Situated in northern California and surrounding the 32-mile long Avenue of Giants is California’s third-largest state park, Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The massive 53,000-acre state park is the perfect RV getaway destination for forest lovers since there are 17,000 acres of redwoods and more than a few of the tallest trees in the world within the park. People from all over the globe travel to California’s coast to see these ancient giants and learn about their history and importance.
This family-friendly park provides plenty of opportunities for fun, including boating, hiking, swimming, driving along the Avenue of Giants, and fishing. There are also plenty of amazing sites to behold at the visitor center, including the Kellogg Travel Log, which is a motorhome whose body is carved from a single redwood log.
If you visit during the summer you can expect highs in the 70s and 90s, and highs in the 50s and 60s during the winter. Make sure to pack plenty of jackets and blankets in your RV because it can get chilly at night, even during the summer, and the temperature can be drastically different from one end of the park to the other. However, whether you visit during the winter or the summer, there are plenty of activities to keep the whole family busy.
There are plenty of RV camping opportunities at Humboldt Redwoods State Park thanks to the three RV-friendly campgrounds. All of the campgrounds contain primitive sites and are suitable for RVs up to 24 feet in length. If you want to get out of your RV there are also group and primitive camping options that are not suitable for RVs. Humboldt Redwoods State Park is busiest during the summer months, and the peak season runs from May until October.
Navigating inside Humboldt Redwoods State Park can be a little difficult for first-time RV drivers due to the tight roads, but it is a very easy park to find since there are several exits along Highway 101 that will take you to the park entrance. Once you reach the park make sure to drive slow since the roads are narrow. The maximum RV length allowed is only 24 feet, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for RVs of this size. If possible, it’s recommended you bring an extra car because they are much easier to navigate along the many miles of roads in the park. Just be sure the campsite you are staying at allows more than one vehicle since some of them only allow one.
There are several parking locations along the Avenue of Giants, but overall parking is limited. You can park close to whatever activity you want to do and walk or bike the rest of the way. Mountain bikes are also appropriate for getting around the park, but the park is probably too big to try to get around exclusively on foot. Also, be sure your vehicle is parked on the parking spur within the campsite.
Hidden Springs Campground is the largest of the three campgrounds with 154 campsites located on a forested hillside. Each site comes with a picnic table and a fire ring, along with a food locker so that the bears in the area won't be stealing from you. If you want to be nearby fishing and swimming areas, this campground is the place to stay since it is just a short walk from the South Fork of the Eel. Hikers will also love the option of going exploring on two hiking trails that are nearby. The sites are known to be very secluded and most are completely surrounded by redwood trees.
Like the other campgrounds, Hidden Springs Campground offers no hookups or dump stations, but there are dump stations available at nearby facilities to the north and south of the park. Restrooms and coin-operated showers are located throughout the campground and are well maintained.
Reservations are recommended if you want to stay at Hidden Springs Campground since it is only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend, but it is not totally necessary.
Albee Creek Campground features 40 campsites available for you to enjoy. The campsites have plenty of space between them and provide an incredibly relaxing environment, either underneath the redwoods or in a prairie.
None of the campsites have hookups for your RV, but the campground contains plenty of great amenities, such as water collection points, restrooms, and showers. You will have to use the nearby restrooms, showers, and drinking water. You should get cell phone reception on all of the major networks, and pets are allowed at all sites.
Albee Creek Campground is neighbored by Albee Creek on one side and Bull Creek on another side, both of which you can relax and wade in. The campground is only five miles west of the Avenue of Giants, so you’re still pretty close to it, and it’s near several biking and nature trails. All of the campsites are suitable for a maximum of eight people and reservations are highly recommended. Albee Creek Campground is open from May to October.
The Burlington Campground is a popular choice for RV campers visiting the park because it is conveniently located right beside the Visitor Center and is open year-round. The campground is comprised of 57 campsites, all of which can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 24 feet in length. There are no hookups at this campground. Visitors love the privacy that Burlington campground affords because it is in the middle of a grove of redwoods and the sites are well spaced out.
In addition to being right in the idle of the redwoods, Burlington Campground is only a short walk from the South of the Fork Eel, a popular spot for fishing and swimming. However, that also means it may be difficult to get a campsite, especially in the summer months. Reservations can be made up to seven months in advance. Restrooms and showers are located at different points within the campground and firewood is available for purchase at the entrance.
There are no specific first-come, first-served campgrounds for visitors to Humboldt Redwoods State Park, but if you are making a last-minute trip to the park you are able to stay in any sites that are unreserved. Despite there being three RV campgrounds in the park, it is a little risky to rely on sites being available since this is a very popular park.
Your best chance of being able to get a site would be at the Hidden Springs Campground that is open from May until the end of the Labor Day weekend. This is because it is the largest campground within the park and usually the last to completely fill up.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park has two environmental campgrounds (also known as primitive campgrounds) available for visitors to the park who want to get out of their RV. Baxter and Hilton Barn Environmental Campgrounds are both located along Bull Creek and are perfect for those wanting to get away from it all. Neither of the campgrounds have hookups available, but you will be able to find water and toilets here. Each site also comes with a picnic table and fire ring for you to enjoy.
If you plan on staying at one of the environmental campgrounds, you should be aware that the Baxter Campground is a mile from the nearest parking lot and Hilton Barn is around two miles away. These sites can be reserved from Memorial Day until Labor Day Weekend.
For those who want an even more rustic experience, there are a number of trail camps available, but you'll have to hike to reach them.
One of two group camping options for visitors to Humboldt Redwoods State Park is the Marin Garden Club Group Campground. Located around two miles to the north of the Visitor Center and nestled between gorgeous redwood trees, here you will find an area suitable for 40 guests who are part of a group.
The campground doesn't have RV access, but there are restrooms, water collection points, picnic tables, fire rings, and a large grill for you to enjoy. There are no showers at the Marin Garden Club Campground, but you can use those at the Burlington Campground since they will be the closest. You can also use the river for swimming which is around a mile walk away.
Open during the peak season, the campground is a popular place for groups so reservations are highly encouraged.
Williams Grove Group Camp is the second campground for groups within the park. This group camp is actually comprised of two sites, which together can hold up to 100 people. Your group can cook and dine with ease since picnic tables and fire rings are located right on-site. You'll also have access to restroom facilities. If you want to take a shower, though, you'll need to head other campgrounds like Burlington or Hidden Springs. Another bonus of this campground is that you will be closer to many hiking trails.
Bringing your house to Humboldt Redwoods State Park? You're in luck since Cuneo Horse Camp is made specifically for equestrians. Open from April through October, this campground offers easy access to riding trails and has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Whether you stay at one of the two group sites or five single sites, you'll be provided with a picnic table, fire ring, and potable water. Each site has multiple corrals for your horses. Restrooms and hot showers are available at this camp as well.
The Visitor Center is the third stop on the Avenue of Giants auto tour, but you don’t have to take the tour to enjoy all that it has to offer. You can stop by and ask questions and get advice from the staff or check out the immersive and informative theater and bookstore. The Visitor’s Center is a great place to learn more about the park and purchase any maps you may need, including the option to pick up a souvenir before you leave to remember your trip.
It might be hard to work your way through all of the trails of Humboldt Redwoods State Park considering there are over 100 miles for you to explore, but it’s worth a try if you’re up for the challenge. If you have kids with you or if you’re just looking for an easy, relaxing stroll try out the half-mile Founder’s Grove Nature Loop. However, if you’re looking for a longer and more strenuous hike, check out the Johnson Trail Loop, which is over 10 miles long and has a 1,600 feet elevation change. No matter what trail you take, you’ll love being in the middle of such a beautiful and vibrant forest. Just be sure to pack plenty of water in your Airstream and check the weather beforehand.
Any time of year you can take the self-guided auto tour through the Avenue of Giants. The 32-mile tour has eight stops, marked by signs, where you can get out and explore the area a little more. The stops also point out neat historical areas, like the Weott High Water pole, standing 33 feet above the ground and indicating where the floodwaters of 1964 rose. Another one of the stops along the avenue is Dyerville Lookout, an area rich in cultural history. Head to the Visitor Center to a get map for the driving tour. This auto tour is recommended for cars and smaller RVs only.
Spring is the perfect time to take a canoe or kayak down the Eel River, which stretches throughout the park for over 30 miles. Be sure to check the river conditions while planning your trip because they can change drastically depending on rainfall. As long as the river flow is suitable, don’t leave the park without practicing your paddling skills in your canoe or kayak. If the flow is too fast or the waters too low, there may still be other parts of the river that are good for swimming and fishing.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park is any horse rider’s dream come true! There are over 80 miles of trails available for horseback riding, along with several staging areas. Riding on horseback through the park gives you the opportunity to see some of the most scenic views in all of California without exhausting yourself; just be sure to stick to the trails meant for horses. If you’re looking for more than just a day trip and want to take your equine friend along with you while camping, Cuneo Creek Horse Camp is perfect for you. You'll love coasting on horseback under towering Redwoods during your RV trip to Northern California.
During the summer months, several interactive and engaging interpretive programs are offered within the park. Some programs are aimed at educating children, such as the Junior Rangers program and the Litter Getters program. Other programs like nature walks are great for visitors of all ages who want to learn more about the flora and fauna within the area. The programs take place at different locations throughout the park, so if you are interested pop into the visitor center to find out the schedule so you can take part during your visit.