • Molly Matthieson

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    I love Big Sur and El Capitan Canyon for camping. Big Sur is more remote and in the mountains - there are a variety of places to stay or campgrounds if you decide to completely "rough it." Treebones Resort is a nice one that still feels like camping. El Capitan is a bit further South but has what you seem to be looking for- a beach side camping ground with yurts and tents you can rent along with bathrooms, fire pit, a store, bicycles, etc.

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  • Andrew Garcia

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