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There is something so magical and mysterious about walking through the coastal redwood trees at Redwood National Park and feeling so small among their presence. But in addition to these tall, ancient trees, the Redwood National and State Parks of California are also wonderful places to experience 40 miles of rugged coastline, rivers, prairies, woodlands, and camping areas.
There are several campgrounds within the parks, as well as backcountry campsites and private campgrounds in the vicinity. For your next outdoorsy vacation in Northern California, here are the best places for camping near Redwood National Park.
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One of the four developed campgrounds in the park system is the Jedediah Smith Campground, which was established in 1929 and is on land that’s a watershed for the Smith River and Mill Creek. The location of this scenic campground is in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. There are around 87 family campsites here and about 20 miles of trails. The campsites have no hookups but can accommodate tents, 25-foot RVs, and 21-foot trailers. This campground is open year-around and also gives you easy access to the river, a visitor center, and nature store.
The second campground in the park system is the Mill Creek Campground, which is located in the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. The park spans 33,000 acres of land and runs along the Pacific Ocean. You’ll find around 145 campsites here that have picnic tables, food lockers, and fire rings. This campground is open from May through September and is seven miles south of Crescent City, California. Tents, RVs up to 28 feet long, and trailers up to 24 feet long can camp here.
Another in-park option is the Elk Prairie Campground, which is in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and six miles north of Orick, California. The park has been a protected area for old-growth coastal redwoods since the early 1920s, and camping is available year-around here. There are 75 campsites here for tents, RVs up to 27 feet long, and trailers up to 24 feet long. However, there are no hookups or dump stations in the campground. Hot showers are available here. Keep an eye out for Roosevelt elk while staying here, but keep your distance and do not approach these wild animals.
You’ll be right along the Pacific Ocean coastline and among the grazing Roosevelt elk when you book a site at the Gold Bluffs Beach Campground. This is a first-come, first-serve campground in the 14,000-acre Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This is a smaller campground with just 26 sites for tents and RVs up to 24 feet long. Trailers are not allowed here, and there are no RV hookups. This year-around campground has solar showers, restrooms, picnic tables, wind shelters, fire pits, food lockers, and trash receptacles.
Located 30 miles north of Eureka and near Redwood National Park, you’ll find Sue-meg State Park, which is beside the Pacific Ocean in a lushly forested area. This is a small, one-square-mile park that offers camping. Spread across the Penn Creek, Abalone, and Agate Beach campgrounds, there are about 120 family campsites here. You can reserve campsites online between May and September, or access them on a first-come, first-serve basis from October through April. This park was originally called Patrick’s Point State Park and renamed to Sue-meg upon the request of the Yurok Tribe.
Right in the heart of the redwoods lies Emerald Forest Cabins & RV in the forest with access to beaches and friendly communities nearby. In total, there are 70 spacious campsites here, including 12 pull-throughs, 18 back-ins, two overflow sites, six pop-up sites, two overflow pop-up sites, and 30 tent sites. There is Wi-Fi throughout the campground, as well as a dump station, bath houses with showers, and fire pits and picnic tables at each site. For a glamping option, you can also stay in one of the cabins that has two-to-10-person sleeping options. The cabins are cozy and furnished, and many of them have porches and decks that face the creek.
If you don’t mind roughing it and are really looking to get out in nature among the redwoods, consider backcountry camping in one of the seven backcountry camp areas within Redwood National and State Parks. Little Bald Hills Camp and DeMartin Camp are north of the Klamath River. Meanwhile, Flint Ridge, Gold Bluffs Beach, Elam Camp, 44 Camp, and Redwood Creek Gravel Bar dispersed camping are south of the river. Each of the camping areas offers something different and requires that you obtain a free backcountry permit for overnight use.
Big Lagoon County Park is located in Trinidad, California and near Redwood National Park. There is a campground here with 25 campsites that are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is a seven-night maximum stay here, and campsites cost $25 each. Guests can use the coin-operated showers and see the onsite camp host if they need anything. This campground is adjacent to Humboldt Lagoons State Park and seven miles north of Trinidad. There are kayaks available to rent in the area, and you can use the boat ramp to the lagoon to get out on the water.
Also, near Redwood National Park is the Sylvan Harbor Campground, which is a family-owned campground near Trinidad. This campground has 70 RV sites with full hookups and seven tent sites. It is popular with fisherman in the summer and vacationers year-around. There is no separation between campsites for privacy. But guests will have free Wi-Fi, cable TV, propane service, laundry facilities, and access to a storage area for extra vehicles and boat trailers. The daily rate, at the time of writing this, for a campsite is approximately $36.10, and the weekly rate is $216.50.
Located right along the river, the Klamath River RV Park is adjacent to the California National Redwood and State Parks and close to ocean beaches and hiking and biking trails too. Camping options here are mountain view sites with full hookups, river front sites with full hookups for about $10 more per night, and tent sites right on the river. Amenities offered at this campground are the coffee house that’s open on weekends from May to September, free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and a laundry room. When you stay here, you can book a fishing trip with the guides and experience steelhead and salmon fishing in the Lower Klamath River.
Deep among the redwoods of the northern California coast, the Ramblin’ Redwoods Campground and RV Park offers camping opportunities for RVs, tents, and cabins. It is near the Redwood National and State Parks and has large sites with full hookups and 50-amp service. The cabins are fully furnished and forest tent sites are available if you’re looking to get back to the basics. This is a family-friendly and pet-friendly camping area in a forested setting that has a playground, laundry facilities, dog-washing area, walking trails, and many other amenities.
Owned and operated by Tom and Carolyn Atlas, the Mystic Forest RV Park is five miles north of Klamath and also close to Redwood National Park. It has 30 campsites with complete RV hookups and also 14 tent camping sites among the redwoods. There is a cabin available for rent here as well. Features of this campground include clean restrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities, a club house, rec room, miniature golf, groceries, and a gift shop. This campground is less than a mile from the famous Trees of Mystery attraction. Camping clubs and large groups are welcome here.
There’s a local KOA campground around Redwood National Park, which is the Crescent City/Redwoods KOA. You’ll be close to the parks, beaches, and four major rivers while staying here. The RV sites have full hookups and are big-rig friendly with free Wi-Fi and cable TV. In addition to RV camping, there are also tent sites and one- and two-room cabins. This KOA also has a dog park, bike rentals, propane, and firewood for sale. Redwood National Park is two miles from this campground, while Battery Point Lighthouse tours and the Smith River for fishing and swimming are five miles away.
There are also private campgrounds around Redwood National Park, such as the Elk Country RV Resort and Campground. This camping area spans nearly 200 acres of land and has its own private lake, yearly creek, and hiking trails. It’s located along Highway 101 between Orick and Eureka. There are designated sites here in the forest and meadow areas for both RVs and tents. Camping guests can use the onsite laundry facilities, restrooms, dump station, office, and store.