China Camp State Park

Marin County

A flowy, beginner-friendly trail network right on the coast.

Mountain Biking Easy

Distance
20 km
Ascent
464 m
Descent
464 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
0 m
High Point
192 m
Gradient
China Camp State Park Map

China Camp is one of only two significant mountain bike-legal trail systems remaining in Marin County, the purported birthplace of mountain biking. As such, this trail network is worthy of a place in most mountain bikers’ lexicons, even if it doesn’t stand up to nearby Camp Tamarancho.

Description

The trails at China Camp are quite flowy and non-technical overall. This fast trail tread and flow makes for fast lap times and high speed descending down the backside of the short hills.

Due to the fractious nature of the trail access issues in the area, China Camp State Park has posted speed limits for mountain bikes that are enforced by citations and fines from law enforcement. According to FriendsOfChinaCamp.org, bike speed limits are 5mph on turns and when passing people, and a maximum of 15mph on straightaways. So while the fast, flowy singletrack may tempt you to fly wide-open, be aware that you’re risking a fine if you do so.

That said, this trail is excellent for beginner mountain bikers thanks to the superb flow and the not-too-steep hills. "It's the best (and "only", really) beginner singletrack ride in the Bay Area, in my opinion,” according to BayAreaRides.com.

While most of the trail is in the woods, the occasional vista of the ocean bay can be stunningly beautiful. "The ride also rewards you with one or two vista points where you can look to the north and the south, and the sea-level portion of the ride is frequently open to the northern coast of the park,” according to BayAreaRides.com

Sources: https://friendsofchinacamp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/CCSPFOCCfinalsafetyregsOct2014.pdf https://bayarearides.com/rides/chinacamp/

Difficulty

Easy

Mostly smooth and non-technical singletrack with unavoidable obstacles 2in/5cm tall or less. Avoidable obstacles may be present. Ideal for beginner riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Flow
  • Roots