China Camp State Park

China Camp State Park

China Camp State Park is located along the shores of San Pablo Bay, near San Rafael, California. The park encompasses 1,640 acres on the San Pedro Peninsula, which extends out into the Bay, approximately 15 miles north of San Francisco.

This area has a rich history, starting with the Miwok people who lived here for thousands of years. The Spanish were relative latecomers, and the San Pedro peninsula became settled as a land grant, owned by Irishman Timothy Murphy, during the Mexican era. The American takeover followed, and Chinese immigrants later came to the shores of San Pablo Bay to take in the rich harvests of shrimp.

As in most California State Parks, those recreating with dogs are discriminated against as they are not permitted on trails. That said, dog are allowed on a leash in the campground and in the day/use areas, including the beach.

With over 200 fog-free days per year, the beach is definitely worth checking out, as is the adjacent Visitor Center and the Quan Bros. Snack Shop at China Camp Village (open on weekends). Food, beverages, and ice cream are available. You can meet the long-time resident and shrimp fisherman Frank Quan here.

Back Ranch Meadows Campground reservations can be made by calling Reserve America at 1-800-444-7275.

The Friends of China Camp (FOCC) website has extensive information for visitors, including cultural and natural history, things to see and do, picnicking, camping, recreation, and annual passes.

Photo: California State Parks

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