Salt Point State Park

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About Salt Point State Park

This 6,000 acre park lies on a beautiful stretch of the Sonoma County coast. There are panoramic views, rocky promontories, kelp-dotted coves and the dramatic sounds of the pounding surf. There are also pygmy forests, open grasslands, forested hills and pristine prairies. Did we mention, this is all within one park? There is an equally large variety of recreational activities ranging from hiking to SCUBA/abalone diving to horseback riding. There is usually a chill in the air, but what a beautiful place it is!

Campgrounds in Salt Point

Woodside Campground
Courtney
Courtney: Nice space between sites. Good spots: 96 (one tent space only), 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, and 109....
Gerstle Cove Campground
Kiran
Kiran: Love this campsite! If you go during the week it feels extra quiet and secluded. You can even hear sea...

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Hipcamper Kiran

Love this campsite! If you go during the week it feels extra quiet and secluded. You can even hear sea lions faintly barking from the coast while you relax in the woods.

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

There’s lots of sea life in this hood. Check out the tidepools and cool rock formations.

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Camping woodside (as opposed to seaside) is more private and more wind protected.

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Hipcamper Kyle

Small but massively overlooked. The coastline is stunning and gives you the feeling that you're hanging off the edge of the Earth. Check out the Pygmy Forest and pretend you're a giant! There's also a private campground just south called Ocean Cove.

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Hipcamper Rob

Better in winter than summer. Gets crowded during abalone season; great diving in Gerstle Cove itself. Nice trails right out of camp.

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Hipcamper Margaret

Such an amazing spot. You feel secluded even if the campground is full.

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Feeling really adventurous? Well this is the spot to learn abalone diving. Check out Sonoma Coast Divers for info & classes.

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Mushroom hunting goes down here in the fall, but make sure you know what you’re picking.

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Bring soap and a mirror if you need one (no showers & no mirrors in bathroom)

Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

If you NEED to stay clean, then there are coin operated showers only 10 minutes away

Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Fort Ross, Sandy Cove and Fisk Cove are attractions nearby worth a visit (and free)

Hipcamper Courtney

Nice space between sites. Good spots: 96 (one tent space only), 99, 101, 102, 103, 104, and 109. Convenient to the beach if you're abalone diving but its crowded and loud during the season. Lots of families with screaming kids unfortunately. Still a nice spot

Hipcamper Andrew

Loved Salt Point! Beautiful ocean and lots of secluded sites available.

Hipcamper Taryn

I know this isn't a review buuuut I'm wondering about anyone's experience with the first come first serve here? I'm headed there Saturday and want to know my odds (if any) of getting a site and how early I should try to get there by.

Hipcamper dennis

Lock all foodstuffs in your car at night when not cooking or eating. Racoons are mercilous!

Hipcamper Andy

Can get windy, foggy and cold in Spring and Summer but some sites have views of the Ocean.

Hipcamper Andy

Many great car camping sites. This campground is in from the coast a bit and the sites tend to be sheltered from the wind as well as from other campsites.

Hipcamper Ze

West Woodside is more private

Hipcamper Cynthia

Lower campground can be really windy.

History of Salt Point State Park

The earliest known native residents the Kashaya Pomo people—occupied an area just north of Stewarts Point to just south of what is now the Russian River. From the coastline, their lands extended inland about 30 miles.
The Kashaya Pomo are expert artisans whose exquisite basketry graces museum collections all over the world. Historians estimate that at the time of the first Spanish contact, the Kashaya Pomo numbered about 1,500 people, occupying several large villages.
Summers were spent fishing along the coast; in late fall the Kashaya moved inland to hunt and to reoccupy their winter villages. Over the years, the Kashaya Pomo people have been able to preserve much of their traditional culture. Today many Kashaya descendants occupy a rancheria near Stewarts Point as well as other areas near Fort Ross.

On April 8, 1846, Ernest Rufus received a Mexican land grant for 17,500 acres along the coast. The area, called Rancho German, encompassed the land from about six miles north of Fort Ross to the Gualala River. The southern portion of the rancho included what is now Salt Point. Beginning in 1849, the land changed hands several times, becoming the site of several active sawmills from 1853 to 1859. Lumber was shipped on schooners to San Francisco. In 1870, the southern section of Rancho German was sold to Lewis Gerstle and Frederick Funcke to mill tanoak and other hardwoods. They built a hotel in 1872 and surveyed the westernmost section of their ranch for the plat of a town they named Louisville

After the sawmills ceased operations in 1876, the land was transitioned to grazing livestock as its primary use.