China Camp State Park

TRAILHEAD INFORMATION

Highlights

China Camp State Park offers an exceptionally scenic setting for non-motorized boating from the sandy shoreline near the China Camp village. The beach near China Camp village is a sand and pebble beach that extends 0.25 miles, with a designated boat launch area located in the southern portion of the village area parking lot. Boaters can launch from a scenic beach located next to the pier and historic China Camp Village. The site is popular with kayakers and stand up paddlers because it is very scenic and is a good launch spot to explore the Marin shoreline.

Boat Facilities

Boaters can launch from a scenic beach located next to the pier and historic China Camp Village. A marked area at the south end of the parking lot is designated for people to launch, though launching can occur anywhere along the beach.

Directions

China Camp Village is located four miles east of San Rafael on the shore of San Pablo Bay. From Highway 101, go east on North San Pedro Road for five miles until it enters the park.

Parking

The main village parking lot is compact dirt and gravel, with space for ~30 vehicles. Additional paved parking is located on the hill above the beach and village area. There are several marked ADA spaces near the village and the restrooms.

Restrooms

Restrooms with running water, changing rooms, and a boat wash are at the south end of the parking area.

Amenities

China Camp village has an unpaved parking lot, restrooms, picnic tables, boat rinse, and showers. The Quan Bros. snack shop at China Camp village is open on weekends. Food, beverages, and ice cream are available. The museum and remaining historic structures from the village and a pier are also located here. Paved parking is also available at the top of the hill leading down to China Camp village, approximately 600 feet from the boat launch area.

In addition to facilities at the village, China Camp State Park offers swimming, windsurfing, wildlife-watching, hike-in / bike-in camping, picknicking and 15 miles of mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian trails.

Accessibility

Recent ADA enhancements have been made, including parking and restrooms. Access across the beach is not currently accessible.

Safety Tips

Extensive mudflats are exposed at low tides. Boaters need to plan to launch and land only during high to mid tides. At low tides, mudflats can extend several hundred yards offshore and make returning to the beach infeasible.

China Camp is staffed by rangers and seasonal volunteers every day. California State Parks also patrols the park. Permitted hunting is allowed within the San Pablo Bay Wildlife Area, located approximately two miles away. Water Trail signage provides a warning about seasonal hunting and includes the State Fish and Wildlife website for more information.

Wildlife Tips

China Camp includes an extensive intertidal salt marsh that provides habitat to numerous birds.  The Ridgway’s rail and the salt marsh harvest mouse are endangered species that live in the marsh areas of the park. Boaters are reminded to avoid paddling in marsh areas and to keep an appropriate distance from all wildlife. Land at designated launching and landing areas.

Trailhead Photos