China Camp State Park offers a wealth of sights to see, trails to hike and bike, history to learn, and places to relax with the whole family. The park encompasses 1,640 acres with a variety of habitats, including oak woodlands, meadows, and tidal salt marshes. China Camp Village represents the last vestige of the more than two dozen Chinese shrimp fishing camps that once lined the shores of the San Francisco Bay estuary. It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1979, recognizing its significance in the areas of exploration/settlement, architecture, commerce, and social history.
To get a quick overview of China Camp State Park, take a tour of the many attractions the park has to offer.
Official China Camp State Park Website
The California State Parks website has information about visiting China Camp State Park. Here you will find general information about the park, hours of operation, how to reserve campsites and picnic areas, and trail overviews. Download the Turtle Back Trail Interpretive Audio Tour and use it to follow this easy and scenic nature trail. Information is also available about educational programs in the park, such as the Junior Ranger Program and Summer Campfire Programs.
Back Ranch Meadows Campground
China Camp State Park has one campground, Back Ranch Meadows, available for walk-in tent camping. It is located near the entrance to the park, just off of North San Pedro Road. There are 33 campsites situated among groves of oaks, bay laurels, and madrones. Back Ranch Meadows is approximately three miles from China Camp Village and is close to a number of hiking trails, including the Shoreline Trail and the Turtle Back Hill Nature Trail. The campground has restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and fire rings. Check in time is after 2:00PM and check out time is Noon. Tents and equipment must be carried from the parking lot, approximately 50-300 yards. One Hike and Bike campsite is available. Two campsites are accessible to the disabled, as are campground restrooms. Self-contained recreational vehicles are allowed to stay one night in the parking lot, although no electrical or water hook-ups are available.
The Back Ranch Meadows Campground is now open seven days a week!
Reservations are accepted during the high season, which runs from April 1 through October 31. Self-registration is required the rest of the year. Reservations can be made through ReserveAmerica by calling (800) 444-7275 or you can also make a reservation online. Call the park Project Office at (415) 456-0766 for more information.
Each year in August, China Camp Village is host to Heritage Day, a celebration of Chinese-American culture that features folk music and lion dance performances, acrobats, tai-chi demonstrations, and ranger-led tours. The historic schooner Alma and the replica Chinese junk Grace Quan are on display in the Bay just offshore from the village. Activities and crafts for children take place, along with displays and presentations by the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Marin History Museum, and the State Park Archaeology Lab. Admission is free.
History of China Camp
China Camp State Park has a long history that takes in the diversity of California. The area that is now occupied by the park was first inhabited by Native Americans, then explored by the Spanish, developed into a cattle rancho by an Irish immigrant who obtained a Mexican land grant, then settled by Chinese fishermen who harvested shrimp from the Bay. In modern times, China Camp State Park was established to preserve this rich history for generations to come.
Read more about the History of China Camp.
A Visitor's Guide to China Camp State Park
This comprehensive guidebook covers everything to see and do in China Camp State Park. Visit China Camp Village, the last remaining Chinese fishing camp along the shore of the Bay. Hike or bike along the beautiful wildflower-lined trails that meander through the forests and up to the top of San Pedro Mountain. Find out about the most pristine and best preserved tidal salt marshes in the Bay Area. This guidebook will show you all around China Camp State Park. Full color photography and detailed maps.
Available for sale at the Museum in China Camp Village. $15. 40 pages. $2 from every sale goes to Friends of China Camp.