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“Surprising park”

China Camp State Park
Ranked #2 of 25 things to do in San Rafael
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located on the grounds of an old Chinese fishing settlement, this park includes over 1,500 acres of beaches, hiking trails and picnic grounds.
Reviewed 28 December 2011

I had never been here before, and was so pleasantly surprised to visit this park. It's a little piece of local history, and I hope it gets saved.

Thank devenich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 14 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 15 reviews
"mountain bikers"
in 9 reviews
"bay area"
in 16 reviews
"san pablo bay"
in 10 reviews
"single track trails"
in 5 reviews
"picnic tables"
in 8 reviews
"fishing village"
in 4 reviews
"chinese immigrants"
in 4 reviews
"chinese fishing"
in 4 reviews
"history lesson"
in 4 reviews
"china beach"
in 3 reviews
"bike ride"
in 3 reviews
"small museum"
in 5 reviews
"wild turkeys"
in 4 reviews
"sandy beach"
in 2 reviews
"back yard"
in 2 reviews

166 - 170 of 172 reviews

Reviewed 26 April 2011

We loved this spot - it felt like you were transported to a different world - and the trails were fantastic - something for all levels.

We rented bikes at California Bike N Bean just down the road. Great guys, very knowledgeable and would highly recommend if you are traveling without your bike.

3  Thank ThePeteman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2009

China Camp State Park is a beatiful spot, close to the big ciry. It appears you are in the mountains, yet when you look one way, you are on the edge of the bay. There are some beautiful picnic spots with tables overlooking the bay. You can fish from these and other locations. There are several trails on the mountain, and camp and picnic locations in lower spots. The old China Camp is a historical site, where Chinese once fished for shrimp. There are Chinese festivals, and sometimes an old Chinese junk comes to the pier.
On unfortunate aspect is the "multiuse" trails policy. Bikers are supposed to yield to hikers, and both yield to horses. In practice, mountain bikers on single track trails never yield to anyone, and make hiking a very nervejarring experience.

4  Thank Shadow010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2006

Just two weeks ago, we had our first tent camping experience as a family at China Camp. It was all tent camping--no stinky RVs.

The Campground Host greeted us warmly and, realizing that we are city folk, provided some tips about the wildlife. There was an aggressive buck for our child to avoid (never saw him) and we were to look out for racoons coming up to our table and eating our food as we dined. (This didn't happen. However, overnight, they were unfairly vicious toward a milk carton and used s'more hanger we'd foolishly left by the fire.)

Curious yet timid deer padded through the trees. Wild turkey would make an occasional appearance, cackling unobtrusively and scratching about, keeping their distance. Flies and the like were at a bare minimum. The host had warned us against lyme-disease carrying ticks, thus we avoided brushing against the plant life and stayed in jeans and light sweat pants. The campground is near a marsh and you can see a generous sliver of a lovely, nearby bay when you drive up--it's not visible from the campsites. There were a couple of levels of the campground. Our site was among others that were up a not-too-steep hill. If it were steep, believe me, I'd be complaining to you right now. In fact, that would probably take up the bulk of this review. But it is kind of a pain to drag your gear up it so when you're packing, think about how many trips you want to take up a hill with your stuff. Or request a site that is on the first level.

The campground is five-mile drive to San Rafael, a friendly town with great restaurants--particularly a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant that my husband thinks was called Chopsticks. I had the Mongolian Beef, my husband had the Broccoli Beef and my daughter had the Chicken Chow Mein--a favorite of the other little kids we saw in the restaurant. Everyone was pleased with their orders, and we were with a number of typically picky teens--a large group of kids from my husband's school joined us the second day of camping. The owners were sweet and accomodating, even pointing out better deals on the menu when we were about to splurge. They provided super generous portions; few people could finish their meals. The decor is beyond meh but the service was fast and amazing. Even if you are determined to rough it, I'd plan ahead of time to eat at least one meal there.

Wait, that reminds me: this is a camping review...

Anyways. Yeah, the camping. While our site sloped a bit, there were others around that were nice and flat. The campground was full, so that was the luck of the draw apparently. But if I were you, I would call and ask for a level site. We liked the fact that we had a picnic table and fire ring (wood available for $5/bundle and you can't bring any from the outside) in our site. There was also a musty, weathered wooden locker (bring your own lock) that was about the size of two standard school lockers. You could put your valuables there, but I think they'll be just as safe in your car. The campground host stays in a RV parked in the lot and seems extremely vigilant about everything. (And it seemed that nine times out of 10, there was a ranger lurking about, summoned because he'd had an issue with something campers had done. That's fine. Just stick to their rules--and there weren't too many--and you won't hear from them. For example, drive 15 MPH on the road leading to the campground or you'll be hearing about it.) You'll definitely want to keep your food in your car, not that locker. It's not that long of a walk, really, and didn't I say the racoons are obNOXious at night? They make these unsettling, growling noises like some kind of netherworld beasts tearing apart a human carcass, a cacophony that you don't want to startle you awake in the middle of the night. And then realize that you need to use the restroom, and hope it was just raccoons out there as you slowly unzip the tent.

Good times.

Speaking of bathrooms, let's not forget the super clean facilities with flushing toilets and warm showers. The showers are coin-operated; bring at least 50¢ for a very nice rinse off, or more if you've had a rough day. Don't forget your shower shoes. They keep the stalls pretty clean, but I'm just saying. There was a long-necked water fountain thingie near the bathroom which I guess you could use for cooking. We wouldn't know. You can take a girl out of the city....

Overall, yep, we would go there again. Though the weather was mild, we were cold enough at night that maybe we'd return in the summer next trip.

28  Thank City_Princess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 May 2017
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Thank Navatravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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