Camping at Point Reyes National Seashore is an incredible experience. Located just an hour north of San Francisco, California, the park features over 80 miles of hiking trails, breathtaking coastal views, and an abundance of wildlife. Whether you’re an experienced camper or a first-timer, there are a few things you should know before embarking on your Point Reyes camping adventure. In this article, we’ll cover everything from campsite options to wildlife safety to help you make the most of your trip.
There are four main campgrounds in Point Reyes National Seashore, each with their own unique features and accommodations.
#1 Coast Camp:
Located near the beach, Coast Camp is a popular option for those looking to surf or swim. The campground has 14 walk-in sites that are first-come, first-served, and 3 group sites that can be reserved in advance.
#2 Sky Camp:
Perched on a hilltop with panoramic ocean views, Sky Camp is a favorite among hikers. The campground has 11 hike-in sites that are first-come, first-served, and 3 group sites that can be reserved in advance.
#3 Wildcat Camp:
Situated in a lush valley with easy access to the beach, Wildcat Camp is a great option for families. The campground has 5 hike-in sites and 5 boat-in sites that are first-come, first-served, and 4 group sites that can be reserved in advance.
#4 Point Reyes Boat-In Camp:
Located on a small island off the coast, the Point Reyes Boat-In Camp is only accessible by boat. The campground has 8 sites that can be reserved in advance.
Each campground has its own rules and regulations, so be sure to check the park’s website before making your reservation. It’s also important to note that there are no RV or car camping options in Point Reyes National Seashore.
Reservations are required for all group sites and the Point Reyes Boat-In Camp. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance and are highly recommended during the peak season (May-September). Walk-in sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved in advance.
To make a reservation, visit the recreation.gov website or call the park’s reservation line at 1-877-444-6777.
What to Bring
Packing for a camping trip can be overwhelming, but here are some essentials to make sure you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Point Reyes:
Tent: A high-quality tent that is waterproof and sturdy is essential for a successful camping trip. Make sure to bring a ground cloth or tarp to place under your tent to keep it dry.
Sleeping bag and pad: A warm sleeping bag and comfortable sleeping pad will help you get a good night’s sleep. Temperatures can drop at night, even in the summer, so make sure your sleeping bag is rated for the appropriate temperature.
Cooking supplies: Depending on your campsite, you may have access to a fire ring or grill for cooking. Bring a portable stove and fuel, as well as cooking utensils, plates, and utensils.
Water and water filter: There is no potable water available in the campgrounds, so you’ll need to bring your own water or a water filter to purify water from natural sources.
Food: Plan your meals ahead of time and bring non-perishable items as well as fresh foods that will keep for a few days. Store your food in bear-proof canisters, which are required in all campgrounds to prevent wildlife from accessing your food.
Clothing: Be prepared for all types of weather by bringing layers, including warm clothes for the evenings
Each campsite at Point Reyes National Seashore offers unique activities and attractions. Here are some activities you can enjoy at each campground:
Surfing: The beach near Coast Camp is known for its great surf conditions, so bring your board and catch some waves.
Beachcombing: Take a stroll along the beach and see what treasures you can find, such as shells and driftwood.
Wildlife watching: Keep an eye out for wildlife such as deer, coyotes, and birds.
Hiking: Sky Camp is located near several popular hiking trails, including the Sky Trail, which offers panoramic views of the ocean and forest.
Star-gazing: With its high elevation and clear night skies, Sky Camp is the perfect spot to observe the stars.
Wildlife watching: Keep an eye out for wildlife such as foxes, bobcats, and birds of prey.
Beach activities: The beach near Wildcat Camp is a great spot for swimming, kayaking, and beachcombing.
Hiking: There are several hiking trails that start near Wildcat Camp, including the Alamere Falls Trail, which leads to a stunning waterfall.
Wildlife watching: Keep an eye out for wildlife such as elk, coyotes, and harbor seals.
Point Reyes Boat-In Camp:
Boating and fishing: The Point Reyes Boat-In Camp is only accessible by boat, so bring your kayak or canoe and enjoy the calm waters.
Wildlife watching: The island surrounding the campground is a great spot to observe marine wildlife such as harbor seals and sea lions.
Hiking: The campground is located near several hiking trails, including the Tomales Point Trail, which offers stunning views of the ocean and coastline.
No matter which campground you choose, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy and entertained during your stay at Point Reyes National Seashore.