Sam McDonald Park

Horse Camps and Youth Campgrounds

Jack Brook Horse Camp

Jack Brook Horse Camp, Sam McDonald Park, San Mateo County, CA

Jack Brook Horse Camp

Sam McDonald Park Attractions

San Mateo County's Sam McDonald Park spreads over 850 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 3 miles west of La Honda. Sam McDonald Park camping provides a convenient location for youth groups and horse groups to enjoy the outdoors.

  • Explore lush redwood forest and open, grassy ridges.
  • Visit the Heritage Grove of old-growth redwoods along Alpine Creek.
  • Enjoy hiking, jogging, horseback riding on park trails, and some bicycling on designated service roads.
  • Hike the Big Tree Trail and the Forest Loop Trail.
  • Gain panoramic views form high points in the park.

Key Sam McDonald Park Camping Regulations

  1. Dogs are not allowed in the park.
  2. Horses are only permitted on designated trails.
  3. Alcohol: Beer and wine are permitted for those 21 and older, but not hard liquor.

Sam McDonald Park Camping

Sam McDonald Park is located along Pescadero Creek Road about 11 miles east of the coastal town of Pescadero. The park is known for its magnificent groves of redwoods and its high, grassy ridges. Adjacent to the park spreads the Heritage Grove, a 37-acre preserve.

Jack Brook Horse Camp is divided into 3 areas designed for small to large groups with horses. Site 1 can accommodate up to 40 people and 40 horses. Sites 2 and 3 are for up to 10 people and 10 horses. The sites have shared features, including restrooms with showers (no showers during drought times), drinking water, a horse wash-rack, and outdoor kitchen with a refrigerator, freezer and microwave, BBQs and tables. There are 48 horse paddocks and 6 tie posts available to share among the 3 sites (first-come, first served). Portable corrals are permitted.

Three Youth Campgrounds are available for Sam McDonald Park camping, each with a capacity of 50 people. Restrooms with flush toilets are located near the parking lot, vault toilets are located closer to campsites. The campgrounds are hike-in sites, allowing only 1 car to be brought in for emergencies (others parked near park entrance). Hike-in distances range from ¼ mile to 1 mile.

Sam McDonald Park Camping Basics
Sam McDonald Park Camping Location: 13435 Pescadero Creek Rd., Loma Mar
Elevation: 750 feet
Camping season: Horse camps May 1 to mid-November
Youth Campgrounds mid-May to late October
Number of Sites: 3 Horse Camps and 3 Youth Campgrounds
Max. People per Site: Horse Camps 10, 10, and 40
Youth Campgrounds 50
Vehicles per Site: Varies
Animals: Equines allowed, other pets not permitted
Park Headquarters: (650) 879-0238

Youth Campground Details
Campsite Max. # People BBQs Tables Walk-in Distance
Chinook: 50 2 5 ¼-mile
Choctaw: 50 2 4 ½-mile
Modoc: 50 2 4 1 mile

Reservations for Sam McDonald Park Camping
Reservations Required: whenever campgrounds are open, up to 1 year in advance
Maximum Vehicle Length: Varies
Accessible Sites: None designated
Horse Camp Fees: $275 and $125 per night on weekends
$150 and $75 Sun.-Thurs.
Horse Camp Online Reservations: Jack Brook Horse Camp Reservations
Youth Campground Fees: $3 per person, per night
$75 minimum
Youth Campground Reservations: call the reservations desk at (650) 363-4021

Sam McDonald Park Camping Amenities
Campsites: Picnic tables, BBQs
Campground: Restrooms with flush toilets, tap water
Showers: No
Dump Station: No
Campground Map: Sam McDonald Park Map
Attractions near Sam McDonald Park Camping: Heritage Grove, Big Tree Trail, Forest Loop Trail, Ridge Loop Trail

Youth Camp, Sam McDonald Park, San Mateo County, CA

Chinook Youth Camp at Sam McDonald Park

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