Easy Escape: Madrone Cabins

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An hour north of San Francisco and adjacent to the Point Reyes National Seashore, the Madrone Cabins provide an easy, year-round outdoor escape for those in the Bay Area. They’re a recent addition to Samuel P. Taylor State Park whose standard campsites are just fine. But these 5 cabins — brand spankin’ new and removed from the busy main campground — are great.

Situated amidst beautiful bay, oak, madrone, and redwood trees, the 12 x 20 sq. ft. cabins are equipped with the following:

  • 4 bunk-beds (1 full, 3 twins) w/ thin foam mattresses. Bring sleeping bags or linens.
  • Electrical outlets
  • Overhead lighting and fan
  • Electric stove-style heater (Cabins are incredibly well-insulated. I’ve stayed here in cold and warm weather and never touched the heater)
  • Wood flooring
  • Covered porch
  • Secure front door w/ deadbolt + key
  • Dedicated outdoor area with picnic table, fire ring, BBQ grill and potable water spigot

There is a nearby restroom building with clean facilities, flush toilets, hot water and showers (on a recent visit, showers were closed due to the CA drought). Parking is short walk away, but there are two closer 15-min spaces for unloading/loading.

Each cabin’s clean, sparse design means you can decorate them accordingly and create your own lux glamping retreat. We brought some potted succulents for color, mason jars for votive candles and impromptu bouquets, a Pendelton camp blanket for warmth and vintage lantern and enamelware for timeless camp style.

The rate is $100/night plus a refundable $100 security deposit. Given it’s quality and setting, it’s easily one of the best deals in the Bay Area. There are 5 cabins but only 4 appear reservable. Based upon location, the best cabin would be Wrens Nest followed by Hazel Haven.

Note: I recently discovered an alternative to ReserveAmerica — HipCamp. The site has real-time access to the same sites as RA, a more engaging interface and a soulful enthusiasm for its content. Plus, it’s not ReserveAmerica.

The cabins are just across the road from the main park where you’ll find a large day use area with picnic tables overlooking Lagunitas Creek. I didn’t snap any shots of the creek, but it’s a fun spot to wade in and spot salmon throughout the year.

The park is roughly 10 minutes from Point Reyes which I’ve written about before. Twice. On this trip, we swung by Marin Sun Farms and had the guys behind the counter shape us some burgers for the grill.

We also nabbed some fresh eggs from Marin Sun Farms to accompany our morning pancakes. Both were cooked on the vintage orange Coleman stove from my childhood, only recently separated from its original Sears box!

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    • Right, Karen?!? Seriously, Garrick, awesome find and beautiful pics. Note to self: potted succulents go on the camping list next time.

    • Yes, would be really fun to reserve all cabins for a group. Alternatively, there is a nearby group campground. May be too late in year to organize. Cabins are warm enough for year-round!

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