Steep Ravine Campground is an environmental campground located in Mount Tamalpais State Park, just north of the rugged Marin Headlands in northern California. Steep Ravine Campground is a very popular camping destination with only seven campsites located at the far western edge of Mount Tamalpais State Park, on bluffs overlooking the ocean. Nearly all of the campsites are very private and all provide amazing ocean front views. Steep Ravine has tons of open space to roam and a private beach that is within hiking distance of the campsites. Each of the sites at Steep Ravine Campground are named, rather than numbered, with sea-themed names like “Cormorant” and “Abalone”.
Each campsite at Steep Ravine Environmental Campground features a picnic table, food locker, fire ring, and access to bathrooms. Firewood is also for sale from the campground host.
Steep Ravine Campground – Bottom Line
Steep Ravine Campground is amazing. Anyone who enjoys tent camping, must camp here at least once. Every campsite has legendary scenic views. The campground is very secluded and usually the only sound you can hear is the Pacific Ocean crashing on against the rocks on the bluffs below your campsite. All of the campsites are very private except, the Cormorant and Starfish campsites, which are right next to each other, but even still have good separation between the campsites. The handicap accessible campsite is the least private campsite. The Cormorant and Starfish campsites are also the only campsites with shade; all of the other campsites have absolutely no shade. The most private campsite is named Hot n’ Tot, and is off by itself on a hill overlooking the ocean. Our favorite campsite is named Pelican because it is the closest campsite to the edge of the bluffs and the ocean.
Steep Ravine Campground also has access to a ton of hiking trails that lead up and down the coast, as well as over the mountains further into Mount Tamalpais State Park, making this amazing campground also a hiker’s paradise.
Next door to Steep Ravine Campground are several cabins that are terraced toward the ocean. The cabins are just as popular of a destination as the campground, and could be a nice compromise if your significant other is not into camping.
Steep Ravine Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||7 Campsites|
|Cell Phone Service:||Possible – Major Carriers|
|Operating Season:||Campground open year round|
|Address:||3303 Shoreline Highway
Stinson Beach, CA 94970
|Nearest City/Town:||Stinson Beach, California|
|Location:||Marin County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||Yes|
|Proximity to Stores:||1.6 miles to Stinson Beach, California
|Directions:||From San Francisco, head north on Highway 101, over the Golden Gate Bridge. Take exit 445B for CA-1/Stinson Beach/Mill Valley, travel for 1 mile. Turn left at the “T” to stay on CA-1. Follow CA-1 for 10 miles. The entrance to Steep Ravine will be on your left. There is a locked gate, for which the combination will be provided upon successful reservation of a campsite.|
|Web:||California State Parks||Twitter:|
|Reservations:||Reserve a Campsite Now|
When To Go
Early Summer – While Steep Ravine books out months in advance, there are often openings for camping the early summer, as long as you do not mind putting up with some wind. The early summer season tends to bring a lot of wind to Steep Ravine, like most campgrounds on the northern California coast.
Winter average temperatures have lows 40’s, and highs in the mid-50’s. Summer average temperatures top out around 85 degrees with lows in the mid-50’s.
What To Do
Hiking – Within the Steep Ravine Campground, there is access to several trails that connect with trails in Mount Tam State Park and the rest of the Marin Headlands.
Whale Watching – During the winter, Whales are a common sight as they migrate up the coast. You may even be able to see the Farrallon Islands on a clear day.
The cabins located next to Steep Ravine Campground were built at the base of Steep Ravine Canyon in the 1940’s by William Kent, Jr. The cabins were leased inexpensively to families that lived in the area. California State Parks acquired the land that the cabins and campground are situated on in 1960. Immediately the land became a controversy and the area fell into a sorry state of disrepair and the state decided to demolish everything and restore it to the natural state. However, public backlash caused California State Parks to change their mind and instead restore the cabins in 1980. On April 1, 1984, 10 of the 14 original cabins (some were beyond repair) were included in the state environmental campground system, along with the 7 environmental campsites.