Perched on four wooded acres above Baker Beach at the Presidio's highest point, Rob Hill is one of just two campgrounds in San Francisco. Here, you can see the lights of Sutro Tower, smell the ocean, and hear the owls in the Cypress trees. It's easy to see why people have been sleeping under the stars here for generations, beginning with the Ohlone, the first inhabitants of this area.
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 became a popular group campground, and until 2018 it was the only campground in San Francisco.
When the U.S. Army left the Presidio, Rob Hill was a 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.