What started as one of California’s first redwood parks in 1922 has grown into 1,800 acres of gorgeous getaway. Richardson Grove State Park, located about four hours outside of San Francisco, is home to an expansive grove of coast redwoods and the South Fork of the Eel River. Scenic views and wildlife abound along with several options for RV and trailer camping.
Huckleberry, Madrone, and Oak Flats Campgrounds offer RV sites with fire rings, picnic tables, food lockers, and access to restrooms and showers.
Stroll through the grove and marvel at trees reaching over 300 feet tall and dating back more than 1,000 years. Watch for black-tailed deer, gray fox, bald eagles, and river otters as you explore the park’s trail system. Don’t forget to stop by the visitor center at Richardson Grove Lodge to learn more about the native ecosystem from park rangers.
Swim and fish in the Eel River, home to salmon and steelhead that return to spawn in the fall and winter. Visit some of the grove’s landmark trees like the walk-through tree, bat tree, and chandelier tree, which features multiple trunks branching out several feet above the forest floor. Take time to hunt for geocaches and enjoy time by the fire.
With a variety of campsites and activities, Richardson Grove State Park is the perfect stop on your next journey through the West Coast.
RV Rentals in Richardson Grove State Park
Transportation in Richardson Grove State Park
Richardson Grove State Park is accessible by both RV and car. Located four hours outside of San Francisco, the grove lies seven miles south of Garberville, California, on Highway 101.
Once inside the park, paved roads will guide you to Huckleberry Campground, Madrone Campground, and the visitor center. The road to Oak Flat Campground is mostly paved, with a short stretch of unpaved road near the river.
Bicycles are allowed in the park but only on paved roadways. Trails connect all areas of the park, and the Grove Nature Trail is ADA accessible. Pets, except for service animals, are not allowed on the hiking trails.
Parking for your vehicle is available at your campsite, with additional parking at the swimming beach and visitor center.
Access two nearby state parks — Benbow State Recreation Area and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park — via Highway 101 as well.
Campgrounds and parking in Richardson Grove State Park
Campsites in Richardson Grove State Park
Oak Flat Campground
The Oak Flat Campground features 78 sites for RVs and trailers. It is located slightly farther off the highway than the other campgrounds, with a brief stretch of the road unpaved. Camping season at Oak Flat is mid-June through mid-September. Each site includes parking for one vehicle, a picnic table, food locker, and fire grill. Visitors can run generators during the daytime hours and have access to restrooms, showers, and tap water.
Madrone Campground offers 40 campsites, all of which accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. The campground also has four reservable cabins for rent. The campground is open year-round, and each site includes parking for one vehicle. Generator use is permitted during daytime hours. Each site includes a picnic table, food locker, and fire grill. Easy access to restrooms with showers and tap water.
The Huckleberry Campground offers 27 RV and trailer campsites open for campers year-round. There is parking for one vehicle at each site. Each site features a picnic table, food locker, and fire grill with access to restrooms with toilets, tap water, and showers. You can also connect to WiFi near the ranger station. Generators can be operated during the daytime hours.
Seasonal activities in Richardson Grove State Park
With 1,800 acres to explore, Richardson Grove State Park is a hiking hot spot. Explore nine miles of trails that weave through the coast redwoods and cross over the scenic Eel River. On the trails you will see some of the park’s most notable and unique redwood trees. Stroll through the walk-through tree. Check out the chandelier tree, which features multiple trunks branching out several feet above the ground, and don’t forget to view the bat tree — a hollow redwood that acts as home to a colony of Yuma bats and their babies. But tread quietly, and don’t disturb the bats.
Richardson Grove Lodge Visitor Center
The Richardson Grove Lodge was built in the 1930s and was once a place where families gathered to watch movies, eat ice cream, and dance. Today, it houses the Richardson Grove State Park Visitor Center. The Visitor Center features interactive displays on the history of the area and the wildlife that call it home. Children are encouraged to handle natural items and learn from park rangers on site. The center hosts special events like guided walks, guest speakers, and evening campfire programs throughout the year.
Richardson Grove State Park visitors can swim and wade in the Eel River during the warm summer months. A designated swimming beach and seasonal swimming hole are popular areas for sunbathing and water activities. Diving and jumping into the river are not permitted, and no lifeguards are on duty. All three campgrounds are within walking distance of the swim beach, and visitors can use the park’s trail system to safely travel to and from on foot. There is also a parking area and restrooms available for visitor use.
No matter the season, the redwoods offer a perfect place for a picnic. A designated day-use picnic area is located east of the visitor center near the river. Each campsite in the three campgrounds include a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker to make eating near your RV simple and fun. Remember to bring your own firewood as wood collecting in the park is not allowed, including twigs and leaves. Fires are only allowed in designated fire rings.
Fishing and Wildlife Watching
During the fall and winter months, fishermen of all ages can enjoy the Eel River, which plays hosts to salmon and steelhead that return to the area to spawn. Year round, visitors can watch for a variety of wildlife including black-tailed deer, gray foxes, and river otters. The avid bird watcher can spot bald eagles, great blue herons, osprey, and more. You’ll also catch glimpses of Yuma brown bats and their babies that live in a hollowed out redwood in the grove.
The scenic setting, extensive trail system, and ample camping and RV space makes Richardson Grove State Park a favorite spot for geocaches. Grab your group and your GPS and enjoy hunting for hidden caches around the grove. Most of the caches are easily accessible for all age groups. Some only have room to sign your name, so don’t forget a pen or pencil. Others contain a collection of small items left by fellow geocachers. Bring along your own souvenir to add to the mix.