Navarro River Redwoods State Park is an excellent place for RVers looking for giant redwood trees, lots of recreational activities, a sandy beach area and 36 campsites nestled in the giant trees. Located 11 miles southeast of Albion, California, Navarro River Redwoods State Park features a second-growth redwood forest with trees towering over 150 feet in the air. The park follows the North Fork Navarro River as well as the Navarro River for 14 miles through numerous tunnels formed from the incredible redwoods. Created in 1928 with the purchase of 12 acres, the park was known as the Paul M. Dimmick State Park. The Navarro River Redwoods State Park was enlarged over the years to its present 660 acres size with the help of the Save the Redwoods League in 1987.
The surrounding area of Navarro River Redwood State Park was once the homeland of the Mitom Pomo Indian Tribe who flourished in the region. The tribe was eventually moved to Fort Bragg Reservation and the land was opened up to logging. During the 1850s the landscape featured redwood trees of up to 300 feet in height. Logging devastated the old growth trees and a new forest started to grow from the former trunks of the old growth forest. In the 1860s Captain Charles Fletcher constructed a hotel for sailors and loggers. Captain Fletcher’s Inn was purchased by the state of California in 1996 and the hotel has been refurbished.
The park boasts numerous activities including swimming in the river and the Pacific Ocean, fishing, hiking and kayakers as well as canoeists take advantage of higher water level in Navarro River during the springtime. Other fantastic options for RV recreation are whale and wildlife watching which is superb in the second growth forest as well as the mouth of the river.
The weather at Navarro River Redwood State Park is spectacular with high temperatures in the summer months of mid-70s to low 80s and minimal rainfall. Wintertime sports temperatures in the 60s along with up to seven inches of rain per month.
Navarro River Redwood State Park is accessed from California State Highway 128 as well as California State Highway 1 also known as the Shoreline Highway. RVers in big rigs will find navigating Highway 128 difficult. The highway runs adjacent to the Navarro River following the meandering route of the river. There are numerous curves to maneuver when traveling from east to west from the town of Navarro. While you are driving you will have plenty of opportunities to pull over along one of the many curves to allow traffic to flow steadily. When traveling along the Shoreline Highway, you will encounter challenging driving conditions as well.
Driving south from Albion is easier until you enter the park. Driving north along the Shoreline Highway is more challenging as the highway follows the uneven coastline along the Pacific Ocean. When you arrive at the Navarro Beach campground you will find congestion as well as near Captain Fletcher’s Inn.
Once inside the park driving on Highway 128 can get tricky. With the numerous day use areas along the road you can expect congestion as you drive through the redwood tunnels. When you enter the campground area driving is easier along one road that connects the Paul M. Dimmick campground loop with the Highway 128. While driving in the park and campground, please adhere to all posted speed limits. Be cautious of sharing the road with pedestrians, bicyclists and children playing.
The Paul M. Dimmick Campground within Navarro River Redwoods State Park is situated along one loop that is connected by one road. There are 26 campsites within the campground. Once there, you will find plenty of shade under the canopy of towering redwoods and the campground is located at the confluence of the North Fork Navarro River and the Navarro River. The campground does not offer any type of hookup services for RVs or trailers. RVs are limited to 30 feet in length and not all campsites can accommodate vehicles of this size.
Campsites are furnished with a fire ring, picnic table and a paved parking pad that may require leveling. The nearest dump station is at Henry Woods State Park eight miles east of the park on Highway 128. There are flush toilets in the summer and vault toilets in the winter as well as multiple water spigots throughout the campground for drinking water. Generators may be used from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Pets must be restrained on a six-foot leash at all times.
Navarro Beach Campground within the Navarro River Redwoods State Park is situated along the mouth of Navarro River and the Navarro River Estuary. The campground has ten camping sites that feature a fire ring and picnic table. The campground is not suitable for rigs over 30 feet in length. Campsites have little or no shade along Navarro Beach. There are vault toilets but there is not running water. Campers may feel the campground is nothing more than a parking lot. Generators may be used from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Pets must be restrained on a six-foot leash at all times.
Anytime you set out in your RV you should back your rod and reel. The fishing at Navarro River Redwoods State Park is perfect for catching steelheads, ocean run cutthroat trout and salmon. With the park following the river along Highway 128 you can find numerous spots to pull over and get your line wet in the water. Most fishing requires barbless hooks and it is always important to check the state of California fishing regulations for closures as well as bag and size limits.
A great thing to bring in your motorhome with you to Navarro River Redwoods State Park is your kayak or canoe. The Navarro River offers superb paddling conditions in the spring and fall months when the river is at its highest water levels. The most popular launch site is at the Paul M. Dimmick Campground where paddlers then enjoy an eight mile paddle to the ocean. Another popular launch site is at Navarro Beach where kayakers and canoeist paddle in the waters of the Navarro River Estuary State Marine Reserve at the confluence with the Pacific Ocean.
There might not be a long stretch of beach to walk at Navarro River Redwoods State Park but there is a lot of driftwood to find. Along the mouth of the river and within the Navarro River Estuary State Marine Reserve you find an assortment of driftwood that is spectacular. Looking for unique pieces of driftwood and sea shells is best during low tide and you should always check the tidal times before you go out searching for that perfect piece of driftwood.
Many cyclists have their bikes already on their rigs when they arrive to the park. The 14 mile road way of Highway 128 is perfect for cycling. Peddling through the natural redwood tunnels is fabulous and a one-of-a-kind adventure. No matter where you start on the road from the campground or entrance the ride is enchanting and filled with nature all around. Be cautious of traffic and follow all rules for bicycling in the area.
Most RVers take their swim suits with them and the Navarro River is a great place for swimming. There are numerous swimming holes along the river to help you to cool off in the summer months. The water is perfect for swimming with lower water levels that are present from June through August. Wading is superb along the river for families too. Bringing an inner tube is ideal too. The Navarro River is one giant lazy river you can float down until you reach the Pacific Ocean.
Wildlife and marine life watching is popular at Navarro River Redwood State Park. Along the mouth of the river, many sea mammals sun on the driftwood filled sandy beach area. You can expect to see sea lions, harbor seals and a few river otters along the Navarro River as you move inland. Bringing binoculars gives you an opportunity to watch gray whales migrating south from the colder waters of the North Pacific Ocean during the winter months. Animals on land you might see include mountain lions, black-tail deer and raccoons. Birds are plentiful with buffleheads, egrets, herons and red-tailed hawks.