This is a beautiful little park along the coast of San Pablo Bay on the east side of San Pedro Mountain. The location has a very peaceful and serene feeling to it. Point San Pedro Road winds along the coast with scenic views of the San Francisco North Bay. A good 15 mile trail system covers the area to the top of the mostly forested mountain. The coastline has intertidal marshlands with plenty of wildlife. There is a campground as well as recreational facilities for gatherings like picnics. It is a popular hiking and mountain biking destination. There is also horseback riding, swimming at the village beach, small boating and wind surfing. (Though I've never seen hardly any horseback riding or windsurfing there.)
On of the nice things about China Camp is the fact that it is inland by the bay and often stays sunny and warmer when the hills and mountains towards the coast are getting socked in with fog.
There is an old abandoned Nike Missile site with a few underground silos covered with concrete at the top of the mountain from the Cold War.
China Camp got it's name because in the 1880's it was a Chinese shrimp fishing village. When thriving it had almost 500 people, 3 general stores, a marine supply store and a barber shop. Experienced shrimp fishermen from China gravitated to the village. Most of the shrimp they caught was dried and shipped back to China or to Chinese communities in the US. There is a museum at China Camp Village.
From 3rd Street in central San Rafael go east on Point San Pedro Road which becomes North San Pedro (all the same road) out 5.3 miles to the village. There is a parking lot on the right above the village.
Click on this sign for red tape info.
This info was new to me. It has always been free. To the best of my knowledge this is posted at only one location and there are many locations from which to enter the park.
The gate to the fishing village parking lot and to Back Ranch Meadows campground are closed at 9 pm. There are reservable picnic sites and campground.
Click on Friends of China Camp for the best red tape info about camping, reservations and general use of the park.
For general State Park rules and regulations click here.
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