China Camp Loop

San Rafael, California 94912

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."

More China Camp Loop Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Francisco (Menasha Ridge Press)
Jane Huber
View more trails from this guide book
"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
Mountain Bike! San Francisco and the Bay Area (Menasha Ridge Press)
Skye Craft
View more trails from this guide book
"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
Best Bike Rides San Francisco (Falcon Guides)
Wayne Cottrell
View more trails from this guide book
"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
View more trails from this guide book
"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

China Camp Loop Reviews

3
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
icon10 Total
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.
0
Comments
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.
0
Comments
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!
0
Comments
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.
0
Comments
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
Comments
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
Comments
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
Comments
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
Comments
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.
0
Comments
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

China Camp Loop Photos

Trail Information

San Rafael
Nearby City
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