China Camp State Park

San Rafael

The park is nestled along the shore of the San Pablo Bay. The road through the park offers beautiful views of the waterfront. Features include an extensive intertidal salt marsh, meadow, and oak habitats. There is a variety of wildlife, including deer, squirrels, coyote, fox, bats, and numerous birds. The California clapper rail and the salt marsh harvest mouse are endangered species that live in the marsh areas of the park.

A Chinese shrimp-fishing village thrived on this site in the 1880s. Nearly 500 people, originally from Canton, China, lived in the village. In its heyday, there were three general stores, a marine supply store and a barber shop.

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My husband and I took our niece and daughter to China Camp State Park in Marin County to camp overnight a couple of years ago for a dry run before we went to Yosemite. We all loved the place. Campers must walk in which eliminates nearly all of the nuisances generally associated with drive in campgrounds ie. RV's charging generators, loud radios, etc. The facilities were top notch including flush toilets and hot showers that are cleaned regularly. This was a plus for the girls who are pretty fussy about those things. The campsites are spaced generously apart in oak woods. We swam one day in the bay at the China Camp Beach where there are historic buildings and displays about the Chinese Americans who settled there and commercially fished the bay for shrimp. If you are interested in going to the beach, make sure to wear foot coverings because the beach is made up of small stones (great skippers) and are tough on the feet. We saw lots of animal life in the campground after sunset several deer, a gray fox, a family of raccoons, and a skunk. You can make reservations through Mystix.  Holliday


China Camp in San Rafael. Marsh hikes, drive a little way to private bay beach and the China Camp museum. Barbara