As crowds continue to fill parks and recreation areas across the U.S., Bay Area visitors now have a new place to camp with the opening of the Dumbarton Quarry Campground. The East Bay Regional Park District project is the region’s first new campground of its kind in nearly 50 years.
“We’re seeing 20 to 30 reservations on weekends and 15 to 20 during the week, which is better than anticipated for a new campground,” said Park Supervisor Matt McDonell. “The whole project has been an incredible opportunity to have a public-private partnership.”
The sprawling campground has been decades in the making, and as the name suggests, Dumbarton was a quarry that started in the 1970s. Local officials had a deal with the quarry operators to turn it into a campground when the job was complete. The process began more than a decade ago, with crews first filling in the massive pit. They designed the area to restore a more natural look, and some work is still underway today.
“It’s been an incredible opportunity to be part of the design and planning team for the campground,” said McDonell. “As someone who is just part of operations, I got to make a huge impact on how this park looks, and it’s very humbling to be able to do that.”
Currently, there are 63 campsites open for tents or RVs. The first campground guests stayed in August, and park rangers have seen a steady stream of visitors since then. The final plan includes more sites, including group campsites, car camping areas near a meadow, and the potential for huts or similar structures. Dumbarton Quarry Campground will cover 90 acres and have a trail system that connects it to other nearby recreation areas.
The space is truly unique with proximity to San Francisco, Oakland, and Silicon Valley, plus an international airport that makes it easy to access.
“The space is significant because of the amount of tourism we get around the area, and it’s definitely helped with that. We get people from Europe who fly in and pick up an RV to camp here,” said McDonnell. “It’s definitely impacted people’s ability to have a centralized location for camping in such a highly urban area.”
McDonnell suggests visitors book reservations online. Campsites currently run $45 per night with water hookups or $65 per night for sewer, water, and 50-amp electric hookups.