10 Best River and Beach Campgrounds in California Bay Area

Not only do rivers replenish the earth, they also serve as recreation centers where you can recharge and reconnect with nature. 

If you’re in California around the Bay Area, you should consider visiting a river campground. Read on to discover 10 of the most exciting campsites.

1. American River Resort 

Right along the South Fork of the American River, in Coloma, American River Resort occupies almost 30 acres of the oak forest.

You can consider camping near the river or at any of the campsites set among the trees. And if you want to go glamping, you can snag a nice deluxe river cabin with clean bathrooms and cozy bedrooms. Each campsite has catch-and-release ponds, picnic tables, and fire pits.

2. Kirby Cove Campground 

Nestled at sea level below Conzelman Road is Kirby Cove Campground. The campground is unique for many reasons. It provides access to a one-of-a-kind view of the Golden Gate Strait in the Bay Area. Also, there’s a historic military gun site of Battery Kirby that separates the campsites from Kirby Cove Beach.

 

Although there’s no potable water, the campsite provides access to many outdoor adventures like hiking, mountain biking, and swimming. 

3. Francis Beach Campground

One of the most popular campgrounds in Half Moon Bay State Beach, you’ll find paved space to park your recreational vehicles or pitch your tent and enjoy amenities like clean showers and restrooms.

 

Francis Beach also has paved bike paths for mountain biking. Do keep in mind, though, that diving into the beach is not advisable because of the strong current of the season that makes swimming dangerous.

4. Fraser Flat Campground 

This first come first serve river campsites in California has 38 campsites that extend along the South Fork of the Stanislaus River.

 

The campground has two fishing piers and spots where visitors can set up their RVs or trailers and is easily accessible from the highway.

5. Pantoll Campground 

Right on the southern slopes of Mount Tamalpais, you’ll find a cluster of 16 campsites– some which are secluded and others which are out in the open, giving you a close view of your camping neighbors. All campsites are just a short walk from the car park and have historic stone-built campfire pits, a food locker, running water, toilets, and tables that can take up to six people. And the best part? You don’t need to reserve a spot early.

6. Colusa-Sacramento River Campground 

The campground has 15 sites that each can house up to eight people. Each of these sites is equipped with a shower and a bathroom.

 

Colusa-Sacramento has adequate space for you to set up your van, trailer, or RVs or for you to pitch your tent. For fun you can also set sail in a shallow motorized boat. Alternatively, you can try fishing at the river bank or watch animals like deer, raccoons, geese, and muskrats whenever at the river bank to drink.

7. Pillar Point RV Park 

Visitors will enjoy many recreational activities at this first come first serve park in Half Moon Bay .You can watch the beautiful ocean views and sunsets while walking on the beach. You can also Go fishing, set sail in the ocean, hike the six-mile walking, or build endurance on the biking trail.

 

Pillar Point RV Park has 49 RV sites with full hookups. Each of these sites is equipped with Wi-Fi, Cable TV and has water and sewer electrical.

Courtesy of 510 Families

8. Schoolhouse Canyon Campground 

Come to Schoolhouse Canyon for fun activities like wine tasting, bicycle tours, and canoeing. Reservations are only recommended on weekends, but not necessary for weekdays. Reserve via telephone only. Camping at Schoolhouse Crayon will grant you access to amenities like coin operated hot showers, electric hookup, and clean potable water. Additionally, there is a private beach access about 100-150 yards away from the campground.

Courtesy of The Outbound

9. Steep Ravine Environmental Campground 

Located on the western edge of the park withbreath-taking view of the ocean, these campsites fill up quickly. Each comes with space where you can pitch your tent and other amenities like a table, fire pit, and food locker.

There are no showers, they’ve toilets and water faucets available nearby. Also, the trails at the campground for mountain biking. And if you’re not a biker, you can go hiking, fishing, wildlife watching and ride on horseback.

10. Doran Regional Park 

The beach is within a two-mile walk of this site. The boat launch grants you access to Bodega Bay and Bodega Harbor where you can fish, kayak, surf, or kite surfing.

One major upside of the Doran Regional Park is that you don’t have to hike for miles to get there.

What’s the Best River Campground in the Bay Area?   

Camping near a river or beach gives you way more options for recreation than a traditional camping trip does. Whether you’re looking for an unobstructed river view or prime access to rapids for kayaking, American River Resort has you covered. Located directly on the South Fork of the American River, American River Resort provides everything you need for a luxury glamping, back-to-basics camping, or special events. Come stay with us today!