Haypress Camp Marin Headlands
Leaving work at 5 p.m. on a Friday and pitching a tent an hour later may seem like a stretch…unless you’re camping in the Marin Headlands. Two excellent hike-in campgrounds offer quick escapes to the great outdoors. They also make a great introduction for first-time backpackers. Tucked in the northern part of Tennessee Valley and surrounded by gently sloping headlands, Haypress Camp (pictured) has five simple campsites reachable by a 1-mile walk from the parking lot. Pick a site beside a eucalyptus grove and see how many quail and red-tail hawks you can count. Hawk Camp, the second hike-in option, is a longer hike-in at 2.5 miles (one-way). It’s a gradual grunt from Tennessee Valley up the Marincello Trail before dipping to Gerbode Valley. Hawk Camp has just three sites, all with a distant ocean view. As a reminder that this bit of nature isn’t far from the city, San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid pokes over the green and tawny hills.

To make a reservation call 415-331-1540. There are no fees for Haypress or Hawk Camp. No water is available at the sites so be sure to pack your own. Here's a map of the Marin Headlands. No dogs.