Coast Camp is a great beginner backpacking campground in Point Reyes National Seashore. It offers only hike-in tent camping, with access trails measuring about 6 miles from the Bear Valley Visitor Center and about 2 miles from the Laguna Trailhead. The campground is only a few hundred yards from the beach, where driftwood bonfires are usually permitted and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean are always available. The campground has a basic latrine, and there are a couple of spigots that provide potable water. Each site has food lockers and a picnic table.
With a few basic amenities and the option for a short hike in, Coast Camp is great for first-timers ready to move beyond car camping and start hauling gear down the trail. Both hikes are charming, and the hike from Bear Valley, in particular, winds through a nice mix of fire-scarred forests and open hillsides with delightful coastal views.
The National Park Service provides a handy map of the campsites in Coast Camp. The lower sites (8 through 14) are more open and communal, while the upper sites (1 through 7) offer greater privacy and some direct ocean views. The upper sites are also farther from the latrine and the water spigots, which could be either an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your preference.
If you leave food unattended for even 30 seconds in Coast Camp, particularly after dusk, it is liable to be snatched by wily raccoons that are experts at patrolling this well-visited area. Stay organized and store all food in the bear lockers provided.
As one of the more appealing campsites within a short drive of the San Francisco Bay Area, Coast Camp is very difficult to reserve. Plan to book your sites as soon as they are made available online, months before your intended visit.