Ocean access, marvelous views, and temperate weather—these define the San Francisco Bay Area. Add the human contributions—the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Embarcadero, and much more— and you have what makes San Francisco such a special city. But the Bay Area is far more than the city on the hills. Its borders extend from Point Reyes National Seashore in the north to Santa Cruz in the south, and they encompass a variety of natural settings for outdoor recreation. The 74,000-acre Golden Gate Recreation Area spans several counties and is the world’s largest urban park. Point Reyes, only an hour’s drive from the city, offers many miles of isolated beaches, hiking and riding trails, and walk-in campsites. Muir Woods, a beautiful redwood grove, is even closer. To the south, 18,000-acre Big Basin State Park preserves more of these giant, ancient trees and offers 80 miles of trails from which to view them. A long string of beaches reaches from Daly City to south of Santa Cruz, while to the east, wooded parks such as Mount Diablo and Henry Coe offer sylvan settings close to the urban sprawl. The temperature of the San Francisco Bay Area is moderate year-round and varies little from spring through fall. Rainfall is light, averaging from 4.2 inches in January to virtually zero in June, July, and August. Campgrounds included in this eTrail are: Samuel P. Taylor State Park, Mount Tamalpais, China Camp, Anthony Chabot, Mount Diablo, Half Moon Bay, Huddart Park Group Camp, Memorial County Park, Butano State Park, Portola State Park, Big Basin Redwoods, Del Valle, Sunol Regional Wilderness, Joseph D. Grant County Park, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, New Brighton State Beach, Seacliff State Beach, Manresa State Beach, Sunset State Beach, Henry W. Coe, Uvas Canyon, Mount Madonna, and Coyote Lake.
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