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REVEALING The Best Places In NorCal To Camp Near Redwoods 🏕

Let’s be honest.

Northern California is blessed.

Blessed with beautiful coastline, rivers, lakes, mountains and forests.

But one of the highlights are the majestic coastal redwoods.

Seeing them in person is a magical experience that you’ll never forget.

But imagine waking up and seeing them first thing in the morning and camping among them under the stars at night!

Well, in this post we uncover 7 of the best places to go camping amongst redwoods in Northern California.

redwood camping norcal map graphic

Whether you want to drive through a redwood tree, see Roosevelt elk, go on a hike or catch fish in a river, this list has something for everyone.

1. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is a great place to camp if you love being surrounded by giant redwood trees. 

This park is located in Northern California, about 9 miles east of Crescent City. 

It’s named after the explorer Jedediah Strong Smith who explored this area in the 1820s.

There are several campgrounds in the park, but one of the most popular is the Jedediah Smith Campground. 

It has 106 campsites, and many of them are right next to the beautiful Smith River. 

In general sites 45-60 are the closest to the river and also further away from Highway 199 compared to most of the other sites.

This campground is perfect for tent camping and RVs.

Reserve california says that the max trailer length is 21 feet.

You could use an RV up to 25 feet but overall this place is more suited to cars accompanied with a tent setup.

This is partly because the campground was built in the 1930s. 

It’s open year-round, but reservations get booked up fast so reserve as soon as you can. 

When you’re not relaxing at your campsite, there are plenty of things to do. 

You can hike on one of the many trails that wind through the redwoods. 

jedediah smith redwoods state park sign (1)

One of the best trails is the Stout Grove Trail, which takes you through a stunning grove of giant trees. 

You can also go fishing, swimming, or kayaking in the Smith River.

A top tip for campers is to bring layers of clothing because the weather can change quickly. 

Even in the summer, it can be cool and foggy in the mornings and evenings.

More info:

2. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is another amazing spot to camp among the redwoods. 

prairie creek redwoods state park

It’s located along the coast, just north of the town of Orick. 

This park is known for its old-growth redwoods, which are some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world.

One of the best places to camp here is the Elk Prairie Campground. 

It has 76 campsites, and some of them are right in the middle of a redwood forest. 

The maximum RV length is 27 feet for motorhomes and 24 feet for trailers.

You might even see Roosevelt elk grazing nearby! 

elk praire creek

There’s also the option to camp at the Gold Bluffs Beach Campground if you want to be closer to the coast.

The campground is open year-round, but it’s a good idea to make a reservation if you’re planning to visit in the summer.

prairie creek redwoods state park

There’s so much to do in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. 

You can hike on one of the many trails, like the Fern Canyon Trail. 

This trail takes you through a narrow canyon with walls covered in ferns, making it feel like you’re in a rainforest. 

fern canyon prairie creek

You can also drive or bike along the scenic Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, which winds through the heart of the park.

A great tip for campers is to bring bug spray, especially if you’re visiting in the spring or summer. 

The park can get quite buggy, especially near the water.

Also, be sure to keep your food stored properly, as there are bears and other wildlife in the area.

More info:

3. Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Humboldt Redwoods State Park is one of the largest redwood parks in California. 

It’s located along the famous Avenue of the Giants, a scenic drive that takes you through some of the most impressive redwood groves in the state. 

This park is home to the Rockefeller Forest, the largest remaining old-growth redwood forest in the world.

A great place to camp in Humboldt Redwoods State Park is the Albee Creek Campground. 

It has 40 campsites and is located in a peaceful meadow surrounded by redwoods.

The Burlington Campground and the Hidden Springs Campgrounds are also good choices if you want to be closer to the Eel River, but they are also closer to Highway 101.

Campgrounds are generally open from spring through fall, and reservations are recommended.

There are many things to see and do in this park. 

You can hike on one of the numerous trails, such as the Founders Grove Loop Trail, which takes you to the Founders Tree, a giant redwood that was once claimed as the world’s tallest tree.

On the Founders Grove Loop Trail you’ll also come across the Dyerville Giant, a fallen redwood tree that once stood at 362 ft. tall.

dyerville giant

You can also swim, fish, or canoe in the Eel River. 

For a unique experience, try driving through the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree, a tunnel carved into a living redwood.

A useful tip for campers is to bring a good flashlight or headlamp, as it can get very dark under the thick canopy of trees. 

Also, be prepared for cooler temperatures, even in the summer, and pack accordingly.

More info:

4. Richardson Grove State Park

Richardson Grove State Park is another fantastic place to camp among the majestic redwoods. 

It’s located along Highway 101, just south of the town of Garberville. 

This park is named after Friend Richardson, a former governor of California, and it’s known for its impressive redwood groves and easy access to the Eel River.

Many of the sites are nestled among the redwoods, providing plenty of shade and a beautiful setting. 

All of the campgrounds are highly rated and there are 169 campsites within the park.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Richardson Grove. 

You can hike on one of the many trails, such as the Durphy Creek Trail, which takes you through lush redwood forests and along the creek. 

The Eel River is also a great spot for swimming, fishing, and kayaking. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the redwoods, the park offers guided nature walks and interpretive programs during the summer.

A top tip for campers is to bring sturdy shoes for hiking, as the trails can be uneven and slippery. 

More info:

5. Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park is a hidden gem located on the Mendocino Coast, just south of the town of Mendocino. 

This park is known for its stunning coastal scenery, lush fern canyons, and beautiful redwood groves.

It’s a perfect spot for camping if you want to experience both the redwoods and the ocean. 

The campground at Van Damme State Park has 74 normal campsites, many of which are set among the redwoods. 

The max trailer length is 35 feet.

If you want to stay close to the river then choose the Little River Spur campsites or Lower Loop campsites when looking on Reserve California. 

The campground is open year-round, but reservations are recommended during the busy summer months.

There are many things to do in Van Damme State Park. 

You can hike on the Fern Canyon Trail, which takes you through a beautiful canyon filled with ferns and redwoods (not to be confused with Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods SP). 

Checkout Pygmy Forest Discovery Trail where you can see dwarf trees that are hundreds of years old but only a few feet tall. 

van damme state park beach

You also have easy access to the beautiful Van Damme State Beach.

More info:

6. Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Samuel P. Taylor State Park is a beautiful spot for camping located in Marin County, not far from San Francisco. 

Samuel P. Taylor State Park (1)

This park is known for its towering redwoods, lush meadows, and the scenic Lagunitas Creek. 

It’s a great place for a quick getaway if you live in the Bay Area.

The main campsites near the visitor centre are the Creeksite and Orchard hill campsites. 

Theres 59 sites between these two areas and you’ll have access to restrooms, hot showers (quarter operated), and piped drinking water but no hookups.

Many of the campsites are nestled among the redwoods, providing a peaceful and shady setting. 

The Orchard Hill campground is open year-round, but reservations are highly recommended, especially during the summer and weekends.

The Creeksite campsites are closed from December through March due to seasonal flooding. 

There are plenty of activities to enjoy in this park. 

You can hike or bike on the Cross Marin Trail, which follows an old railroad grade along Lagunitas Creek. 

The Pioneer Tree Trail is another popular hike that takes you to a grove of ancient redwoods. 

A top tip for campers is to be aware of poison oak, which is common in this area. 

Make sure to stay on the trails and learn how to recognize this plant. 

Also, bring a good insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be a nuisance, especially near the creek. 

Finally, take some time to explore the nearby Point Reyes National Seashore, which is just a short drive away and offers stunning coastal views and wildlife.

More info:

7. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a fantastic place to camp if you want to experience the beauty of the redwoods without venturing too far from the city. 

Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, near the town of Felton, this park is known for its towering redwoods, lush forests, and scenic river views.

The main campground at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park has 113 campsites in a shady pine and oak forest and is about a 2-mile walk (or a 5 minute drive) to the Redwood Grove Loop Trail. 

The campground is open from spring through fall, and reservations are recommended, especially during the busy summer months.

There are plenty of things to do in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. 

You can hike on one of the many trails, like the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, which takes you through a grove of ancient redwoods, including the famous “Fremont Tree,” which you can walk inside. 

The River Trail is another popular hike that follows the San Lorenzo River and offers beautiful views of the water and the surrounding forest.

For a unique experience, take a ride on the Roaring Camp Railroads, which offers steam train rides through the redwoods and up to Bear Mountain. 

This is a fun activity for families and a great way to see the area from a different perspective.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor activities, making it an ideal destination for camping among the majestic redwoods.

More info:


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Sophie Davis

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Sophie is a California native. She joined our team in 2023 to create travel guides on California.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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