Wild for Wildcat

Backpacking and Camping at Wildcat Camp in Point Reyes

There’s a good reason why getting a reservation at Wildcat Camp in Point Reyes is so tough: With seven sites strewn along a coastal bluff adjacent to Wildcat Beach, it’s one of Northern California’s premier camping destinations. And the journey to reach it is as sweet as the destination!

The best way to access Wildcat Camp is via a 5.5-mile (one-way) hike. Get an early start at the Palomarin Trailhead near Bolinas, where Coast Trail weaves along the cusp of the continent. Bass Lake marks the halfway point; stop for a snack at this large deep-blue watering hole. From there it’s about another hour to camp.

Pitch your tent in the open meadow and spend the rest of the day collecting driftwood or playing Frisbee on the deserted beach (just a five-minute stroll from camp). Hungry for more hiking? Spectacular Alamere Falls is just 1 mile down the beach at low tide.

Backpackers overlooking the bluff and down to the Pacific ocean at Point Reyes National Seashore near Wildcat Camp

Two people sit around a campfire located at the beach near Wildcat Camp in Point Reyes National Seashore

Backpacker hiking on the Coast Trail surrounded by yellow wildflowers in Point Reyes National Seashore

Three friends on the bluff trail at Wildcat Camp overlooking the beach and ocean in Point Reyes National Seashore

Friends set up a group camp with multiple tents at Wildcat Camp in Point Reyes National Seashore

Beach goers wandering and relaxing on the sand near Alamere Falls in Point Reyes.

The 50-foot tumbler launches off a cliff into the sand (and is very popular with day hikers). At night make new friends around a beach bonfire, and be sure to pass the s’mores. In the morning, when the winds are usually calm, stand high on the bluffs, skimming the waters for gray whales. Eyes wild open.

PRO TIP: There’s one first-come, first-served spot that you can try to get by being at the Bear Valley Visitor Center when it opens at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. No dogs.

Make reservations and plan your trip.

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