While San Francisco may not have great places for hiking and camping within its city limits, just a short drive away are some great places where you enjoy nature at its most beautiful best!

Best Places for Hiking and Camping in San Francisco

While you can certainly hike up the streets of the seven hills of San Francisco, there aren’t a lot of options for outdoor hiking and camping within the city limits. However, the Bay Area has many good places where you can test out that tent or your knapsack if you’re willing to take a short drive outside the metropolis.

Just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle you’ll find these great options for camping and hiking.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Just 67 miles away from the city, you’ll find this beautiful state park full of the majestic redwood trees famous to California. You’ll find seven different campsite loops tucked throughout the dense redwoods that will give you the comfort of feeling alone despite other campers hanging around. Bring your cooking gear and use the surprisingly fancy grills provided to fix up some great grub.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

You’ll find Camp Taylor just 31 miles away from San Francisco although the scenery changes dramatically in that short time from city buildings to grassy hills and dense redwoods. You’ll be entertained by the wild turkeys roaming around and enjoy the running stream traversing the state park.

people setting up tent


Redwood Regional Park

You’ll need to travel 20 miles by car and then walk or bike the remaining half-mile to get to this park. You can camp at either Fern Dell or Trail’s End, but Trail’s End is the longer hike. However, both of these sites are for groups of at least 10, so you’ll need to bring some friends. Stop at the nearby Chabot Space and Science Center to watch a lunar eclipse or just to learn a little more about the stars that dot the sky.

Mount Diablo State Park

Make sure you bring some extra water to this state park, located 43 miles from the city, since all the faucets and drinking fountains have been turned off due to the ongoing local drought. Hike the 7.5-mile trail to Mount Diablo, and you’ll find some of the best views on a clear day. And make sure you dress in layers, since the temperature rises as you reach the summit.

mount diablo park

Kirby Cove

Just seven miles from San Francisco is Kirby Cove. You’ll need a variety of clothing to stay here because the weather is completely unpredictable. There are four campsites spread throughout the Cove, and most are near the beach and offer a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Make your reservations early; the site is so popular that it often books up months in advance.

Rob Hill

In the middle of the city, you’ll find Rob Hill, the perfect camping spot for just about everyone. Hike down the Bay Area Ridge Trail or down the sand ladder on Lincoln Boulevard to get to Baker Beach. Secluded enough to feel private but close enough to get nearly anywhere in the city, Rob Hill may be the perfect outdoors location in San Francisco.

What’s your favorite place to hike and camp in the Bay Area? Let us know, and we’ll be sure to check it out!

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