state park near the bay area


State Parks near San Francisco

There are so many travelers around the world that love spending their vacations out in nature, which is why so many people are going to want to visit San Francisco’s State Parks with an RV rental. There is a plethora of parks near this infamous city, with the most being state parks. However, there are also national wildlife refuges, national historic sites, state reserves and wildlife areas, and even a national seashore scattered amongst them all. 

With so many options, travelers may have a difficult time choosing which parks to visit with their RV rental, but the best ones include Thornton Beach State Park, the Robert Louis Stevenson State ParkMount Tamalpais State Park, and Mount Diablo State Park. Each one is filled with natural beauty that everyone will want to explore. 

When travelers decide to use an RV rental for this type of trip, they will have the capability to venture from one park to the next without needing to find accommodations at each one or moving their belongings from one hotel room to the next. Instead, they can simply hop into their camper rental, drive to their next destination, connect their water and electricity, and be ready for a few more days of fun! No unpacking and repacking suitcases, no searching for restaurants for meals out, and no wondering about whether they will have noisy neighbors on the other side of a wall. 

There is no wrong or right state park to start with near San Francisco, but most travelers will choose to visit them in the order that they can all be reached. For the state parks mentioned above, most travelers will take their RV rental from Thornton Beach State Park to Mount Diablo State Park and then continue to Mount Tamalpais State Park and the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park.

 Thornton Beach State Park

People normally do not stay at Thornton Beach State Park for more than a day or two, especially in recent years, due to the beach not being readily accessible at the moment. However, that doesn’t stop travelers from going to hike the Bay Area Ridge Trail. Those who choose to walk this trail will find themselves looking down off the bluffs to the magnificent water below. 

Everyone is urged to dress appropriately for their time at this state park, as the weather is normally windy, foggy, and downright cool or cold. Visitors should also have on proper hiking boots, as some sections of the trail can be slippery, and the soil and gravel can be really loose.

mount diablo state park signMount Diablo State Park

Mount Diablo State Park offers visitors with RV rentals quite a few more options, as it is an ecological treasure not too far from a fabulous city. Every season offers different views, yet every piece of the park stays the same. Most travelers will want to tackle the hike to the summit, which is three thousand eight hundred and forty-nine feet high, while others will simply ride on the back of a horse through some of the more remote trails. 

The Grand Loop Trail is seven miles round trip and it is the trail that everyone takes to the top of Mount Diablo. Once at the top, hikers can see miles of the city below. There are two other trails that are quite popular, and they are the Summit Trail and the Juniper Trail. The Summit Trail is only a little shorter at six miles, but the Juniper Trail comes in at two miles round trip, which is why new hikers can be found on that one. 

The best spots for views at Mount Diablo State Park, besides the top of the mountain, are the Diablo Valley Overlook and the Observation Deck. The overlook is just over three thousand feet above sea level and views of the Golden Gate Bridge are phenomenal from there. The Observation Deck has telescopes so that everyone can enjoy the best views possible. 

After a few days at Mount Diablo State Park, most people will be ready to take their RV rental over to Mount Tamalpais State Park to see the redwood groves. There are more than fifty miles of trails throughout this park and many of them connect to two hundred more miles of trails in other areas of San Francisco. While everyone can drive almost to the top of the summit, everyone is encouraged to hike up instead, as the views from the side of the mountain are only outdone by the views from the top. 

Every visitor will want to stop at the visitor center at the East Peak Summit, as it is the perfect place for a picnic lunch or snack while taking a break from the climb. While there is no better time of year to visit this state park, those who arrive there in the spring will be able to watch the Mountain Play at the Mountain Theater. This play has been performed every year during the spring since 1913. 

Mount Tamalpais State Park

Some travelers will take the time to do a little side trip when they are at Mount Tamalpais State Park, because Angel Island State Park is so close by. This magical island is in the middle of the San Francisco Bay and it is full of history. Everyone must take either the ferry or a private boat over to the island, and while it is a state park, no one is allowed to enter the areas where the two Coast Guard stations are located. 

Visitors can spend time relaxing on the beaches or they can hit the trails or ride the tram to learn the history of the island and see all the historic buildings. No one will be able to resist climbing the seven hundred eighty-eight feet to the top of Mount Caroline Livermore to see the fantastic views of the island and the surrounding water.

RV Rental Destinations - Bay AreaRobert Louis Stevenson State Park 

The last stop of this journey would be at the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, which has quite the history when it comes to this infamous author. Those who have read his books may or may not know that he spent his honeymoon in a cabin in this state park back in 1880. Unfortunately, the cabin is long gone, but those who hike the trail to the summit will find that the site of the cabin is clearly marked. 

The hike along the Stevenson Memorial Trail is only a mile long, but people can continue for another four miles to reach the top of the summit. This journey may seem long and arduous, but in the end, everyone will be thrilled to have not only reached the top but to be privy to the amazing views of the entire Bay Area. 

Everyone will fall in love with this area, just like Stevenson did during his honeymoon, which is why no one is going to want to leave in their RV rental to return home. However, as this is the end of the trip, and all good things must come to an end, travelers will find that they must venture home, return their RV and begin planning their next adventure!