China Camp overlooks San Pablo Bay, the northern lobe of the San Francisco Bay. While the water can be chilly for much of the year, the temperature can warm nicely in late summer and fall (low 70s are common), providing some of the most comfortable and protected water sport conditions in the SF Bay region.
While China Camp ranks as a fantastic location for swimming, paddling, and other nonmotorized water sports, the park’s waterfront is strongly affected by tides. At low tide, large areas that look inviting can turn into mud flats in a matter of hours. Also, strong tidal pulls can be a challenge.
To avoid getting stranded in the mud, or getting caught in a tidal current, plan your aquatic adventure during a high tide, or during slack tides (halfway between high and low tide) when the tide is coming in.