Golden Gate National Recreation Area
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Introduction

Located in one of the most historic areas of the west coast, Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the most visited National Park in the United States and it should be on every RV lover's list. Golden Gate National Recreation Area is made up of 82,027 acres (most of which was former military land) and attracts over 15 million visitors a year. A cool fact about the park is that it is one of the largest urban parks in the world and is around two-and-a-half times the size of the city and county of San Francisco.

The park is not one continuous land mass like a standard park. Instead it is a collection of areas that stretch from southern San Mateo County to northern Marin County, and includes several different areas of San Francisco. The park is very diverse and contains famous tourist attractions such as Muir Woods National Monument, Alcatraz, and the Presidio of San Francisco. The nature of the area is also very prominent and is home to over 1,200 different plant and animal species.

Thanks to the tens of thousands of acres there are so many different recreational activities you can enjoy during your visit to the park. The most popular activities include hiking, wildlife viewing, Cold War-era tours, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

Although there are four different campgrounds within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, there are no RV-friendly spots for you to camp at. Despite this, there are a few private RV campgrounds scattered throughout San Francisco and you can also stay at rest areas in California. Peak season at Golden Gate National Recreation Area runs from April until October.

Park Alerts (7)

[Information] Ocean Beach No-Burn Season: November 1 through End of February [+ Info]

The no-burn season at Ocean Beach starts November 1 and ends March 1, 2020. Beach fires are prohibited during the no-burn season. The no-burn season avoids burning during the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's (BAAQMD) Winter Spare the Air season.

[Information] Redwood Renewal Underway [+ Info]

Redwood Renewal is a restoration effort to help protect the health of the forest. Expect up to a quarter mile walk from the parking lot to the Muir Woods entrance, trail closures, detours and noisy work.

[Information] Ocean Beach Sand Back Pass Project Now Until January 2020 - Expect Temporary Closures [+ Info]

Crews working weekdays from 7:00am – 4:00pm at Ocean Beach. Visitors may experience Great Highway detours, temporary parking lots closures and limited beach access while work is in progress. See SFPUC webpage for details.

[Caution] Miramontes Trail Closure in Phleger Estate: Open for Hikers and Closed for Horses

Miramontes Trail has reopened on a provisional basis. Trail is only open to hikers while plans for a larger scale reroute are developed for future years. Due to trail conditions horses are not currently allowed. Please adhere to posted regulations.

[Information] Section of Mason Street at Crissy Field closed starting week of December 9 [+ Info]

A section of Mason Street at Crissy Field will close for six months beginning the week of December 9, 2019. Vehicle, bike and pedestrian traffic will be re-routed.

[Caution] Auto-Theft Warning

You can prevent vehicle break-ins in parking lots and scenic overlooks. Before leaving your car for even a short period of time: 1) Remove all valuables, 2) Lock your doors.

[Information] End of Camping Season [+ Info]

Hawk, Haypress, and Kirby campgrounds are closed. The season will reopen in March, 2020. Bicentennial Campground is open year-round.

RV Rentals in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Transportation in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Driving

Golden Gate National Recreation Area is located over a large area on the west coast of the United States on the Californian Coast. The park is easily accessible thanks to the Shoreline Highway and this road will take you to most of the areas within the recreation area.

Due to the location of Golden Gate National Recreation Area near San Francisco, you will have easy access to all of the services and amenities that you would ever need to enjoy your visit to the park. If you are heading to the northern areas of the of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area we recommend stopping into the city on the way to the park rather than driving and then trying to find stores.

Accessing the park should be quite straightforward as the roads in and around the park are in great condition due to the area being very popular with visitors from all around the world. There shouldn't be any obstacles that will damage your RV such as overhanging branches and most of the roads are also quite wide to allow for ease of turning. During the winter the park and all of its services remains open.

Parking

There are many different places to park at Golden Gate National Recreation Area but depending on which area you want to visit parking may be difficult to find during the peak season.

Public Transport

There are plenty of bus routes that will take you to different areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Campgrounds and parking in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Campsites in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Reservations camping

RV Camping near Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Once you are ready to retire for the night there are a few different options for RV camping near the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. If you are looking for an RV-friendly campground that is closest to the area there is one available in the heart of San Fransisco.

Here you will be able to experience an urban camping experience while being located just over four miles from the middle of San Fransisco. The park has a total of 165 sites, some of which include full hookups. If you have a bigger rig there are also pull-thru sites available that have 30 and 50 amp electrical connections. Other campground amenities include clean showers and restrooms, laundry facilities, game room and free WiFi. The campground is also pet friendly and you will be able to get cell phone reception on all of the major networks.

If you want to stay at this RV park we recommend that you book a reservation well in advance as the sites can fill up since it is the closest RV park to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This park is available all year round.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Spring

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island is one of the most famous prisons in the world and is located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Since its closure as a prison in 1963 the park has been home to many events, including a Native American takeover and various art installations before opening to the public. Visitors can access the park via ferry and there are around 1.7 million to the island each year. For more information on Alcatraz Island we recommend you check out the official website.

Summer

Ocean Beach

If you are looking to escape the crowds that flock to the popular areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area we recommend you check out Ocean Beach. This sandy beach stretches over three and a half miles and is renowned for being very peaceful and uncrowded. The best time to check out the beach is during the sunnier months when a beach walk will be most enjoyable. If you are an experienced surfer the waves are also great for catching too!

Picnicking

Golden Gate National Recreation Area is home to some fantastic picnic spots thanks to the numerous different historical landmarks and great beaches that call the park home. You have so many different picnic areas to choose from and many have wonderful views of the Golden Gate Bridge. We recommend having a picnic at Baker Beach due to the expansive views of the bridge and picnic tables, grills, and restroom amenities. Check out the park website for more information on other picnic areas.

Fall

Muir Woods

Muir Woods is a must see for those who want to check out the famous redwood forests of the area. Here you will have the chance to walk among old growth coast redwoods that have been standing for hundreds of years. Muir Woods has been federally protected as a National Monument since 1908 and it is a beloved area by locals and visitors alike. If you do choose to visit Muir Woods please note that you will need a shuttle bus or parking reservation.

Fort Point

Originally built between 1853 and 1861 by the U.S. Army Engineers as part of a defense system of forts planned for the protection of San Francisco Bay, Fort Point is now a California Historical Landmark that is open for visitors to explore. Guided tours are available for those wanting to learn more about the fort and you can also watch the Guardians of the Golden Gate Video that will provide you with the history of Fort Point.

Winter

Hiking

Golden Gate National Recreation Area has some of the most impressive trails on the west coast and exploring the trails is a fantastic way to discover some of the hidden gems of the area. There are more than 250 different trails to choose from that stretch for more than 140 miles so there are plenty of miles to discover. Some of the highlights of hiking in Golden Gate National Recreation Area include beautiful redwood forests, breathtaking vistas and many different wildlife viewing opportunities.

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