Redwood National Park
Guide

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Introduction

Nestled in Pacific Northwest is the majestic forest of Redwood National Park, which is home the tallest trees in the world, 130,000 acres of enchanting prairies, cascading waterways, and nearly 40 miles of organic coastline. This captivating wilderness is made up of Redwood National Park and three adjacent state parks. An RV trip to Redwood National Park is unlike any other, where you gaze at redwoods up to 370 feet tall that soar above like skyscrapers and Giant Sequoias that are up to 3,200 years old. Whether you want to take your camper to wild beaches or lush meadows where Roosevelt Elk graze, this national park offers a world of its own to discover.

Come to Redwood National Park and scan the horizon at High Bluff Overlook or Klamath River Overlook for wild whales, pelicans, and sea lions. Or you might want to take a serene walk to soak in the essence of the ancient redwoods that tower above on the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Loop. You might even want to explore rugged tide pools and hit the waves at Endert’s Beach. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding adventures await you on over 200 miles of tranquil trails. On your motorhome road trip to Redwood National Park, you won’t want to miss a stop at the one of the park’s five visitor centers where you can learn about the efforts to save the park’s giant trees and the natural and cultural heritage of the area.

Whatever calls you to the alluring mystique of Redwood National Park, there are loads of activities to enjoy all year. The coastal location of the park keeps temperatures typically mild year-round. In the winter you can expect more rain, and the summer brings the sun and a mystifying fog to the Redwoods. An RV getaway to this incredible natural wonderland is one of the best ways to experience Northern California’s natural beauty in an authentic way.

Park Alerts (2)

[Information] Ossagon Trail: Muddy and Flooded

The Ossagon Bike Trail currently has standing and flowing water in sections. Be prepared to dismount bikes and get your wet feet.

[Caution] Do Not Rely On Digital Maps

Be aware that many apps that provide digital maps do not not give accurate, site-specific information in this area. Visitors seeking places like the Tall Trees Grove Trailhead and Mill Creek Campground have been misdirected. Please utilize good judgement!

RV Rentals in Redwood National Park

Transportation in Redwood National Park

Driving

Traveling to Redwood National Park in an RV is easy since it’s located off Routes 101 and 299. In some areas of the park you’ll want to pay attention to the road accessibility for RVs and large vehicles. It’s suggested to keep RV or trailer driving limited to the major highways near the park, Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, and roads to the visitor centers and campgrounds. Some routes such as Cal-Barrel Road and Davison Road do not allow or advise against RVs or travel trailers due to the narrow, windy, or unpaved conditions of the road. However, you can usually park your RV nearby and take a smaller vehicle, bike, or go on foot instead.

Parking

You will find parking for RVs or trailers at the park’s five visitor centers and campgrounds since these are easily accessible for larger vehicles. Parking is limited at major attractions for large vehicles, depending on the accessibility of the route. There are more parking options for rental vehicles, towed vehicles, or bikes throughout the park.

Public Transport

If you wish to get to the park by bus, Greyhound Bus Service provides transportation to the park two times per day. If you are traveling by train you can take the Redwood Coast Transit System to access some of the trailheads near Crescent City. You can always get around the trails of the park by traveling on foot, on a bike, or on a horse.

Campgrounds and parking in Redwood National Park

Campsites in Redwood National Park

Reservations camping

Jedediah Smith Campground

This campground is open year-round, nestled in a an ancient redwood grove with scenic views of the Smith River. There are 86 sites available for tents and RVs, where you have easy access to fishing, hiking, swimming, campground programs, and a visitor center. While there are no RV hookups available, this campground features showers, bathrooms, barbeques, picnic tables, and a dump station. Reservations are required from 48 hours to up to 6 months from the time of your stay. There are limited cabins also available for rent. RVs up to 25 feet in length and trailers up to 21 feet in length are permitted at this campground.

Mill Creek Campground

Mill Creek Campground is open from May to September, offering access to miles of trails and ranger-led programs. Located under the beautiful shade of towering trees, this campground features 145 sites available for tents and RVs. Access is available for RVs up to 28 feet long and trailers up to 24 feet long. While there are no hookups available for RVs, you will enjoy amenities such as restrooms, showers, picnic tables, a campfire center, and a dump station. Reservations are available from two days to six months ahead of your stay.

Elk Prairie Campground

Open all year, this campground is a unique site where you can watch elk and deer graze peacefully in Elk Prairie. This campground offers 75 sites for RVs and tents, where you have easy access to over 70 miles of biking and hiking trails. Elk Prairie Campground is open to RVs up to 27 feet long and trailers up to 24 feet long. There are no hookups available at this location, but you will have access to restrooms, showers, firepits, picnic tables, and a nearby visitor center. Reservations are required and can be made up to 6 months in advance.

Gold Bluffs Beach Campground

If you want access to a secluded beach and a great view of the Pacific ocean, this is the campground for you. Typically open year-round, this campground offers 26 sites available for tents and RVs up to 24 feet long. Trailers are prohibited from parking at this campground. While there are no hookups available here, you can enjoy amenities like restrooms, showers, picnic tables, barbecues, and food storage lockers. Reservations are available from 48 hours to up to six months from the time of your stay.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First Served Camping

There are plenty of reservation options at Redwood National Park, but no campgrounds at the park are specified for first-come, first-served camping.

Alternate camping

Private Campgrounds

If you are looking for modern conveniences such as full hookups, swimming pools, and wireless internet access, you can stay at the many private campgrounds available around the area. These campgrounds are located in nearby towns like Crescent City, Eureka, and Klamath. These accommodations will vary from rustic cabins to luxury RV resorts.

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is a rustic way to get up close and personal with the great outdoors. You can get a free permit to stay in the backcountry of the majestic Redwoods as long as you apply up to 24 hours in advance. There are a number of backcountry designated campsites dotted around park where you can experience the authentic wilderness of Northern California.

Seasonal activities in Redwood National Park

Spring

Lady Bird Johnson Grove Loop

If there’s any trail to hit during your spring RV visit to Redwood National Forest it’s the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Loop. You’ll take a scenic stroll amidst the shade of towering ancient redwood trees, enchanting hillside groves, and blooming rhododendrons and azaleas. This is an easy one-mile loop to get just a taste of the amazing scenery this majestic wilderness has to offer.

High Bluff Overlook

One of the best places to enjoy sunset views and spot incredible aquatic creatures is High Bluff Overlook. You enjoy take a spring picnic while you soak in stunning views of rocky Pacific coastline. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of giant whales or majestic sea lions. This is a must-see stop during your spring camper tour of Redwood National Forest.

Horseback Riding

The spring is a beautiful time of year to park your trailer and experience Redwood National Forest while riding a horse. Whether you want to ride under the canopy of tall redwoods or on the serenity of the beach, there are miles and miles of trails to ride. You can hire a private company to take you on a guided tour or bring your own horses if you’re an avid equestrian.

Leiffer-Ellsworth Loop Trail

If you want to get away from the crowds and take the less-traveled path to get a backcountry glimpse of Redwood National Forest, this is the perfect trail. This 2.6-mile moderate hike will take you through dense redwood forest and colorful clintonia, thimbleberry, and red huckleberry bushes. You can step back in time during your RV getaway since you’ll walk on a 19th-century Crescent City Plank Road into a majestic canyon.

Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway

Driving along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway in the spring is a great way to soak in the wondrous beauty of the Redwoods. This 10-mile scenic drive is RV accessible, where you’ll coast along the ancient redwood forest and see enchanting Roosevelt Elk roaming through the brush. You’ll want to bring a camera and slow down to soak in the incredible scenery around you.

Summer

Kayak Tour of Smith River

A ranger-led Kayak tour of the cascading Smith River is an amazing way to experience the amazing scenery of the park while learning about the geology of the river and the natural history of the redwood forest. This beautiful, three-hour trek includes a stop for lunch and a chance to learn from the experts.

Gold Bluffs Beach

Gold Bluffs Beach is an amazing spot in the park where you can lounge, play frisbee, swim, or fish on the rugged Pacific Coast. Wild elk roam the beach and tall cliffs edge the coastline. Whether you want to enjoy a quiet summer picnic or watch the sunset in an idyllic setting, this is a perfect spot to get away from it all during your summer motorhome trip to Northern California.

Native American Dance Demonstration

An incredible way to experience the cultural history of the area is to check out a Native American Dance Demonstration held during the summer at the park. You can see the Yurok perform a traditional brush dance at the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center or head over to the Jedediah Smith picnic area to check out a renewal dance demonstration by the Tolowa.

Campfire Programs

You can enjoy an enchanting summer evening by the campfire at the Jedediah Smith, Mill Creek, or Elk Prairie campground. You’ll be delighted by stories, slideshows, music, and games hosted by expert rangers. This is an unforgettable way to spend a night under the warm glow of the fire during your summer RV getaway to the Pacific Northwest.

Tide Pools

If you’re ready for a unique adventure, it’s time to park your trailer and get out on the beach and go tidepooling, where you hunt for natural tide pools that dot the coastline. Endert’s Beach, Damnation Creek, and False Klamath Cove are the best spots to find these majestic sites that are home to sea stars, crabs, and snails.

Fall

Trillium Falls

The autumn is a prefect time of year to park your rig and head out on the Trillium Falls Trail, where you’ll be greeted by colorful redwoods, maples, and sparkling waterfalls. Known as one of the best family-friendly hikes in the park, this an easy to moderate trek that is less than three miles long. Bring the camera for great photo opportunities at the waterfalls or if you spot wild Elk.

Bike the Coastal Trail

If you want to get out of your RV and head out on a bike with ocean breezes and forest views, this is the perfect trail. This three-mile trek is located in the Gold Bluffs Beach section where you’ll have access to the sandy beaches overlooking the Pacific coast. The autumn is a perfect time of year to soak in the majestic scenery of colorful trees and crashing waves.

Carruthers Cove Trail

If you’re looking for a moderate trek to spot the wildlife that roams freely in the park, this is a great trail. This one-mile route is steep in some areas, but offers great views of grazing elk and flocks of birds. Once you get out of your RV and on the trail you’ll head towards the beach past colorful alders and berry bushes.

Nature Walks

If you want to learn more about the natural wonder and cultural history of the area, you’ll love taking a guided nature walk led by expert rangers. They will teach you about the secrets of the redwoods and heritage of the community while you walk or hike through lush forests, grassy prairies, and sandy beaches. This is a great way to capture the beauty of the autumn scenery during your RV trip to Redwood National Forest.

Elk Prairie

Elk Prairie has its namesake for a reason since it’s a prime spot to catch a glimpse of wild Roosevelt Elk that call this amazing park home. You can walk or hike along a gravel trail that will take you through lush woodland. This is a great chance during your RV vacation to spot majestic creatures like mountain lions, coyotes, and black bears too.

Winter

Winter Hikes

If you want to learn more about the natural history and cultural heritage of Redwood National Forest you’ll love the chance to take a winter hike through this enchanting environment. An expert ranger will entertain you with stories of ranger adventures and trivia about the incredible wilderness all around you. These events are scheduled in advance depending on weather conditions.

Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center

The winter is a perfect time to visit the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center, which is open daily year-round, except for national holidays. You can check out amazing exhibits about the redwood trees and exciting natural history of the area. Watch an orientation film and browse the bookstore for some souvenirs. If you want to take some winter beach pictures during your RV trip to Redwood National Forest, this is a perfect spot since it offers beach access.

Ah-Pah Interpretive Trail

On warmer winter days you’ll enjoy a tranquil stroll down the Ah-Pah Interpretive Trail, which follows the route of an old logging road. This easy trek will take you through the majestic giant Redwoods and end in a stunning redwood grove. This is a the perfect short hike to take during the winter so you can get back to your warm RV in no time, while still experiencing the serenity of the great outdoors.

Bike the Ossagon Trail

This trail offers a rare chance to bike through old-growth redwoods and end up at the sandy beach. The Ossagon Trail is an easy trek that is just under 4 miles, so it’s a perfect short adventure you can take on warmer winter days. If you want to bike in a tranquil setting, away from the crowds, this is a great spot during your winter RV visit to Redwood National Forest.

Klamath River Overlook

You won’t want to miss the chance to park your RV and get out the camera at Klamath River Overlook. This is one of the most picturesque spots in the entire park where you’ll soak in views of rugged Pacific Coastline and serene beaches. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a whale or sea lion. Mossy boulders and rocky shores dot the coastline for some incredible pictures you won’t get anywhere else in the park.

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