Spreckled along a forested hillside 1,500 feet high on Mount Tam’s southwest slope, Pantoll Campground is a first-come first-served favorite. Arrive early to get one of the 16 sites. Set at the intersection of nine primo trails, the camp offers loads of hiking options, including hikes to Muir Woods and Stinson Beach; the famous Dipsea Trail isn’t far either. When hunger strikes, there’s no shortage of cooking options: Each site has fire pits, barbecue grills, and stone-built Diablo grills. Sit back, listen to the night sounds, and watch the moon rise over Mount Tam. Close to home never felt so far away!
Pantoll Campgound is $25 per night. It’s located off of Panoramic Highway (map). All campsites are first-come first-served. You can call the ranger station ahead of time to see if sites are available prior to departure (415-388-2070); they answer the phone until 5 p.m. Visit Mount Tamalpais State Park’s Web site for more information. Dog-friendly!