Urban dwellers accustomed to waking up to the sounds of city life will appreciate the morning chorus of breaking waves, fog horns, and bird songs at Rob Hill Campground.
Perched on four wooded acres above Baker Beach at the Presidio’s highest point, Rob Hill is the only campground in San Francisco. Here, you can see the lights of Sutro Tower, smell the ocean, and hear the owls in their Cypress roosts. It’s easy to see why people have been sleeping under the stars – fog-shrouded as they may be at times – here for generations, beginning with the Ohlone, the first inhabitants of this area.
When the U.S. Army left the Presidio, Rob Hill was a dusty, rustic site. In 2010, it received a major facelift with the addition of upgraded group campsites; clean, well-lighted restrooms; accessible paved pathways; and a building for educational programs. Improvements were funded by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.
Rob Hill’s modern amenities and urban location make it ideal for inexperienced or reluctant campers — you can bring your own gear or rent it at Sports Basement at Crissy Field.
Two group campsites are available for general public rental. Each site can accommodate up to 30 people and features a fire pit, a free-standing barbeque grill, and picnic tables. Rob Hill has restrooms but no showers.
Reserving a Campsite - 2016
A reservation and permit are required for camping at Rob Hill. Use of a campsite is $125 per site per night, with a maximum stay of 3 nights. Payments are by credit card only; fees are non-refundable. A minimum of three working days is required to process reservations.
The Rob Hill Campground season is April 1 to October 31, 2016.Reservations are available on a rolling basis several months in advance. Reservations may be submitted via email at 9 am PST on or after:
- Monday, February 1 for April, May, June, July camping use
- Monday, March 7 for August, September, October camping use
RV camping is not allowed in the Presidio.
- Reservations begin at 2 pm and end at noon the following day.
- Heavy rains and high wind advisory cancels. Please call the weather hotline (415) 561-2115 for updated information.
- Service dogs are the only pets allowed.
Alcohol, smoking, firearms, explosives, and generators are not permitted.
Permits come with four parking passes. Please park in the designated parking area; illegally parked vehicles are subject to ticketing and towing by the U.S. Park Police. Vehicles are not permitted in the campground proper. Additional paid parking is close by for your guests.
- Quiet time is 10 pm to 6 am.
- No amplified music is allowed.
- The campground cannot be considered a temporary residence.
- Walk-in camping with ADA access to the sites is available.
Camping at the Presidio (CAP) Program
Two of Rob Hill’s four group sites are reserved for the
Camping at the Presidio (CAP) program
, which provides youth with meaningful overnight camping experiences. Through this “train the trainer” program, the leaders of schools and community organizations are given the skills to bring groups of kids to explore the Presidio’s great outdoors. These adventures offer hands-on learning and exploration. CAP leaders love “getting to know the kids in a different setting” and seeing their kids’ enthusiasm about simple natural wonders like a banana slug or the night sky. “The whole experience was truly magical!” said one CAP participant.
Other Local Campsites
If Rob Hill Campground is unavailable, try these other terrific local sites:
Golden Gate National Recreation Area: For Kirby Cove and the Marin Headlands campsites, call
, or visit
Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay: To obtain a reservation, call
(415) 663-8054 between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm, Monday through Friday. Reservations may be made in person seven days a week at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
San Mateo County Parks: Call the Reservations Desk at
between Monday and Thursday, 8 am to 5 pm, or visit
Local RV Parks
History of Rob Hill Campground
People have slept under the stars at Rob Hill for generations, beginning with the Ohlone who first inhabited the land. In 1776 the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition walked along this hillside as they established a Spanish Presidio near the magnificent harbor.
In 1852, U.S. Army engineers planned a small fort, known as a “redoubt,” on this hill. While it was never constructed, the Army operated a lookout station at this site, by then known as Telegraph Hill, to spot incoming ships. The name “Rob Hill” was derived from the survey marker “Redoubt, Telegraph Hill.”
From 1898 through World War II, nearby gun batteries were ready to defend against enemy warships. After the war, the Army created a campground here to welcome Scout troops. Rob Hill remained a popular group campground after the Presidio became a national park site
and continues to flourish, thanks to its recent renovation and expansion.