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Camp at Kirby Cove

Mill Valley, California

4.5/5
based on 4 reviews

Description

Added by John Smith

Small campsite that's super close to the city, but feels far enough away to let you relax. Amazing views of the Golden Gate at Sunset. Duration: Overnight.

Yes, you can camp just over the Golden Gate! Kirby Cove Campground has 4 overnight campsites and 1 picnic area for day use. The campground is set near a coarse-sand beach and offers amazing views of the Golden Gate, as long as it’s not a super foggy SF day. From the parking lot, it's a steep ~1 mile hike down to the campground, but if you have a reservation, you can drive ~0.25-0.5 miles from the campsite. There’s no running water at the campground, so you’ll have to bring your own - bring enough to last your full stay. Firewood must be purchased locally; it cannot be collected at the campsite. Unfortunately, Kirby Cove is not pet friendly. You can reserve a campsite or the picnic area here. If everything is booked up, you can still hike in the area out to Bonita Lighthouse or bike from the Presidio and hang out at the beach.

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Features

Chillin
Camping
Bathrooms
Beach
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

This is probably the hardest campground reservation there is. I’ve tried for years to get one and it wasn’t until recently that I’ve been able to go. Winter weekday will be easiest. Every weekend seems to book up right away. Be prepared for fog horns (luckily they have never gone off while I was here), bone chilling dampness, and raccoons. The campsites are only a hundred yards or so from the ocean so temps can drop quick and even a clear night can lead to gear getting damp. But it’s all worth it. You can sit on the beach and just watch ships come and go from the golden gate. Catching sunset from the beach is also amazing. Seeing the city and bridge light up is a great experience. There are food lockers in the campsites. Be sure to use them and keep them closed when not actively eating or cooking. The parking lot is a short distance to all the sites. Kirby cove is a bucket list campground for sure. If you get out of the campground be sure to explore the headlands; rodeo beach, mammal sanctuary, black sand beach, and Hawk hill to name a few.

A unique perspective of the famous monument, and the hike to shore keeps a majority of the crowds away. I recommend catching a sunset here! The only bad thing is there isn't much parking available at the trailhead.

One of the hardest places to get a reservation, as there are only 5-6 campsites (depending on handicap site availability), but if you are persistent, it is doable and totally worth it! Pretty accessible campsite with unreal views and lots of room to explore - old military bunkers, beach area, tree swings, etc. A clear night here is any night photographer's dream come true.

Difficult to get a reservation. The trick is book a picnic instead. Beautiful all around.

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Nearby

Kirby Cove

Vista Golden Gate

Battery Spencer

Hawk Hill

Ninja Loop

Slacker Hill