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Camping at Golden Gate National Recreation Area

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General Description

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is a U.S. National Recreation Area that encompasses over 80,000 acres of ecologically and historically significant landscapes in the San Francisco Bay Area. As one of the largest urban parks in the world, it includes several beaches, historic military sites, redwood forests, and numerous recreational facilities. While the park is named after the famous Golden Gate Bridge, the area itself extends far beyond the bridge, with various sites stretching from Marin County to San Mateo County.

Camping Information

Kirby Cove Campground:

  • Located in Marin County, just west of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Offers four campsites and one day-use picnic site.
  • Provides stunning views of the bridge and the San Francisco skyline.
  • Campsites are tent-only and require reservations that can be made up to three months in advance.

Bicentennial Campground:

  • Known as the closest campground to San Francisco.
  • Offers three small walk-in sites for tents only.
  • Provides basic amenities like picnic tables and pit toilets, but no water.
  • Reservations are necessary and free of charge; however, they can only be made by calling the park directly.

Hawk Camp:

  • Located in the Marin Headlands, accessible by a hike from the Marin Headlands Visitor Center or other trails.
  • Offers three primitive campsites.
  • Great for those looking for solitude and has remarkable views of the Pacific Ocean and the city.
  • Reservations can be made and are free, similar to Bicentennial Campground.

Haypress Campground:

  • Also situated in the Marin Headlands.
  • Five walk-in sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • No reservations are required, and camping is free of charge.
  • Offers some basic amenities such as pit toilets and picnic tables, but no water.


  • Reservation Methods: For Kirby Cove, reservations can be made via the National Recreation Reservation Service (Recreation.gov) or by calling their toll-free number. Hawk and Bicentennial campgrounds require contacting the park directly.
  • Booking Window: Typically, you can reserve sites up to three months in advance, but check the specifics for each site as they can vary.
  • Fees: Fees apply for Kirby Cove Campground and can change, so it's best to check current rates when planning your trip.

Rules and Regulations

  • Campfire Restrictions: Due to high fire danger, campfires may not be allowed or may be restricted to certain areas and times of year. Always check current conditions and regulations before your trip.
  • Wildlife: Store food and scented items properly to protect local wildlife and avoid attracting animals to camping areas.
  • Leave No Trace: Campers are expected to follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize their impact on the environment.
  • Noise: Quiet hours are typically enforced to ensure a peaceful environment for all visitors.

Amenities and Facilities

Amenities vary by campground, but in general, you can expect:

  • Picnic Tables
  • Pit Toilets
  • Trash Collection
  • Note that water is not available at all campgrounds, so you may need to bring your own.

Safety Tips

  • Weather: The weather can change rapidly; dress in layers and be prepared for fog and wind, especially in coastal areas.
  • Tides: If exploring beaches, be mindful of tide schedules to avoid being stranded by high tide.
  • Hiking Safety: Bring a map and know your route. Tell someone your plans and expected return time.


Campground features may vary in terms of accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Contact the park directly for information on specific accommodations.

Contact Information

  • Website: nps.gov/goga
  • Phone: For general park information, you can call the GGNRA at 415-561-4700.
  • Emergency: In case of emergency, dial 911 or contact the US Park Police at 415-561-5505.

By adhering to park rules and being prepared, visitors can enjoy a memorable and safe camping experience at Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Map of Campgrounds in Golden Gate National Recreation Area
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