Redwood National and State Parks, nestled on the northern California coast, are a testament to the majesty of nature and the importance of preserving Earth’s ancient giants. Established in 1968, these parks span roughly 139,000 acres of combined national and state parkland. Their primary mission is the conservation of the coast redwood trees, the tallest trees on the planet. These towering giants are symbolic of the parks’ cultural and ecological significance, harkening back to a time when such magnificent forests covered extensive swaths of our planet. The parks serve as a sanctuary for these ancient trees, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the planet’s distant past.
The exceptional feature of Redwood National and State Parks is undoubtedly the coast redwood trees themselves. These awe-inspiring trees can reach astounding heights, some towering over 300 feet. The natural occurrences that contribute to this unique feature include the region’s temperate coastal climate, abundant moisture from the nearby Pacific Ocean, frequent coastal fog, and well-drained soils. These conditions provide the perfect recipe for the growth of these towering giants. Beyond the redwoods, the parks also encompass diverse ecosystems, from pristine rivers to rugged coastlines, further enhancing their natural beauty and ecological significance.
The weather in Redwood National and State Parks is characterized by a maritime climate, which means mild, wet winters and cool, dry summers. RV renters should be prepared for varying weather conditions, with winter temperatures ranging from the 40s to 60s Fahrenheit and summer temperatures in the 60s to 70s. Rainfall is prevalent throughout the year, emphasizing the importance of waterproof clothing and gear. RV travelers should exercise caution when navigating the park’s narrow, winding roads, especially during inclement weather. Additionally, be mindful of potential falling branches during windy or stormy conditions.
RV renters at Redwood National and State Parks are spoiled for choice when it comes to activities. Some of the most popular options include hiking through the ancient redwood groves, offering a chance to witness these towering giants up close. Scenic drives along routes like the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway and the Howland Hill Road provide breathtaking views of the redwoods and the coastline. Wildlife enthusiasts can keep an eye out for Roosevelt elk, black bears, and a variety of bird species. Camping opportunities are available at RV-friendly campgrounds, complete with amenities like restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings. Visitor centers offer a wealth of information on the park’s natural and cultural history, with ranger programs providing educational opportunities for all ages.
Redwood National and State Parks boast several RV-friendly campgrounds, each offering unique amenities and experiences. Campgrounds like Elk Prairie, Jedediah Smith, and Mill Creek are popular choices for RV renters. While these campgrounds generally offer amenities such as restrooms, picnic areas, and fire rings, RV hookups may be limited, so it’s advisable to check specific amenities and make reservations well in advance, particularly during the peak season.
Speaking of which, the peak season for visiting Redwood National and State Parks typically falls between June and August when milder weather, longer daylight hours, and a wide range of outdoor activities are at their prime. However, it’s important to note that the parks can become quite crowded during this period, so planning ahead and making campground reservations well in advance is highly recommended for RV renters looking to secure a spot during the peak season.
Redwood National and State Parks are a testament to the enduring majesty of ancient coast redwoods and offer RV renters a remarkable opportunity to connect with these natural wonders. Whether hiking among the towering giants, observing diverse wildlife, or simply immersing oneself in the serenity of these ancient forests, a visit to these parks promises an unforgettable and deeply enriching experience.
From March to November, especially on busy holiday weekends, it is possible to encounter extensive queues at the entrance road. The parking areas near popular trailheads and viewpoints tend to reach capacity quickly. It is advisable to bring along your patience and arrive early to evade large crowds.
IThe Hite Ramp is currently not accessible due to closure. The take-out at North Wash is a basic and undeveloped dirt area, where it is not possible to maneuver a trailer in reverse down the uneven slope. The conditions have worsened due to recent washouts, adding to the deterioration of the area.
Visitors to Redwood National and State Parks can access the park via private vehicle, camper van, or RV. The main park entrances are off Highway 101. Visitors should be aware of vehicle length restrictions on some park roads, including a maximum length of 24 feet for trailers and 27 feet for motorhomes on Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway and Howland Hill Road. Larger RVs may need to park in designated areas and use towed vehicles for park exploration. RV-friendly campgrounds are available within the park for overnight stays.
Redwood National and State Parks offer parking options for RVs, primarily within designated campgrounds. RV-friendly campgrounds, such as Elk Prairie, Jedediah Smith, and Mill Creek, provide suitable parking spaces with amenities like restrooms, picnic areas, and fire rings. Overnight parking outside of designated campsites is generally not allowed in the park, as it’s essential to use designated camping areas to minimize environmental impact and ensure visitor safety.
While camping with an RV within the park is a convenient option, it’s also recommended to explore the park using alternative transportation methods. RVs may have size restrictions on certain park roads, such as Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway and Howland Hill Road. To fully experience the park’s beauty and access some of its narrower and more scenic routes, visitors often find it beneficial to park their RV in a campground and use smaller vehicles, bikes, or hiking to explore the park’s trails and attractions. This allows for a more immersive and flexible experience among the ancient redwoods and diverse ecosystems of Redwood National and State Parks.
RV parking space availability varies within Redwood National and State Parks. At visitors’ centers, trailheads, and popular points of interest, there are designated parking areas that can accommodate RVs of varying sizes. However, parking conditions for RVs inside the park can be limited due to the narrow and winding nature of some roads. It’s advisable to check the specific parking availability and restrictions at each location, and consider using smaller vehicles or towed vehicles for exploring certain areas of the park.
Positioned in the northern region of the parks, close to Crescent City, California, this campground is renowned for its magnificent ancient redwoods. It ranks among the most popular campgrounds and frequently reaches full capacity during peak seasons. Facilities encompass restroom facilities with showers, picnic areas, fire pits, and a nearby visitor center. Pets are welcome here. The campground is typically accessible from mid-May to mid-September and can accommodate RVs and trailers with lengths of up to 36 feet.
Nestled in a meadow surrounded by majestic redwoods, Elk Prairie Campground enjoys a central location within the parks. Its amenities include restroom facilities with showers, picnic spots, and fire rings. This campground is also pet-friendly. Elk Prairie Campground generally remains open year-round and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 27 feet in length.
Situated within Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Mill Creek Campground offers a peaceful ambiance along the banks of Mill Creek. It provides restroom facilities and picnic areas, with a pet-friendly policy in place. Typically, the campground is available from mid-May to mid-September and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 27 feet in length.
Tucked between the Pacific Ocean and verdant forests, this campground presents a picturesque coastal escape. Its amenities feature restroom facilities and picnic areas. It warmly welcomes pets. Gold Bluffs Beach Campground is usually open from mid-June to mid-September and can accommodate RVs and trailers with lengths of up to 24 feet.
Found within the park’s confines, this campground grants access to exquisite hiking trails and the renowned Fern Canyon. Facilities comprise restroom facilities, picnic areas, and a conveniently located visitor center. Pets are allowed here as well. The campground is generally accessible from mid-May to mid-September and can accommodate RVs and trailers with lengths of up to 27 feet.
Gold Bluffs Beach Campground in Redwood National and State Parks offers first-come, first-served campsites, making it a flexible option for spontaneous campers. The campground provides a total of 26 campsites for visitors to choose from. These campsites have size restrictions, accommodating RVs and trailers up to 24 feet in length. Gold Bluffs Beach Campground is typically open from mid-June to mid-September, aligning with the peak season for camping in the area. While it offers a rustic camping experience with restrooms and picnic tables, it does not provide RV hookups, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the coastal environment. The campground is pet-friendly, welcoming furry companions as long as they are kept on a leash. As campground details and policies may change, it’s advisable to verify the most current information on the official Redwood National and State Parks website or by contacting park authorities before planning your visit.
There are private campgrounds and RV parks located near Redwood National and State Parks. These campgrounds often offer RV hookups, amenities like showers and laundry facilities, and a range of site sizes to accommodate various RV sizes. Some popular private campgrounds near the parks include Kamp Klamath RV Park, Redwood Meadows RV Resort, and Crescent City/Redwoods KOA.
In addition to the national and state parks, there are several state and regional parks in the vicinity that may offer camping options for RV renters. Parks like Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park have campgrounds that can accommodate RVs.
Check with local counties and cities for campground options near Redwood National and State Parks. These campgrounds may provide additional RV-friendly sites and facilities.
While traditional backcountry camping is not recommended with RVs, some nearby areas may permit dispersed camping or boondocking for RV renters. Be sure to research local regulations and obtain any necessary permits if you plan to camp in non-designated areas.
Nearby national forests, such as Six Rivers National Forest and Klamath National Forest, may offer dispersed camping or developed campgrounds suitable for RVs. Again, be sure to check with forest authorities for regulations and availability.
Embrace the peaceful ambiance of the redwood forests during the winter season when the trails are less crowded. Notable paths to explore include the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail and the Trillium Falls Trail.
Winter presents an excellent opportunity for observing wildlife. Look out for Roosevelt elk, the coastal migration of gray whales, and a variety of bird species. Prime locations for this activity include Elk Meadow and the Klamath River Overlook.
Take advantage of the clear winter skies for stargazing. You can visit designated viewpoints or simply step outside your RV to witness awe-inspiring views of the night sky.
While Fern Canyon remains an attraction throughout the year, it takes on a distinctive allure in winter when the luxuriant ferns are adorned with dew and frost. Access this natural wonder via Gold Bluffs Beach.
Be sure to inquire about seasonal holiday events and programs, which may feature festive ranger-led activities and the enchanting holiday lights spectacle at Trees of Mystery.
Although redwoods maintain their evergreen foliage, you can admire the vibrant fall colors of other trees within the park. Take a scenic drive along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway to witness the breathtaking autumnal hues.
Experience the annual phenomenon of salmon migration in nearby rivers like the Klamath River. It’s an incredible natural spectacle to observe as these fish make their journey.
Autumn signals the breeding season for Roosevelt elk. Observe these majestic creatures engage in impressive rutting displays, particularly in Elk Meadow.
Make the most of the cooler temperatures in the fall season by embarking on hikes along the numerous trails in the parks. Options include the James Irvine Trail and the Coastal Trail, offering comfortable hiking conditions.
Be sure to consult the local event calendar for autumn festivals and cultural events in the neighboring towns of Crescent City and Klamath. These festivities provide a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Dedicate time to the picturesque coastline, where you can unwind on sandy shores, investigate tide pools, and observe marine life. Gold Bluffs Beach and Enderts Beach offer exceptional options for this activity.
Embark on paddling excursions, whether along the Smith River or out into the open sea, for kayaking and canoeing experiences. Rentals and guided tours are readily accessible.
Indulge in leisurely drives along routes such as Howland Hill Road and Coastal Drive to revel in awe-inspiring vistas of the redwood forests and the coastal landscape.
Delight in the camping opportunities available within RV-friendly campgrounds situated amid the captivating natural surroundings of the parks.
Engage in programs led by park rangers, encompassing guided hikes, captivating campfire discussions, and enlightening educational activities tailored for individuals of all ages.
Spring ushers in vibrant wildflower blossoms that adorn the meadows and woodlands. Discover the parks’ hiking trails to witness an array of colorful exhibitions.
Spring presents an ideal season for birdwatching as migratory birds return to the region. Be sure to bring your binoculars for the chance to spot various bird species.
Plan a visit to Fern Canyon during the spring months when the ferns flourish, creating a lush and verdant ambiance. This canyon stands as a distinctive and picturesque locale.
Make the most of the higher water levels in spring by embarking on exhilarating river rafting adventures along the Smith River.
Immerse yourself in the area’s history and indigenous cultures by exploring historical locations like the Yurok Village Site and Klamath Overlook. These sites offer insights into the rich heritage of the region.