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part ofGolden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service
View from campsite 1
Status: Open through Sat Oct 31 2015   Season Dates


Kirby Cove is located just eight miles north of downtown San Francisco, at historic Battery Kirby. Visitors are awarded breathtaking views of San Francisco, its famous Golden Gate Bridge and the rugged Pacific Coast of northern California.

Natural Features:

Kirby Cove offers a pristine coarse-sand beach with spectacular views - when it's not foggy - of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and northern San Francisco, including the historic Presidio. The cove is nestled at the foot of the craggy Marin Headlands just west of the Golden Gate Bridge.

A steep, mile-long trail to the cove begins at the parking area above Battery Spencer on Conzelman Road. The path descends through a stately grove of Monterrey pine and cypress and Blue Gum eucalyptus. Coastal sage and colorful Lupine dot the hillsides.

Temperatures are mild year-round. Expect lows from 50-55 degrees and highs from 60-65. Fog is prevalent in the summer months from May-Sept. It is best to bring clothing that can be layered. Lightweight summer clothes are rarely comfortable to wear at Kirby Cove.


Hiking, picnicking and taking in the beautiful views from Kirby Cove are the park's most popular activities.

Visitors also enjoy exploring Battery Kirby, a historic army battery in use from 1898-1934.


Kirby Cove offers five overnight camping sites and one day-use picnic site, all reached via driving on a steep access road. The day-use site is available as an accessible picnic site for persons with a disability or otherwise limited physical mobility. Sites 2 and 5 are available as accessible campsites for persons with a disability or otherwise limited physical mobility. If sites 2 or 5 are already reserved and you are looking for an accessible campsite, please contact the Marin Headlands Visitor Center (415) 331-1540 for assistance.

Nearby Attractions:

The San Francisco Bay Area has no shortage of fun and interesting things to do and see. Awe-inspiring Muir Woods National Monument, with its old-growth coastal redwood forest and numerous hiking trails, is just a 20-minute drive from Kirby Cove. Mount Tamalpais State Park, with hiking and sweeping views of the Bay Area, is another 10 minutes past Muir Woods.

Downtown San Francisco offers a myriad of restaurants, shops, museums and tourist attractions. Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz Island and Chinatown are popular destinations. Visitors love riding San Francisco's world famous cable cars up and down the city's hilly streets.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Beach
  • Campfire Rings
  • Food Storage Locker
  • Grills
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Area
  • Tent sites
  • Vault Toilets
Know Before You Go
  • Reservation packets will be sent via email. Please check your email about one month before your reservation to find your permits.
  • Campers must provide their own water for drinking, cleaning, etc; bring enough water to last your entire stay
  • Foghorns on the Golden Gate Bridge can be heard loud and clear; best to bring earplugs if staying overnight
  • Firewood must be nail and chemical free and purchased locally; gathering firewood is not allowed
  • Pets are prohibited, except trained guide and service animals
  • Raccoons, deer, coyotes and bobcats frequent the area: do not feed or approach wildlife; keep area clean of scented items and keep all food items locked in the provided food locker or in the trunk of your vehicle

Fire Danger: During Extreme Fire Danger Red Flag Days and "Spare the Air" Days, all fires and BBQs in the Recreation Area will be banned. Only self-contained gas stoves will be permitted at designated campgrounds and picnic areas. Please abide by the fire danger signs when posted.

Kirby Cove is accessed though a locked entrance gate just off Conzelman Road, followed by a mile-long dirt road which is steep, narrow and winding. The road is not wide enough to accommodate large vehicles or RVs. All sites require at least a 200-yard walk from parking area. RVs and camper vehicles are not permitted; sleeping in vehicles is prohibited.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
37.84035, -122.48889
37°50'25"N, 122°29'20"W

From 101, take Alexander Ave exit. Turn left at the stop sign. Turn right up the steep hill named Conzelman Road, just before the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge. The Kirby Cove campground entrance will be on the left a quarter mile up on Conzelman Road. Look for the 3 poles at the end of a gravel pull-out and a locked white service gate.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Access Gate located on Conzelman Road just past Battery Spencer Overlook.

Marin Headlands Visitor Center: 415-331-1540 Building 948 Fort Barry

Sausalito  CA  94965

Phone Number:

Information:  (415)331-1540

Special Events:

The events listed here are not intended to be an all inclusive list. Please contact the park for further details.

  • Nike Missile Site is open year-round Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. from Apr 11 2011 to Dec 31 2050
  • Marin Headlands Visitor Center is open daily from 9:30am to 4:30pm except Thanksgiving and Christmas from Apr 11 2011 to Dec 31 2050
  • Point Bonita Lighthouse is open year round Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12:30pm -3:30pm . Evening tours are also given on full moon nights;call the Visitor Center for reservations. from Apr 11 2011 to Dec 31 2050
  • Historic Battery Townsley is open for public tours the first Sunday of everymonth from 12-4pm from Apr 11 2011 to Dec 31 2050
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