Hawk Campground is located above Tennessee Valley and offers sweeping views of the Marin Headlands. The site is a 2.5 mile uphill hike from the Tennessee Valley Trailhead parking lot, or a 3.5 mile uphill hike from Miwok Trailhead in the Marin Headlands. This campground is recommended for experienced backpackers. The hike may be steep, but the views are more than worth it.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area rangers manage and monitor the campground, and primarily operate out of the Marin Headlands Visitor Center.
Tennessee Valley and the Marin Headlands are noted for great hiking, and are often populated by hikers regardless of time-of-year. Consider hiking to Tennessee Beach (4 miles), the Marin Headlands Visitor Center (4 miles), the Marine Mammal Center (4 miles), Rodeo Beach (4.3 miles), or the Point Bonita Lighthouse (5 miles). Inquire at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center if you are interested in attending a ranger-led program or guided hike during your stay.
This primitive campground has three overnight sites that accommodate up to four guests each. Water must be packed in, and trash must be packed out. Each site has a tent pad, a food locker, and a picnic table. There is one port-a-john. There is limited cell service at the campground, and no cell service at either of the recommended parking areas (Tennessee Valley Trailhead parking lot or the Miwok Trailhead parking area.)
Hawk Campground sits atop of the rolling landscape of the Marin Headlands, within a biodiverse coastal scrub landscape. While the campground itself is situated under a cluster of Monterey cypress and pine, the undulating hills leading up to it are dotted with manzanita, coyote brush and sagebrush. Raptors frequently soar overhead, and deer, coyotes, foxes and bobcats share the landscape with campers. The geology that underlies the Marin Headlands and Tennessee Valley is unique and world-renowned; for example, the outcrops of radiolarian chert that line the trails are frequently admired by visitors from near and far. There are multiple black sand beaches within hiking distance of the campground.
Temperatures are mild year-round. Expect lows from 50-55 degrees and highs from 60-65. Fog is prevalent in the summer months from May-Sept. It is best to bring clothing that can be layered. Lightweight summer clothes are rarely comfortable to wear at Hawk Campground.
The San Francisco Bay Area has no shortage of fun and interesting things to do and see. The 150-year-old Point Bonita Lighthouse (a secret jewel of the Bay Area) and the historic Cold War era Nike Missile Site are just a 5-minute drive from the Miwok Trailhead parking area or a 20-minute drive away from the Tennessee Valley Trailhead parking lot or. Awe-inspiring Muir Woods National Monument, with its old-growth coastal redwood forest and numerous hiking trails, is a 25-minute drive. Mount Tamalpais State Park, with hiking and sweeping views of the Bay Area, is another 10 minutes past Muir Woods.
Within the Marin Headlands, consider visiting The Marine Mammal Center, historic Battery Townsley, the Bay Area Discovery Museum, and the Marin Headlands Visitor Center.