The Best Camping Near Redwood National Park, California

The Best Camping Near Redwood National Park, California

Feel like getting lost in the woods? Gaze up at the towering trees or find a beautiful beachy overlook from campgrounds near Redwood National Park.

Redwood National Park, California
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About Camping Near Redwood National Park

Campgrounds near Redwood National Park bring you into a landscape that feels as if it’s straight out of a fantasy novel: the lush forest canopy and larger-than-life trunks seem almost dreamlike. Take a drive, set out on a hike, or find a peaceful picnic spot when you go camping near Redwood National Park. From Gold Bluffs Beach to Redwood Creek Overlook, the collision of water views and forest landscapes provide dramatic panoramas. Keep a lookout for elk, sea lions, and even bald eagles on your hikes and drives throughout the park!

Top Campgrounds Near Redwood National Park, California

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Redwood National Park Camping FAQs

Campgrounds near Redwood National Park bring you into a landscape that feels straight out of a fantasy novel; the lush forest canopy and larger-than-life trunks seem almost dreamlike.

Redwood National Park is something of an anomaly in the National Park Service (NPS) system. It’s one of a handful of parks that offers free admission, though that’s not what sets it apart. Redwood National Park actually has three state parks inside of its boundaries: Jedediah Smith State Park, Del Norte Coast State Park, and Prairie Creek State Park. Ironically enough, however, Humboldt Redwoods State Park (located nearby) is not a part of Redwood National Park.

Take a drive, set out on a hike, or find a peaceful picnic spot when you go camping near Redwood National Park. From Gold Bluffs Beach to Redwood Creek Overlook, the collision of water views and forest landscapes provide dramatic panoramas. Keep a lookout for elk, sea lions, and even bald eagles on your hikes and drives throughout the park!

What Is Redwood National Park Known For?

As the name might suggest, the park is known for its trees. The trees here are the tallest on earth! In fact, the single tallest tree in the world, standing 380 feet tall, is located in Redwood National Park. Unfortunately, that specific tree is off-limits to visitors for its protection, and you can end up with a hefty fine for getting too close.

The towering Redwoods are some of the world’s tallest and oldest trees, which makes for absolutely magical hikes among these giants. They also create incredible photography opportunities! However, Redwood National Park is more than just its trees. You’ll also find incredible hiking and biking opportunities here, as well as plenty of nature-watching. Thanks to its moderate climate, these opportunities are available pretty much year-round.

Top Sights to See in Redwood National Park

Stout Grove

There are few groves of Redwoods more popular (or more photographed) than Stout Grove. This section of Redwood National Park is one of the most popular among its visitors, and there’s a decent chance you’ve seen photos of it, even without realizing it. Interestingly enough, the grove itself isn’t particularly expansive, though the trees do tower above 300 feet in height. Visitors wanting to see Stout Grove will need to head to the Jedediah Smith section of the park.

Fern Canyon

There’s a one-mile hike that gets you to Fern Canyon, one of the most popular and picturesque spots in Redwood National Park. Although there are no Redwoods in Fern Canyon, there are still walls of greenery as this mini-canyon really is covered in ferns. Note that there’s plenty of water here, and you might have to get wet on this trek, though the park usually has footbridges from June to September. Still, bring a change of socks.

Elk Meadow

As the name suggests, this is the place to see the majestic Roosevelt Elk that call Redwood National Park home. While you can potentially see Roosevelt Elk throughout the park, your chances are much better here. Elk Meadow is, by far, one of the best spots in the park for wildlife-spotting and photography.

Honorable Mention: Avenue of the Giants – Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Okay, so this isn’t actually in Redwood National Park, but anyone driving north to get to the park can see it. The Avenue of the Giants is a scenic section of what was previously Route 101 (now maintained as State Route 254). The road is just over 30 miles long and is one of the more famous scenic drives in the country.

If you want a fun bonus experience, set your sights on the Shrine Tree. Close to Eureka, California, the Shrine Tree is a massive living Redwood that you can drive through! The Shrine Tree is privately operated, and there is a nominal fee, but the experience is quite novel all the same.

Best Time to Visit Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park has a fairly mild year-round temperature. This whole section of Northern California does, meaning you can visit it almost any time of year. That being said, some times are still better than others.

May to September tends to be the ideal time to visit Redwood National Park. You will, of course, see the greatest number of crowds, but you’ll also get the best weather and the most hours of daylight.

It rarely gets much above 80 degrees here, and summer temperatures don’t often go below the mid-50s overnight, making for ideal hiking and camping weather during the season. July and August are the absolute best months to be in Redwood National Park since they basically make up the entirety of the “dry season” in Northern California.

Visitors can enjoy time in Redwood National Park as early as April and as late as November. The rainy season here (and rainy season is a relative term in this section of the country) is during winter, so most campers will want to skip that. If 15 days of rain in a month doesn’t bother you, January only has an average low of 46 degrees and an average high of 57, so it’s still fairly pleasant.

Tips for Camping Near Redwood National Park

Be Sure You’re Camping in the Correct Park

This isn’t that big of a deal—at worst, it’ll result in mild annoyance—but still worth double-checking. There are three state parks inside the national park’s boundaries. Will you accidentally go to the wrong area of the park? Honestly, it’s unlikely. Still, it’s always good to be prepared.

Luckily, these three parks actually accept the interagency pass that gets you into national parks as well as the California State Parks pass. If you can’t get a campsite in Redwood National Park, you can try looking into one of these state parks.

There Are No Lodging Options in the Park

Sorry, glampers, you’re out of luck here. The only options in Redwood National Park are frontcountry tent camping and backcountry camping. There are no cabins, lodges, glamping tents, or anything of a higher comfort level. If that doesn’t bother you, feel free to try and snag a site in the park. If that doesn’t sound as appealing, there are plenty of more comfortable options near the park owned privately.

Make Your Reservations Far in Advance

Redwood National Park is a popular spot, especially among the locals. Interestingly enough, it only sees about half a million visitors a year, which ranks it in the bottom third of visitation out of all national parks.

How does all that make sense, you might ask? Good question! Since the only four developed campgrounds here are in the state parks, there are actually no developed national park campgrounds on the premises. Well, because of where the state parks are located, you can technically drive into the state park without ever entering the national park. Fun fact: North Cascades National Park is one of the least visited parks for the same reason.

Tips on Entering Redwood National Park

There Are No Entrance Stations

There are four main entrances to Redwood National Park because, well, there aren’t any entrance fees. I suppose you could just say “hi” to the ranger at the station and go in, but that’s not how it works here. This is the reason that travelers can drive through Redwood National Park without realizing they were ever in it. It’s a bit tricky in that sense.

You Won’t Find Shuttle Service Here

Some parks offer this (Zion National Park comes to mind as an example) but Redwood doesn’t. There were, at one point, some transit options for people coming in from the nearby cities, but visitors now need to get around on their own. For most travelers, this isn’t a big deal. However, parking is in short supply during peak season, and a shuttle would certainly be nice.

Take Your Time Getting There

As mentioned, with no entrance stations and three state parks, getting into Redwood National Park can be a bit confusing. This is why it’s always good to have a paper map as a backup if you lose cell reception. The whole area is beautiful, but that’s almost the issue in and of itself. The surrounding area is as incredible as the national park, making it difficult to know when you get into the park’s boundaries if you aren’t 100% sure of your directions.

How to Camp in Redwood National Park

Definitely make your reservations in advance because spots fill up. The world-renowned Redwood trees bring plenty of visitors, and it’s quite locally popular as well. Once you’re in the park, getting around is reasonably simple, but you still want to know where you’re going ahead of time since developed campgrounds are only in the state parks.

It’s probably obvious, but just in case: you need to make reservations through the California State Parks system, not the NPs system. The sites fill up fast, especially in the summer, but luckily there are several great campgrounds within driving distance of the park!

Whenever you get here, don’t forget your rain fly. The “rainy season” lasts for about 10 months, with July and August being the driest of them all. That’s the price you have to pay for the lush greenery up here. However, July and August only average one day of rain per month.

Best Campspot Campground Near Redwood National Park for Tent Campers

Kamp Klamath RV Park & Campground

Just outside of the national park is one of the most picturesque campgrounds in Northern California. You’ve got a Redwood Forest on one side of the campground and the Klamath River on the other. If you need anything, Klamath, California, is on the other side of the river, though the on-site general store should be able to cover your needs.

You don’t need to drive into the national park to hike since there are family-friendly trails that start right from the campground. Though primarily an RV Park, there are actually seven different types of tent sites to choose from here.

Best Campspot Campgrounds Near Redwood National Park for RV Campers

Riverside RV Park

Here’s another campground in Klamath, this time on the other side of the Klamath River. This simple RV park puts you a little closer to the little town of Klamath in case you need anything, but it still retains the remote feel of the Redwood forest area. Those wanting to spend time on the water, either the Klamath River or Klamath Beach, can easily do so here.

The park offers a simple set of amenities to keep your stay comfortable, including laundry, showers, Wi-Fi, and a general store to cover all the basics.

Heart of the Redwoods Cottages & RV

This one is a bit further up the coast but still an easy (and beautiful) drive from the park. Like all campgrounds out here, you’ll be nestled among the trees. Not every campground can boast the plethora of wildlife around here. You’ll probably make some new four-legged friends when you stay at Heart of the Redwoods, and it’ll give you some great stories to tell!

This is a smaller campground in a relatively remote area, perfect for travelers wanting a quieter and more secluded camping experience. You will still have all the basics, of course, including internet access if you need it.

Best Campspot Campground Near Redwood National Park for Lodging

The Ramblin’ Redwoods Campground and RV Park

Alright, there are only five cabins at this campground. You might have to fight for a spot, but I’m telling you that these are some of the best cabins you’ll ever stay in. The Ramblin’ Redwoods specializes in an amenity-rich stay that still keeps you fully immersed in nature. What’s better than a good night’s sleep among the Redwoods? Very few things, at most.

You’ll be minutes from the national park, all while having internet access, laundry, a dog park, and even a mini-golf course. What’s not to love?

Redwood National Park and the surrounding areas just have a certain magic to them that’s hard to properly put into words. Don’t believe me? Well, you’ll just have to visit for yourself!

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