Marin Headlands Campground Options

Blue tent set up at the campgrounds
Enjoy the Headlands beauty close up by camping.

The Marin Headlands campground areas are some of the few remaining unspoiled open spaces in the San Francisco Bay area. Each provides a different view of this scenic and historical treasure land located so close, but yet seeming so far, from the Bay Area population spots.

San Francisco Bay Open Space

The Marin Headlands campground areas are scattered throughout the breathtaking and varied sceneries of this unique park in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The campgrounds are open year round, providing a temporary home base for other activities in the Headlands including:

  • Hiking the trails
  • Visiting Muir Woods
  • Wildflower sightseeing in the spring
  • Bird migration in the fall
  • Exploration opportunities at Fort Barry, Fort Cronkhite, the NIKE missile site and the Point Bonita lighthouse

Marin Headlands Campgrounds

There are four campgrounds in the Marin Headlands area. The campgrounds are open year-round and permits are required. Pets are not permitted, except service dogs for the disabled. None of the sites are wheelchair accessible.

Bicentennial Campground

This small campground is in the south western corner of the Marin Headlands. It is the most accessible, being only about 100 yards from the Battery Wallace picnic parking area.

There are only three tent sites. Each site will accommodate one tent with one or two people. Additionally, each site can be reserved for up to three nights each year. Portable toilets and food lockers are available. Water is available from the Visitor Center which is about a mile away.

Camp stoves are permitted, but there are no fires allowed in the campground. BBQ grills are available in the nearby Battery Wallace picnic area.

Hawk Camp

This is the most remote of all the Marin Headlands campground locations. It is located above the Gerbode Valley. The camp can be reached in two ways:

  • Starting at the Marin Headland Visitor Center, following the somewhat strenuous Bobcat Trail for about three miles
  • Starting at the Tennessee Valley parking area, hiking about two miles into the campground

Hawk Camp has three tent sites, each of which will work well for up to four people. This is a great camping area for groups. The entire Hawk Camp area can be reserved during the cooler months from November 1st to March 31st. During the rest of the year, only one site can be reserved per camping group. The maximum stay is three nights each year.

There are portable toilets, food lockers and picnic tables.

No water is available at the camp. Camp stoves may be used, but wood or charcoal fires are not permitted.

Haypress Campground

This campground is located in the Tennessee Valley, at the north end of the Marin Headlands. It is a somewhat easy three-quarters of a mile walk from the parking area.

There are five sites, each working well for up to four people. Groups can reserve the entire campground during the November 1st to March 31st timeframe, but only three sites can be reserved per group during the rest of the year. The maximum stay is three nights per year.

There are portable toilets, food lockers and picnic tables.

No water is available at the camp. Camp stoves are permitted, but no wood or charcoal fires are allowed.

Kirby Cove

This popular campground and picnic area is only open from April 1st to October 31st. The Cove is surrounded by cypress and eucalyptus trees, and is west of the Golden Gate Bridge. The site has breathtaking views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.The one-mile access road to the campground parking area is steep and winding, and not wide enough for recreational vehicles.

There are four sites at the campground, each accommodating up to 10 people. Reservations are not required to picnic or sightsee on the bluffs or the beach; however, tent sites are available by reservation only.

The campsite has:

  • Walk-in tent sites, 100 to 300 yards from the parking area
  • BBQ grills
  • Fire rings - You must bring your own firewood.
  • Picnic tables
  • Pit toilets
  • Food storage lockers

There is no drinkable water.


The weather is mild year round ranging from lows of 50 degrees to highs of 65 degrees close to the coast. In the summer, the daytime temperature in the Headland valleys can reach above 80 degrees. For maximum comfort you should dress in lightweight layers, and be ready to shed or add layers as the temperature fluctuates.

Summer time brings lots of fog, so be sure to dress warm in from late afternoon through early morning.


There are no fees at the Bicentennial, Hawk Camp or Haypress campgrounds.

Camping fees at Kirby Cove are:

  • Single tent site - $25 per night
  • Group picnic area - $35 per day


For reservations at:

  • Bicentennial, Hawk Camp or Haypress campgrounds - Call the Marin Headlands Visitor Center at 415-331-1540.
  • Kirby Cove - Call 877-444-6777 or reserve up to six months in advance on the National Park Service website.
Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
Marin Headlands Campground Options