Some of the most scenic places in the world can’t rival the magnificent scenery in Prairie Creek Redwood State Park in Northern California. Fern-covered canyon walls and flowering meadows bump up against beaches and some of the largest trees in the world, the coast redwood. RVers will find a little piece of perfection staying at Prairie Creek Redwood State Park.
The park, located along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, offers visitors awe-inspiring views of some of the tallest species of trees in the world. Three other parks, Redwood National Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, join Prairie Creek Redwood State Park as part of a cooperatively-managed National Park Service and California Department of Parks and Recreation park system.
Summertime is the busiest time to visit Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, as well as the most temperate time of year to visit. Summer temperatures range from 40 to 75 degrees, and visitors can expect fog in the morning and the evening. The park is open year-round, and winter visitors can expect colder temperatures ranging from 35 to 55 degrees and rain from November to May.
RV Rentals in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Transportation in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is located 50 miles north of Eureka, California and 135 miles southwest of Medford, Oregon. Visitors who drive from the north can take the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway into the park.
Visitors using RVs, motorhomes, and other trailers need to be aware of vehicle limitations in and around the park area. Major highways near the park don’t have vehicle restrictions, but access roads leading to the visitor’s center and the Elk Prairie Campground do have limitations. These roads allow a maximum motorhome length of 27 feet and a maximum trailer length of 24 feet. Visitors using truck campers staying at the Gold Bluffs Beach Campground need to use Davison Road to access the campground. Be aware that no trailers are allowed on Davison Road and vehicles more than 8 feet wide, and 24 feet long should not attempt to drive this road.
Most other roadways within the park do not allow motorhomes, RVs, and trailers. Park officials and park maps can advise visitors which roads have travel restrictions.
Campgrounds and parking in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Campsites in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Gold Bluff Beach Campground
Gold Bluff Beach Campground, located two miles from the entrance station, is a tent and truck camper-only campground. No trailers are allowed on Davison Road and vehicles more than 8 feet wide, and 24 feet long should not attempt to drive this road. Gold Bluff Beach Campground is a reservation-only campground from approximately Memorial Day through Labor Day, and a first-come, first-serve campground the rest of the year.
Gold Bluff Beach is a beach-front, primitive-style campground. Although there are no hookups or a dump station, the campground has potable water, restrooms, and showers available for guests on-site. Wildlife, frequent the area, so please keep pets leashed and use the bear-resistant metal lockers provided at each campsite. Generator operation is allowed only between 10 am and 8 pm.
Elk Prairie Campground
Elk Prairie Campground is a reservation-only campground from approximately Memorial Day through Labor Day, and a first-come, first-serve campground the rest of the year. This campground sits in groves of coastal redwood trees. Wildlife, such as bear and Roosevelt Elk, frequent the area, so please keep pets leashed and use the bear-resistant metal lockers provided at each campsite. The campground accommodates motorhomes up to 27 feet and trailers up to 24 feet in length. There are no hookups or dump stations in this park, but water spigots, restrooms, and coin-operated showers are available within the campground. This campground has access to hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and firewood sales. Generator operation is allowed only between 10 am and 8 pm.
Seasonal activities in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Are you a fan of National Parks? Do you crave stamps in your National Park Passport book?
In 1994, the National Park Service and California State Parks agreed to work cooperatively and manage the redwood parklands together. That means that you can visit two parks in one! Stop by the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Visitor Center and get your passport stamp, shop for souvenirs, learn about park programs, exhibits, and discover everything the park has to offer. The visitor’s center is open year-round, but hours vary depending on the season.
There is no better way to immerse yourself in the redwood forest’s grandeur than to explore the area by foot. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park has 75 miles of trails. The hikes range from short and easy day-hikes to strenuous and difficult day hikes. If you only have a little time to explore, try the Prairie Creek Trail, located just east of the Prairie Creek visitor center. This trail takes you along a creek, and it’s only one and a half miles from the visitor center to Big Tree, a favorite stop within the park.
If you are an avid hiker, try hiking part of the California Coastal Trail. Two sections of the 1,200-mile-long trail run through Prairie Creek.
Junior Ranger Programs
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, kids can take part in the Junior Ranger program. The program offers games, campfire talks, forest walks, crafts, and other events geared toward helping kids learn about the park. Families visiting during the off-season can also have an educational experience. Pick up an adventure guide from the visitor’s center and embark on a self-guided treasure hunt, and see how many trees you can find with redwoods bingo.
Mountain Bikers will enjoy riding 19-mile-long Ossagon Trail. This moderate-difficulty bike trail loops riders through some of the most scenic areas of the park. From the redwood forests to the beach, this trail takes riders over creek crossings, a swampy section of the beach, and down paved and single track dirt and gravel roads. Riders should bring their own bikes and helmets and always prepare for changing weather conditions.
Coastal Animal Viewing
Gold Bluffs Beach isn’t just a beach campground; it’s home to many different species of animals. Visitors can come to this often foggy and windy beach and explore the seaside while looking for animals. Walk the dunes and search for great blue herons and peregrine falcons, or search off-shore for harbor seals, dolphins, Steller sea lions, and Pacific gray whales. Please be aware of road restrictions when accessing this beach. No trailers are allowed on Davison Road and vehicles more than 8 feet wide, and 24 feet long should not attempt to drive this road.
Although there are many scenic drives in the park, the Newton B. Drury Parkway is a paved, ten-mile-long drive through the park’s old-growth redwood forest that will entertain the entire family. The drive is open from sunrise to sunset and takes approximately 20-30 minutes (one way) to complete. Some of the stops along the way include the Big Tree Wayside and the Ah-Pah Interpretive Trail. While you are enjoying the scenery, look and see if you can spot one of the park’s resident Roosevelt Elk.