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Open Year-round
?
Reservations possible?
Yes
RV Hookups
No
Potable water
Yes
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Gerstel Cove Campground in Salt Point State Park has 30 drive-in sites located on the ocean side of Highway 1. While other campgrounds are available in the park, Gerstle Cove Campground offers the nearest ocean access and remains open year-round. As the name suggests, the campground is adjacent to Gerstle Cove, a State Marine Reserve that hosts a healthy underwater kelp forest. The rich marine ecosystem makes Gerstle Cove a popular spot for divers staying at the campground. 

The campground is situated around a single loop, and the outer campsites offer more privacy than others. There are no showers. Reservations are possible year-round and strongly encouraged March through October. 

There are two 0.3-mile trails connecting Gerstle Cove with the campground, both winding through thick coastal forest before emerging on the grass-covered bluffs that are typical of the Sonoma Coast. The tide pooling is excellent down in Gerstle Cove, and because the area is a State Marine Reserve, it is illegal to take anything from the protected area.

Consider exploring the Salt Point Trail that travels the shoreline north from Gerstle Cove to Stump Beach Cove and beyond. Gray whales may be spotted as they migrate along the coast from January through April.

There is a road down to the day use area from the campground.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Easy access to Gerstle Cove. Exploring Salt Point State Park.

Cons

Can be booked weekends March through October.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Managed by

California State parks

Reservation phone number

1 (800) 444-7275

Features

Flushing toilets
Potable water

Recommended Campsites Without Photos

5, 7, 16, 18

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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