Bikecamping in the Bay Area

One of the things I love most about living in the Bay Area is the easy bikecamping we get 'round here.

the blogger wearing outdoor clothes at a campsite

Here are some of my usual rides and camps:

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

The very first place I went bikecamping. While you can and should make reservations, state park rangers are likely to find space for hikers and bikers without any.

"You can camp among redwoods, bike along the creek, explore easy-to-moderate hiking trails, watch salmon spawn, relax in the shady picnic area, and learn the story of its namesake pioneer. When you’ve finished all that, more adventures await just next door at Point Reyes National Seashore." (from park website)

State facilities here are very good: bring plenty of quarters for camp showers. Lots of water.

Plenty of hiking opportunities as well: bring a lock, lock up your bike, and go on a walk.

China Camp

A very popular camp site near San Rafael. Tent camping in a fairly secluded area with 15 miles of trails. Bring quarters for showers. Definitely book, but they say they have two campsites for hikers and bikers. Firewood available for sale so cooking is relatively easy. Bring a wagon to ferry firewood if needed.

the inside of a tent

The ground here is 'hard pack' and I found it very difficult to pitch ultra-light tents (the kind you prop up with a hiking pole). I will bring a normal tent next time.

Point Reyes

The 'wildest' camping I did (until I did Yosemite in 2021): no water source, very basic facilities (just toilets, no shower; water from some spouts). But right by the ocean (at Wildcat campground).

This is a much longer ride than the other two, so I would break it up unless you know you're a relatively strong rider.

a bunch of tents on the ground

If you haven't ridden long distance, or you're on an unfamiliar bike (like a rental), I would do shorter day trips across the Golden Gate Bridge and try to do 'credit card bike camping' first. These hills are no joke. If you're relatively confident and / or you're going with experienced bikecampers, then it's a super fun experience!

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