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Camping near San Francisco: Amazing Kirby Cove

Updated on April 26, 2013

Views from Kirby Cove

Kirby Cove: Natural Beauty at its Best

Just north of the hustle and bustle of San Francisco is a quiet beach with superb camping and incredible views. Kirby Cove is part of the National Park Service and it has quickly become one of Northern California's most popular campgrounds. The small cove sports a beach just yards from four campsites nestled in the pine, cypress and eucalyptus trees; unique to this part of the Marin Headlands.

The camping is very basic, but with the views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the northern part of San Francisco you may not notice that the amenities are scarce. There is no water available and you must bring in your own firewood. Parking for the campsites is close and wheelbarrows are provided to haul your gear.

Kirby Cove camping books quickly. There is a day- use area with a bar-be-cue and picnic table which is often reserved as well. If you'd like to visit the park without reservations, be prepared to walk down the mile-long gravel road to the site. Those who make camping and day use reservations are given a code for the locked gate at the top of the hill and are allowed to drive down.

Kirby Cove was named for the Battery Kirby which operated between 1898 and 1934. The remnants of the battery remain, giving an opportunity to explore it's massive cement structure. The real gem, however, is the incredible view you get from the beach at Kirby Cove. Try it out on a full moon, and watch the magnificence as La Luna rises above the sweep of the Golden Gate.

For information on reservations, contact the National Park Service at (800) 365-CAMP or visit their website at


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    • drcrischasse profile image

      drcrischasse 8 years ago from NH/Foxboro

      Great hub! Keep up the good work, I will be sure to follow closely. Cheers!

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 8 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      Awesome, I'm going to try and book it. Just got a new (to me) camping stove and have been looking for a place to take my girls camping. This looks like a nice place that's close to home.

      The new title looks good:)

    • Jennifer D. profile image

      Jennifer D. 8 years ago from Canada

      Hi Paul,

      First let me thank you for your suggestion regarding the title. I am a newbie, and I appreciate any assistance I can get!

      Secondly, Kirby Cove is very kid friendly; however if camping you may want to consider any of the sites except for number 1. Site 1 is located right above the beach and is very close to the cliff edge. Although it affords an amazing view of the city and bridge, I would be concerned about children playing along the edge and potentially falling.

      Also, Kirby does not allow any pets whether you keep them leashed or not.

      I hope you get a chance to enjoy Kirby Cove. Every person I have taken there has fallen in love with the place.


    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 8 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I didn't realize, but it looks like you are new to Hubpages. An important part of getting people to your Hub is how you title them. One way to do this is to think how people might search on Google for information like this. You may want to change your title to something like "Places to camp near San Francisco, Kirby Cove" - Just thought I'd offer a tip since it looks like your second hub. Thanks for posting and I hope you enjoy HubPages.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 8 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I've been looking for a place to camp near San Francisco with my kids. Is Kirby Cove Kid friendly. From the pictures it looks like it's is near Chrissy Field. Is that right?