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    China Camp Loop

    San Rafael, California

    China Camp Loop

    China Camp Loop Professional Guide

    Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

    "This is a quick trek into the woods. Enjoy well-maintained singletrack through the hills along San Pablo Bay. Ride toward the ridgeline and follow the contours to China Camp Village. This picturesque spot offers a piece of local history and a beach for picnics, sunbathing, and swimming. Return along the edge of the hills near the shoreline. Beginners can ride the lower trail as an easy out-and-back. Upper trails along the ridge present routes that are more challenging and views of Mount Tamalpais and San Francisco Bay. This is a great introduction to mountain biking. Trail surface: 93 percent singletrack and 7 percent dirt road."

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    San Francisco, CA
    Explorer | 50 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    4/20/2010
    Really fun tree covered ride. Get ready for a pretty steady climb in the beginning but once you get to the top its smooth riding from there on out. Novice to Intermediate.
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    Royal Oak, MI
    Pathfinder | 70 pts
    3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
    8/13/2009
    Loop is pretty much exactly what it says it is, fairly wide intermediate singletrack. Parked on the road and entered at the park entrance which worked pretty good. First couple of miles are all uphill and then pretty much cruise from there. Lots of sharp switchbacks which made it interesting. Visiting from Michigan and had the GF along both on rented bikes so it was the perfect trail for the situation.
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    North Richmond, CA
    Explorer | 30 pts
    1 out of 5 stars1 out of 5 stars1 out of 5 stars1 out of 5 stars1 out of 5 stars
    7/15/2009
    This is an amazing trail. Once you get past the initial climb the majority of the trail is easy. The path is generally smooth and there is lots of gentle downhill. You go through many different eco systems, Redwood Forest, Manzanitat Forest and open Oak studded grassland. I took my 8 year old nephew and he loved it! We did the whole 9 miles!
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    Chester, CA
    Trailblazer | 512 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    7/19/2008
    nice for running or biking. It's hard to believe that millions of people live nearby.
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    San Francisco, CA
    Pathfinder | 101 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    11/4/2007
    Great trail, beautiful views and a fun time, even for my wife who is a novice rider. We even saw some wildlife, a large Buck and 2 Does crossing the trail and cruising up the hill. We'll be back.
    0
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    Tucson, AZ
    Adventurer | 334 pts
    3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
    6/19/2007
    Wide singletracks go round the wooded hill, Old roads converted to trails so machine cut. Saw a deer, nice views of the bay near top.
    0
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    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Explorer | 31 pts
    3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
    9/16/2006
    I must have had extraordinarily bad luck but I experienced nothing but steep ups/downs and nothing to be considered "intermediate" in skills. Won't ride this one again probably. Don't understand folks that said I had to ride this one.
    0
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    Fairfield, CA
    Explorer | 51 pts
    3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
    1/15/2006
    Nice trail, really well maintained. Due to flooding a large section of the loop was closed down. I would recommend this to all skill levels, there is a little bit for everyone.
    The only downside was that must get super crowded. I went on a Sunday in the winter and I can only imagine what it must get like come nicer weather…. I will probably only go back if I can make it a weekday.
    0
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    Concord, CA
    Explorer | 40 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    10/15/2005
    This is one of the first single track trails that I have ridden in California. I was very impressed with how well the trails are maintained. The trail did require some skill around some of the turns, and the climb was strenuous, but not overly so. I definitely recommend you hit this trail early rather than later on a weekend, as by the time we were through with our ride (around lunchtime) the trail was more populated.
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    Benicia, CA
    Pathfinder | 160 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    7/16/2005
    This was an excellent ride. Fantastic scenery of the San Pablo Bay. So close...but you had the feeling of being far away. I took a ride in the evening and saw plenty of deer....so be careful.
    0
    Comments

    More China Camp Loop Professional Guides

    Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

    Jane Huber
    "China Camp’s rolling forested hills front San Pablo Bay just minutes from the hustle and bustle of San Rafael. Unlike some other destinations where the trip to the trailhead seems to take forever, the coffee nestled in your cup holder may still be warm when you pull into the trailhead." Read more
    "This ride is a loop comprised almost entirely of fantastic, switchbacky singletrack that pops in and out of incredible oak-dominated forest. Rather than fight the weekend parking-lot havoc that can be China Camp, I suggest a somewhat nontraditional starting point in the neighborhood off Biscayne Drive." Read more
    Wayne Cottrell
    "China Camp Outing follows a clockwise loop entirely within the boundaries of China Camp State Park in San Rafael. The park is located on the Point San Pedro isthmus, bordering the northwest side of San Francisco Bay. In this environs it is actually San Pablo Bay, despite there being no boundary between the two bays. The ride is ideal for mountain bikes, with a challenging mixture of hills, single-track, and technical segments over dirt and rocks. The challenges are not great, however, making the ride suitable for conditioned beginners." Read more
    Bay Area Mountain Bike Trails (Penngrove Publications)
    Conrad Boisvert
    "In the late 1800’s, Chinese immigrants living in San Francisco suffered many indignations caused by the prejudice that was prevalent there at that time. Many of them relocated across the bay to Marin and settled in an area along the shoreline that was convenient for their shrimp-harvesting trade. Today that area is known as China Camp State Park and is a popular destination for overnight campers and mountain bike enthusiasts. While most state parks in California permit mountain biking only along fire roads, China Camp is a notable exception. All the single-track trails in the park are legal for bikes and this is a major factor in the park ’s popularity for cyclists. The route of this ride initially leads up a steep incline along Bay View Trail to get to the higher ridges in the park. While the main climb in the beginning is not terribly high, it is steep. Once up the hill, however, the ride becomes a very enjoyable cruise along narrow and bumpy single-track." Read more

    Trail Information

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    11.4
    Distance
    Loop/Lollipop
    Trail Type
    Easy to Moderate
    Technical Difficulty
    Moderate
    Physical Difficulty
    Moderate
    Skill Level
    1.5 - 2 hours
    Duration
    Year-round; shady ride in summer
    Season
    10 feet
    Trailhead Elevation
    600 feet
    Top Elevation
    China Camp State Park
    Local Contacts
    USGS Petaluma Point, San Quentin, Novato, San Rafael
    Local Maps

    Trail Log