About This CampgroundAdd Campground Info
Park next to your campsite
Park in a lot, walk to your campsite
Hike a trail to your campsite
Max Length: 18 ft.
Just south of Fort Ross itself in a not well marked turn is the Fort Ross Reef Campground. It is small - not many sites. There is also a day use area that appears to be a favortie of scuba divers. I had driven by many times on trips up the coast when the gate was locked.
Primitive sites with…
Fort Ross State Park is located in California
The park is 12 miles north of Jenner on Highway One. From Highway 101 there are two routes to the fort: From Petaluma Highway 101. Take the East Washington Street exit. Go west (left). Washington turns into Bodega Avenue, which after a few more name changes, turns into Highway 1 North and takes you to Bodega Bay. This route is a straight shot--much easier to drive than it looks on the map. At Bodega Bay, follow Highway One North. From Santa Rosa Highway 101. Go past downtown exits for Santa Rosa. Just north of town, take the River Road exit. Go west (left). River Road will turn into Highway 116 in Guerneville. Follow 116 west, then follow signs to Highway One North towards Jenner and Fort Ross.
19005 Coast Highway One
Bodega Bay, CA 94923
Visiting Fort Ross State Historic Park
Fort Ross, one of the main tourist attractions between Bodega Bay and Fort Bragg, is a California State Historic Park showcasing a historic Russian-era fort compound that has been designated National Historic Landmark status. Located eleven miles north of Jenner on California Highway One, one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world Fort Ross is surrounded by sandy beaches, panoramic coves, and redwood forests, with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
The 3,400 acre park offers pristine natural landscapes as well as historic structures and exhibits that bring to life the former Imperial Russian settlement, early California Ranch era, and Kashaya territory. The park is approximately 45 minutes north of Bodega Bay, about 25 miles or an hour’s drive from one of San Francisco’s oldest retreats -- the Russian River, and 2 hours north from San Francisco.
Fort Ross offers ample parking. The Visitor Center, restrooms, upper picnic areas, and trail to the historic compound are handicap-accessible via ADA trails. There is also handicap-accessible parking near the fort compound. Directions: Visit here for Google Maps link.
Fort Ross State Historic Park is open EVERY DAY! The Visitor Center and the fort compound is open from 10am to 4:30pm. The park grounds are open from sunrise to sunset.
Regular Day Use Fees: (does not apply to special events such as Fort Ross Festival)
- $10.00 per car
- $9 (senior)
- Bus (24 passengers or fewer) $50
- Bus (25 or more passengers) $100
Dogs are permitted on leash anywhere you can drive a car (roads, parking lots), inside the limits of any structures (Visitor Center, Fort compound and buildings), picnic areas, and campgrounds. They are not permitted on trails, beaches, beyond the limits of roads, parking areas, campgrounds or picnic areas.
For more information:
707/847-3437 Fort Ross Conservancy office, staffed seven days a week
707/847-3286 Ranger Offices
VISITING FORT ROSS
Events, tours, what to see & do, hours/days of operation, bookshop
Service Projects & Scouts
Do a project; spend the night
Fort Ross Dialogue
Our annual conference, bringing together Russians, Americans, and Russian Americans
Customized programs on marine ecology or the cultural history of Fort Ross
Sign up to receive the latest from Fort Ross Conservancy
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Fort Ross is a California State Historic Park showcasing a historic Russian-era fort compound designated a National Historic Landmark. Russians settled on the ancestral Kashia Pomo lands called Metini and the Kashia are still very much a part of the community today. Located 11 miles north of Jenner on scenic California Highway One, Fort Ross is surrounded by sandy beaches, panoramic coves, and redwood forests, with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Salt Point State Park, 8 miles north of Fort Ross, covers 6,000 acres on the coast of Northern California, with two campgrounds, 20 miles of hiking trails, and over 6 miles of rocky coastline. These destinations offer pristine landscapes, recreation and camping, fascinating history, underwater parks with fishing, shipwrecks, and scuba diving, and more. Fort Ross Conservancy is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit and California cooperating association that supports both parks.
About Fort Ross Conservancy
Connecting people to the history + beauty of Fort Ross + Salt Point State Parks
Fort Ross State Historic Park
Fort Ross State Historic Park brings attention to the varied stories that have occurred here through the centuries, including the long formation of the coastal natural history, the centuries past and present of resident Kashia Pomo people, the Russian colonization periods (1812-1842), the Ranch era (1842-1972), and the over one hundred year era of this area as a protected resource as a State Historic Park. The park's Visitor Center is an excellent place to start a tour of Fort Ross to become acquainted with the rich natural and cultural history of the area.
Fort Ross was a thriving Russian-American Company settlement from 1812 to 1841. This commercial company chartered by Russia's tsarist government controlled all Russian exploration, trade and settlement in the North Pacific, and established permanent settlements in Alaska and California. Fort Ross was the southernmost settlement in the Russian colonization of the North American continent, and was established as an agricultural base to supply Alaska. It was the site of California's first windmills and shipbuilding, and Russian scientists were among the first to record California’s cultural and natural history. Fort Ross was a successfully functioning multi-cultural settlement for some thirty years. Settlers included Russians, Native Alaskans and Californians, and Creoles (individuals of mixed Russian and native ancestry.)
Today, the Fort itself consists of several buildings surrounded by stockade walls. The structure of most historical interest is the Rotchev house, an existing building renovated about 1836 for Alexander Rotchev, the last manager of Ross. This is thought to be one of the only remaining original buildings from the Russian period. Several other Russian-era buildings have been reconstructed: the first Russian Orthodox chapel south of Alaska, the stockade, the Kuskov House, the Officials Barracks, the Magazin (Fur Warehouse), and two corner blockhouses. A replica of one of the Russian windmills was also added to the park grounds in 2012.
Following the Russian period, the area was a working ranch with diverse interests in agriculture, livestock, and shipping. Butter and apples were primary exports during the ranch era, and there are tangible relics of this period to be seen at the park today such as the Call House, built in 1878.
Ross ca near fort camping
Fort Ross Camping
Salt Point State Park Campgrounds
Highway 1, about 8 miles north of Fort Ross
Open sunrise to sunset
$8 for day use
Park Attractions and Facilities
- Rocky promontories
- 6,000 acres include grassland and forest
- Kruse Rhododendron State Preserve
- Underwater park
- Stump Beach, Gerstle Cove, Fisk Mill
- Visitor Center
Campground and Campsite Facilities
- Campsites have fire ring, picnic table and food locker.
- Restrooms, but no showers
- Trailers up to 31 feet, RVs up to 27 feet
- Dump station nearby
Gerstle Cove Campground
- Situated atop the coastal bluffs on the ocean side of Highway 1
- 30 campsites
- 0.3 miles from Gerstle Cove
- Located on the east side of Highway 1
- 79 campsites in two loops
- Lower loop is 0.8 miles from Gerstle Cove
- Upper loop is 1 mile from Gerstle Cove
Group Campsites and Hiker/Biker Campsites
The group camp is on the ocean side of Highway 1 and accommodates up to 40 people and 10 cars.
Ten sites for hikers or bicyclers are located behind the ranger office near Woodside Campground.
Fees and Reservations
Standard Sites: $35 per night
Group Site: $200 per night
Online Reservations at ReserveCalifornia:
Salt Point State Park Campground Reservations
or call (800) 444-PARK (7275) between 8 AM and 6 PM
Doran and Westside
Location and Contact
Doran Park: 201 Doran Beach Road, Bodega Bay, CA
Westside Park: 2400 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay, CA
Operated by Sonoma County Regional Parks
(707) 875-3540 Doran Regional Park
Park Attractions and Facilities
- Sandy beaches at Bodega Bay
- Fishing, boating, picnicking
- Boardwalk, trails
Campground and Campsite Facilities
- Doran: 112 reservable sites, 20 first come, first served sites
- Westside: 38 reservable sites, 7 first come, first served sites
- Doran: 1 Hiker/Bicycle site, 1 group site
- Fire ring, picnic table, cleared area for tents
- Restrooms, showers
- Dump station
Fees and Reservations
Fees: $32 per night (Sonoma County residents may be eligible for discount)
Fees include 1 vehicle and one tow per site, additional vehicles $7 each
Dogs on leash allowed, $2 per dog per night
Reservations: Sonoma Regional Parks Reservations
Find the Best Camping in California
Complete campground information, including fees, reservations, photos, facilities, and nearby recreation.
Point Reyes National Seashore Camping
- Off Highway 1, north of Bolinas
- Open sunrise to midnight
- Backcountry camping: (415) 464-5100 x2 x5
- Day-use fees: Free
Hike-in Campgrounds and Facilities
Point Reyes National Seashore has backcountry hike-in and boat-in camping only.
Backcountry campgrounds have vault toilets, picnic table, food storage lockers, charcoal grill, and water faucets. Each campsite is for from 1 to 6 people.
Coast Camp near Sculptured Beach
Close to beach and tide pools, 1.8-mile hike, 12 individual sites and 2 group sites
In protected redwood valley, 4.6-mile hike, 12 individual sites
West side of Mt. Wittenberg, 1.4-mile hike, 11 individual sites, 1 group site
Open meadow on bluff overlooking ocean, 6.3-mile hike, 5 individual sites (3 of which only hold 4 people), 3 group sites
Tomales Bay Boat-in Campground Boat-in only, All waste, including human, must be removed, No water
Fees and Reservations
Individual campsites (1-6 people) $20
Group sites (7-14 people) $40, (15-25 people) $50
Reservations required for all campsites.
Reservations: Reserve America - Point Reyes National Seashore Campground
Camping in Fort Ross Reservation in California
(Photo: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images )
Fort Ross State Historical Park (fortrossstatepark.org), just north of Jenner on Highway 1, is a reminder that Russia once had a foothold on the North American continent, and not just in Alaska. From 1812 until 1841, this Russian colony, sometimes referred to as a reservation, was a thriving agricultural and shipbuilding community. Fort Ross has two buildings that survived from that time period, a Russian Orthodox chapel complete with onion-shaped dome, and the home of the fort's last manager, Alexander Rotchev. Limited camping options are nearby.
Fort Ross Reef Campground
Fort Ross Reef Campground (parks.ca.gov) is about two miles south of the park entrance. Open April 1 until Nov. 30, this is a first-come, first-served campground that does not accept reservations. The 21 campsites offer picnic tables and fire pits. Water faucets are scattered throughout the campground, as are public restrooms. Tent and small RV camping is permitted, with the maximum vehicle length being 18 feet. Most campsites have room for parking a trailer and tow vehicle as long as they are unhitched. There are no RV hookups or dump stations. One trail leads down to a rocky beach and another, above the campground, to the Fort Ross Visitor Center. Two day-use parking lots are near the beach.
Salt Point State Park
Seven miles north of Fort Ross is Salt Point State Park. Offering more than 20 miles of hiking trails and fronting a six-mile stretch of craggy coastline, this park also has a historic bent. During the mid-1800s, sandstone from this area was excavated and carried by ship to San Francisco for use in that city's streets. Evidence of the quarry as well as scattered slabs that didn't make it off the beach are found north of Gerstle Cove, a campground on a bluff overlooking the ocean. Woodside is a second campground that is east of Highway 1 that bisects the park. Camping is allowed either in tents or recreational vehicles. Trailers cannot be longer than 27 feet, and the maximum length for campers/motor homes is 31 feet. There are no hookups and no dump stations. Each site offers a picnic table, fire pit and a food storage locker.
Stillwater Cove Regional Park
Stillwater Cove Regional Park (sonoma-county.org) is roughly six miles north of Fort Ross. Covering 210 acres, the park has access to a small ocean beach that is a favorite of scuba and abalone divers. A small boat/kayak launch site is available close to the waterline. This year-round park offers 21 campsites, all but one with room for RVs no longer than 18 feet. There are no hookups but a dump station is on-site. Two sites are set up for the physically challenged. Restrooms, water faucets and a pay phone are on-site. Individual campsites are surrounded by shade trees and offer picnic tables and fire rings. Trails lead from the campground to the beach, Cove Canyon and to the Fort Ross Schoolhouse a half-mile away.
Plantation Farm Camp
Ten miles north of Fort Ross, the Plantation Farm Camp (plantationcamp.com) offers a different type of camping experience. Instead of camping out at the beach, campers stay on a working farm. This means getting up early to feed and milk cows and do assorted farm chores. Farm Camp caters to campers of all ages. It offers activities such as horseback riding, canoeing, arts and crafts and stargazing lessons. Campers stay in platform tents complete with foam mattresses. You provide the pillow and the sleeping bag. This is comfortable but rustic camping. Campsites have no electricity intentionally. The idea is to get back to nature without being tempted by radios, TVs or computers. On Saturday nights, an old-fashioned barn dance is held on-site. Weekend and weeklong camping sessions are available. All meals and activities are included in the camp rates.
Monica Wachman is a former editor and writer for FishersTravelSOS, EasyRez.com and Bonsai Ireland. She has an AA degree in travel from Career Com Technical and is an avid RV buff and gardener. In 2014, she published "Mouschie and the Big White Box" about an RV trip across North America.
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