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Camping at Austin Creek State Recreation Area

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Overview of Austin Creek State Recreation Area

Austin Creek State Recreation Area is a state park located in California, roughly 75 miles north of San Francisco in the ruggedly beautiful coastal mountains of Sonoma County. This park offers visitors an opportunity to experience a wide range of outdoor activities within its 5,683 acres of rolling hills, groves of redwoods, and open grasslands. It shares its northern border with Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, which is famous for its ancient redwood trees.

Camping Information

Campsites Available:

  • Bullfrog Pond Campground: This is the primary campground within Austin Creek SRA, offering approximately 24 campsites available for tents, trailers, and camper vans. Campsites are usually located around the scenic Bullfrog Pond and provide basic amenities.

Camping Reservations:

  • It is strongly recommended to make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons. Reservations can typically be made up to six months in advance through the California State Parks reservation system.

Facilities and Amenities:

  • Basic amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and portable toilets are often available. Campers should check in advance for the latest information regarding facility availability.
  • Drinking water is generally not available in the park, so campers must bring their own supply.

Fire and Safety Regulations:

  • Due to high fire danger, seasonal fire restrictions are often in place, and collecting down or dead wood is prohibited. Always check current restrictions before your trip.
  • Campfires may be allowed in designated fire rings, but it's important to confirm current regulations and whether you need a campfire permit.


  • Hiking: Many trails offer visitors the chance to explore the park's natural beauty. Remember to stay on designated trails to protect the environment.
  • Bird-Watching and Wildlife Viewing: The park supports a variety of wildlife and offers excellent opportunities for wildlife photography and bird-watching.
  • Star Gazing: With its remote location and minimal light pollution, it’s also an ideal spot for star gazing.

Important Rules and Regulations

  • Dogs: Dogs are permitted in the campground, but they must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet and are not allowed on trails.
  • Quiet Hours: Quiet hours are enforced to ensure a peaceful experience for all campers.
  • Stay Limit: There is usually a maximum stay limit, commonly 7 or 8 consecutive days within the park.
  • Check-In and Check-Out Times: Campers must adhere to the posted check-in and check-out times to allow for proper maintenance and preparation for incoming visitors.

Tips for Visiting

  • Prepare for the Weather: Check the weather forecast and dress in layers as temperatures can fluctuate, especially in mountainous areas.
  • Leave No Trace: Follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment.
  • Be Bear Aware: Store food and scented items securely, as the park may be home to wildlife, including bears.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Cell phone coverage might be spotty in remote areas, so prepare to be self-sufficient and have a way to purify water if needed.

Access and Contact Information

Austin Creek State Recreation Area is accessed through Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Before visiting, it's best to contact the park directly or check the official California State Parks website for the most current information regarding hours, fees, and any alerts or closures that may affect your visit.

Map of Campgrounds in Austin Creek State Recreation Area
Campgrounds in Austin Creek State Recreation Area
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