Camp Taylor is a drive-in campground at the bottom of a deep, shady gorge filled with lush second-growth redwoods, alongside Lagunitas Creek and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.
All the sites get traffic noise from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. During the day the road is pretty busy, with cars constantly speeding by at 40 or 50 mph, but fortunately it’s much quieter at night. The road is just across the creek and about 50 yards away from the creekside sites, while the Orchard Hill sites are a little further back and get noticably less traffic noise.
Most of the campsites are under second-growth redwoods. The campsites are pretty close together and the woods are pretty open, so the campground feels busy and there isn’t much privacy.
The camp is in a prime location on the Marin coast. Some really nice hikes and bike rides can be started right from the campground, ranging from the flat, paved Cross Marin Trail to the scenic highlands of Barnabe Peak and Bolinas Ridge; there’s even a short old-growth redwood hike. The towns of Lagunitas and Point Reyes Station are nearby and have a nice assortment of restaurants; and there’s an exceptionally scenic stretch of Highway One just outside the park.
Camp Taylor is also the closest park-operated campground to Point Reyes, which is 6 miles away.
The campground is mainly intended for tent camping; the road is rather narrow, twisty, and hilly for RVs, there aren’t any hookups, and the dump station is closed. Nonetheless it’s a little more accommodating to RVs than most state park campgrounds, with some extra-long or pull-through parking areas. Trailers up to 27 feet and RVs up to 31 feet are allowed.
The best site is number 44, since it’s tucked into the woods and has the most privacy. A hill between the site and the road helps to reduce (but not eliminate) the traffic noise.
The campground has five cabins across Sir Francis Drake Blvd from the main campground. The cabins are very basic, really just a wooden shed with four wooden sleeping platforms (two bunk beds); there isn’t even anywhere to sit other than the sleeping platforms. You have to bring your own bedding. However, the cabins are new and clean, and best of all, they have electric heaters (made to look like wood-burning stoves). They don’t have bathrooms but there’s a really nice bathroom building (much nicer than the bathrooms in the main campground) right next to the cabin. The bathroom building is shared with the Madrone group camp.
Unusually for a state park campground, three sites for medium-size groups (up to 10 or 15 people) have been created by combining several regular sites; for example, sites 34 and 35 have been combined into site MG2. The group sites have two or three pullouts, picnic tables, and fire rings, and the cost is the same as two or three regular sites.
There’s also the Madrone Group Camp for groups of up to 50 people.
Site 1 is Camp Taylor’s hike/bike site (previously it was near the Campfire Center). It’s available on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone who arrives at the campground on a bike or on foot. You don’t necessarily get the campsite to yourself; it’s shared with anyone else who shows up, up to a maximum of 6 people. The cost is $5 per person per night.
© 2019 David Baselt