redwood national park camping site

Redwood camping Guide: Top 15 things to know!

Camping is an outdoor activity which people enjoy in their free time. It can be done by pitching a tent in a campground or car camping where the participants bring their tents and other equipment. The tradition of camping has been around for hundreds of years, with its roots coming from nomadic cultures who would travel to find places to live. Nowadays, many campsites like redwood have amenities such as electricity, showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities available for use at an additional cost. There are also many different types of activities you can do while camping like fishing, hiking or just relaxing!

Redwoods National Park Location

redwood camping site

Located in Northern California this park is one of the most popular destinations for people who want to go on a camping trip. It is also the largest national park in California! The redwoods found in this place can be up to 30 meters tall and 1,200 years old. In the park, you will find a variety of different trees such as Douglas firs, Sitka spruces, Western Hemlocks, and many more.

There are two developed campgrounds within Redwood National Park that have limited amenities available for use at a cost: Elk Prairie Campground and Jedediah Smith Campground. Within both these campsites, there is water available in taps which users must bring their own jugs/containers to take some with them.

There are also picnic tables and fire pits located near each campsite but it should be noted that fires outside of the fire pits (in designated camping spots) are not permitted. So don’t forget your camp stove!

There is also many trails within the national park where people can go for extended hikes to experience the redwoods up close. For anyone looking for a hike, I would recommend the Coastal Trail which can be up to 32km long with an elevation of about 450 meters at its highest point. This trail runs along the coastline and has great views of many beaches, lagoons, estuaries, and even some old-growth trees found in the park!

Camping overnight costs $35 per night; however if you want just to have access to the day use area, that is free.

Note: If you are looking for a place to go camping and it’s the last weekend in June (Friday-Monday) you should also check out the Muir Woods National Monument . Entry is free during this time and there are many trails within the redwood forest that can be enjoyed.

How to travel to Redwood National Park

redwood camping time of year

The primary way to get to Redwood National Park is by car, unless you want to take a bus from San Francisco which can also bring you into Humboldt Redwoods State Park where Jedediah Smith Campground is located. To enter either park from San Francisco I would recommend taking Highway 101 North. This will lead you into both parksands provide great views of the coast and some estuaries/lagoons. I would recommend at least two days to visit this area of California since the drive on Highway 101 can take up to 9 hours, depending on traffic.

Once you arrive in Northern California, I recommend renting a car if you plan to explore outside the campsites outlined above. Some shuttles can be used for transportation within Redwood National Park and surrounding areas like Crescent City and Orick. For more information, check out this website. It’s also worth noting that cell phone service can be limited in this area, so having an offline map might be helpful! And don’t rely solely on your GPS!

Time to visit Redwood National Park!

September-November: The weather is nice, the trees are green, and the crowds are gone!

December-March: Watch out for snow on the ground!

Mid-June-Mid August: Watch out for high mosquito populations.

And, of course, always check if fires are permitted before starting a campfire. Happy camping!

Things to do in Redwood national park

Hiking: There are a ton of great trails within the park, including the Coastal Trail, which can take up to 32km and takes about 5-6 hours to complete with an elevation of about 450 meters.

Kayaking/Canoeing: You can kayak or canoe along the Smith River during different times of the year, depending on the water level. For more information, check out this website.

Mountain Biking: To see all of Redwood National Park, you could go mountain biking through it! Depending on your skill level, this could be a short trip or a pretty difficult one.

Swimming: There are tons of beaches and lagoons within and around Redwood National Park. Some are quiet and secluded, while others can be more crowded depending on the time of year.

Camping: It should be noted that camping is permitted at designated campsites only. They can be found throughout Redwood National Park, but note that fires outside the fire pits (in designated camping spots) are not permitted.

Fishing: There are tons of fishing spots along the Smith River, so bring your poles!

Biking: Bikes can be rented within many areas within Redwood National Park, and some trails can even accommodate bike traffic, such as Elk Prairie Trail and Coastal Trail.

Picnic Areas: There are several picnic areas along the northern coast that have spectacular views. Some have running water, but it’s essential to bring your food since none can be purchased on site.

Scenic Views: There are several scenic spots throughout Jedediah Smith Campground and Redwood National Park. You can find great trails, campsites with views overlooking the river, or just lovely flat areas to sit down and relax. For a bit!

Camping/Backpacking: In addition to backcountry camping, there are also some designated front country camping spots and overnight parking spaces near specific viewing points, such as Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

Boat Tours: Boat tours can be taken along the Klamath River, parks, and accessible parks and from Highway 101.


I hope this guide helps you to have a good time at redwood national park.

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