Campsite review: Half Moon Bay State Beach

Recommended: YES

95 Kelly Avenue
Half Moon Bay, CA  94019

Date of visit:
June 18-29, 2010

Typical late spring on the coast — a bit foggy and chilly. The wind picked up overnight but it was pleasant around the campfire, around 55F. Overnight low inside my tent was 54F.

Campground Condition:
* There are 3 separate beaches at Half Moon Bay State Beach, but only Francis Beach has campsites. We stayed at site #15, which is a handicapped-accessible site but opens up to general use if it hasn’t been reserved by 7pm.

* The campsites are very close together. The bluff/beach area means that there is very little tree cover …which means no privacy from campsite to campsite. Surprisingly, though, it was quite quiet. Even the group of teens across the way from us were silent by 11pm.

* Each site has a fire pit, concrete parking pad, and picnic table. There are garbage cans and recycling bins at the restrooms, plus water spigots about every third campsite.

* The bathrooms are clean but basic.  The bathroom building near our site had four individual unisex restrooms with toilet, sink, and mirror. No soap or paper towels. The building also contained four individual unisex showers (25 cents for 2 minutes), but I didn’t go in to check the condition.

* Firewood is available from the campsite host for $8/bundle (June 2010 price).

* Please note that dogs are not permitted on the beach; you can bring them to the campsite, but they have to stay on the trails or at your site. The website below has more info.

What to do:
(copied from the below website)
* T
he Half Moon Bay State Beach Visitor Center is open Saturdays and Sundays.  Entrance to the Visitor Center is free.  

*Coastside Trail runs along the eastern boundary of the four beaches providing close to a three mile stretch to walk, jog or ride bikes. The trail continues north to Pillar Point Harbor. 

* A horse trail parallels Coastside Trail from Roosevelt Beach to Francis Beach. While in the state parks, horses are restricted to the designated horse trail and are not permitted on State Beaches. 

More info:
Half Moon Bay State Beach website

My photos:

Our site (#15):


That’s the restroom building in the background; it was well-lit but the tree kept the light from being a problem at night.


The beach is easy walking distance from the campsites:


Horseback riding groups go right past the campground in the morning:


Lots of nice views from the hiking trails:


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