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14 Great Redwood National Park Boondocking Locations

Last updated on May 9th, 2022 at 08:02 am

Redwood National Park
Well, if you want to visit one of America’s most beautiful places, then visit the Redwood National Park. I’ve seen this place, and it is stunning, simply amazing. It looks like something out of a movie.

History of the Redwood National Park

The park’s origins are rooted in the desire of two men to protect the old-growth redwoods that were being logged with increasing efficiency. Senator E. L. Crocker designated representative reasonable protection on January 11, 1928, and Representative William Kent on November 10, 1929, who became president of the Save-the-Redwoods League chapter at San Francisco.

These men and local representatives suggested the idea for the national park, including Grove Karl Gilbert, Senator James D. Phelan, and State Assemblyman John J. Dunnigan (later California’s first assistant state attorney general). However, it was not until January 11, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy signed a bill designating an unspecified section of land along the northern California coast “as a national monument… to preserve as far as possible their ecological and geological characteristics.”

After much debate over what specific area should be included in the new monument, at the suggestion of Josephine Bruce, wife of Save-the-Redwoods League president Henry T. Bruce, Congress decided to protect around one-third of all remaining old-growth redwoods within park boundaries on December 1, 1968, following House Concurrent Resolution No. 1549.

In 1978, under this law, no road or trail construction would occur in any part of the park’s original expansion area. Additionally, in 1994 the California Coastal Trail was created to “promote public enjoyment and understanding of the coastline” to provide cross-country access throughout the state.

Redwoods are considered some of the world’s tallest trees (the tallest tree in the world is also located within this park). These trees stand at an average height of over 300 feet, with some reaching nearly 400 feet in height. The largest known redwood tree has been measured at 3792 cubic feet, with a weight estimated to have totaled 2,200 tons. Giant redwoods are so tall that they tower above most other flora in the forest below them. Consequently, they provide three-quarters of their shade.

No one knows for sure how big the redwoods grow because no one has seen them grow. The oldest known redwood tree is more than 2,200 years old, but scientists think some trees may be even older than that. People have found redwood trees on earth that are more than 3,000 years old! They can live for thousands of years; it is estimated by some botanists to reach 4,000 years.

This longevity is because they rarely drop their leaves (only when something like a forest fire or flood kills them). Since they don’t lose many leaves throughout their lives (which could span several centuries), they don’t grow very much either.

Redwoods are evergreen, with shiny green needles about an inch in length. The bark of young trees is satiny red-brown but becomes rugged and deeply furrowed with age.

The forests that contain these giant trees have a feeling of being extremely ancient. It’s easy to imagine dinosaurs roaming around you – the forest seems so untouched by man it feels as if this was before time. Sometimes you can hike up a hill and find something like a cafe from the 1930s just sitting there abandoned, dating from when people traveled along the coast more frequently.

You can also see old-fashioned campsites which have been left for decades. This place does feel untouched by humans. It’s no wonder that it has become a popular place for filming movies.

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14 Great Redwood National Park Boondocking Locations

1. Redwood National Park – Sand Camp

Address
South Fork Road
Crescent City, California
GPS: 41.7416, -123.9808
Elevation: 404′

Management: Public – Forest Service

Free camping in the Redwoods. Room for tents only and Rooftop Tents.

2. Redwood National Park Boondocking Locations – Flint Ridge Campground

Address
Klamath, California
GPS: 41.526628, -124.079198

Management: Public – National Park Service (Official)

Small parking lot along side the coast where you can hear seals barking below. 1/4 mile hike up the hillside leads to a few campsites with picnic tables, bear boxes, fire rings, and a pit toilet. Both tent camped and car camped in lot undisturbed. Redwood national park does require a backcountry camping registration but we have yet to do that due to arriving past office hours. We camped not during the busy season. Great spot! – A PASS or PERMIT is required at this campsite. Permit is Free

3. Redwood National Park Free Camping Locations – Redwoods Casino

Address
Klamath, California
GPS: 41.52909, -124.03866
Elevation: 43′

Management: Private – Casino (Official)

Free overnight camping in the parking lot. Just have to go inside and register for a player’s club card and give them your camper info. No tents. Will do if you are a late arrival.” button=”Click Here For A Map”]

4. Redwood National Park Free RV Parking Locations – Blue Creek

Address
Unnamed Road
California
GPS: 41.445931, -123.90557
Elevation: 138′

Management: Public – Forest Service

The maximum RV length at Blue Creek is 20 feet. This is a free dispersed campsite. First come -first served. No reservations accepted. This location is at low elevation. If you camp here during the week your likely to be fine, but good luck getting out past 4pm or at all, on the weekend!!! Gates are locked and there’s only one way out. Otherwise, the site is great! Personal beach, fire pit, swimming, hiking. I would highly suggest staying on the marked trails as the mountains are not fit for random hiking, due to loose and brittle rock.

5. Redwood National Park – Notice Creek

Address
Forest Route 12N10
California
GPS: 41.40362, -123.715947
Elevation: 2343′

Management: Public – Forest Service

Free Dispersed camping in the Six Rivers National Forest’s Orleans Ranger District. First come – first camped. No reservations are accepted.

6. Redwood National Park Boondocking Locations – Beans Camp

Address
Forest Route 15N01
Happy Camp, California
GPS: 41.443747, -123.613059
Elevation: 4236′

Management: Public – Forest Service

Beans Camp is open May-Oct. This free campsite is located within the Klamath National Forest’s Ukonom Ranger District.

7. Redwood National Park Free Camping Locations – Frog Pond

Address
Forest Route 13N13
Happy Camp, California
GPS: 41.487486, -123.541747
Elevation: 1946′

Management: Public – Forest Service

Frog Pond is open May-Oct. This free campsite is located within the Klamath National Forest Ukonom Ranger District.

8. Redwood National Park Free RV Parking Locations – Across from Rogers Creek / Stuart Bar Bus Stop

Address
Somes Bar, California
GPS: 41.445236, -123.504732
Elevation: 650′

Management: Public – Bureau of Reclamation (Unofficial)

The road in is Dirt. The maximum RV length is 25 feet. Great spot across from Rogers Creek / Stuart Bar Bus Stop. Take dirt road on east side of Rt 96, head down toward the river and camp right on it! The exit is just before bridge, the road is on North bound side of Rt 96, once on dirt road, (forest route 12N52) take 1st left toward river. Chances are you’ll have the entire sandbar to yourself.

9. Redwood National Park – Divide Lake

Address
Blue Creek Mountain Trail
Hoopa, California
GPS: 41.257791, -123.715942
Elevation: 3127′

Management  Public – Forest Service

Free Dispersed camping in the Six Rivers National Forest’s Orleans Ranger District. Reservations are not accepted at this campsite.

10. Redwood National Park Boondocking Locations – Aikens Creek West Campground

Address
Aikens Creek Campground Road
Orleans, California
GPS: 41.228918, -123.654428
Elevation: 305′

Management: Public – Forest Service

The road in is Dirt. The maximum RV length at Aikens Creek West Campground is 35 feet. Free camping in the Six Rivers National Forest. There are lots of sites here right alongside the Aiken’s Creek and not very far from the Klamath River. Some sites have tables and most sites have fire pits. There’s also a paid campground on the other side of the highway.” button

11. Redwood National Park Free Camping Locations – Trinidad Rest Areas (near Redwoods)

Address
Trinidad, California
GPS: 41.092152, -124.150177
Elevation: 362′

Management: Public – Rest Area (Official)

The road in is Paved. There are 30 or more campsites at this location. Surprisingly nice rest areas on highway 101 just north of Trinidad and just south of the Redwoods National and State Parks. California rest areas allow 8 hour parking. You may stay 8 hours at Trinidad Rest Areas (near Redwoods).

12. Redwood National Park Free RV Parking Locations – Lacks Creek Dispersed Camping

Address
Blue Lake, California
GPS: 40.99145, -123.79182
Elevation: 3281′

Management: Public – Bureau of Land Management: (Official)

The road in is Gravel and 10 miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. There are about 10 dispersed campsites around this area with restrooms about 1.5 miles in either direction from the main landing. For specific directions and more info, go to the website.

13. Redwood National Park – Horse Linto

Address
Unnamed Road
Willow Creek, California
GPS: 41.005735, -123.606518
Elevation: 499′

Management: Public – Forest Service

Horse Linto is open May-Oct. Free Dispersed camping in the Six Rivers National Forest’s Lower Trinity Ranger District. First come – first served. No reservations accepted. Great site! Down a one lane road, paved for the most part, you’ll find the site at the above GPS coordinates. RVs not recommended. It is just over a bridge on the right.

14. Redwood National Park Boondocking Locations – Vista Point

Address
Blue Lake, California
GPS: 40.901726, -123.780921
Elevation: 2674′

Management: Public – Rest Area (Unofficial)

Beautiful spot for boondocking. No rest rooms.

Top 10 Trails to Hike at Redwood National Park.

I highly recommend trying the best hikes in Redwood National Park. Hiking at least one of these trails, because each one will have an enchanting story to tell you about their beauty in different ways.

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #1. Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail

1. Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail

 

I suggest visiting this trail first when coming to Redwood National Park. This short loop trail is easy to navigate and will only take about thirty minutes to complete, but the experience will be long remembered. Once you reach the top of this lovely trail, hikers are treated to a stunning view of the entire grove. It is amazing how many trees can fit into such a small area, and it certainly looks like a forest from an enchanted fairy tale.

Length: 1.5 mi
Elevation gain: 101 ft
Route type: Loop

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Stroller friendly, Nature trips, Walking, Forest, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #2. Tall Trees Grove Loop Trail

2. Tall Trees Grove Loop Trail

 

This trail that highlights the old-growth redwoods at their finest can be accessed via a boardwalk near Tall Tree Access Parking Lot or a poorly maintained dirt road further west toward Lady Bird Johnson Grove. The loop itself has several viewpoints, all differing from one another as they reveal various coast live oaks and bays surrounding you and other species native to this area, such as black oak, madrone, big leaf maple, and Douglas fir. Along with the redwood trees, you will also glimpse some of the tallest trees on the planet: coast redwood.

Length: 3.3 mi
Elevation gain: 748 ft
Route type: Loop

Kid friendly, Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Running, Forest, River, Views, Wildlife

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #3. Trillium Falls Trail

3.Trillium Falls Trail - Redwood National Park Hiking Trail

 

This trail is highly trafficked, so if solitude and serenity are what you seek, this may not be your best bet, even though it contains one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Humboldt County. The falls drop .5 miles from an elevation at 1120 feet to sea level, where Redwood Creek flows into the Pacific Ocean. As for views, there are plenty. Some canyons along Trillium Creek allow for views and beautiful trillium cascading down its rocks alongside short trails that lead to viewpoints.

Length: 2.6 mi
Elevation gain: 433 ft
Route type: Loop

Kid friendly, Hiking, Walking, Forest, Partially paved, Views, Waterfall, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #4. Redwood Creek Trail

4. Redwood Creek Trail

 

This trail is so remote and secluded that it may be difficult to find without a GPS or compass, depending on the time of year. It can easily become dangerous when it rains since there are several river crossings along the way. However, if you manage to go during the dry season, this provides excellent bird watching opportunities with some trails leading to canyon views alongside Redwood Creek itself. Just remember to pack your bear spray in case you run into any wildlife.

Length: 15.7 mi
Elevation gain: 1,128 ft
Route type: Out & back

Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Forest, River, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #5. Skunk Cabbage Trail

5. Skunk Cabbage Trail

 

A short .4 mile out-and-back trail with no elevation change will take visitors near many skunk cabbages blooming in early spring through late fall along a boardwalk section, making it a perfect trail for all ages and abilities. Also, this area is home to the rare species of Redwood Sorrel, which can only be found in ten locations worldwide.

Length: 7.3 mi
Elevation gain: 1,295 ft
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Nature trips, Beach, Forest, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #6. Coastal Trail and Yurok Loop

6. Coastal Trail and Yurok Loop

 

The Coastal Trail is a must-do trail that showcases both coasts with majestic panoramic views while visiting Big Tree Wayside. Many bays and coves along Del Norte Coast, including Yurok Loop, highlight westward facing views from atop Atlas Peak across Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and toward Crescent City surrounding ocean areas towards Oregon. The hike contains 1,300 feet worth of elevation gain, which will be strenuous for some but equally rewarding when you experience these breathtaking views.

Length: 2.3 mi
Elevation gain: 147 ft
Route type: Loop

Kid friendly, Hiking, Beach, Forest, Views

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #7. Klamath Overlook

7.Klamath Overlook

 

This trail is part of the Redwood National and State Park system and boasts views of the Klamath River and adjacent mountains. It also contains a section of the historic Oregon-California Trail. The last 1.5 miles is uphill with an elevation gain of 700 feet so prepare accordingly.

Length: 1.0 mi
Elevation gain: 360 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Running, Forest, River, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #8. Dolason Prairie Trail

8.Dolason Prairie Trail

 

This is one of the few trails containing sections where you can encounter Roosevelt Elk, especially in winter months when they get out to forage for food. Keep your ears open during this hike because you might just get lucky enough to hear them bugling! With almost 1500 feet worth of elevation change, it may be strenuous. But well worth it, especially f you’re in the area and looking for a quiet stroll through this prairie with views of the surrounding mountains.

Length: 8.7 mi
Elevation gain: 2,253 ft
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Running, Forest, Views, Wildflowers

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #9. Mill Creek Horse Trail

9. Mill Creek Horse Trail- Redwood National Park Hiking Trail

 

If you’re up for something longer than 7 miles, Mill Creek Horse Trail can take you back to where you started with 3200 feet worth of gain in elevation. Keep your camera on hand because there are many opportunities to catch different species of birds such as acorn woodpeckers, red-shouldered hawks, and more! Some parts may be overgrown during the summer months so remember to bring a pair of machetes or pruners if needed.

Length: 9.3 mi
Elevation gain: 1,879 ft
Route type: Loop

Hiking, Mountain biking, Nature trips, Forest, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Redwood National Park Hiking Trail #10. Lyons Ranch Trail

10. Lyons Ranch Trail - Redwood National Park Hiking Trail

 

This hike would make a perfect day trip from nearby Crescent City, taking about 45 minutes each way and contains 800 feet in elevation gain. The best time to come would be during the winter months when you can walk across frozen Mill Creek and enjoy its serenity along with the towering old-growth redwoods. If hiking isn’t your thing, this spot also makes for a great picnic or photo opportunity.

Length: 3.7 mi
Elevation gain: 469 ft
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Historic site

Places and Things to Do and See in Redwood National Park

Here are the top places and things I found you could do and see in Redwood National Park:

1. Klamath River Overlook

A vantage point atop a 300-ft cliff makes up the Klamath River Overlook, which provides visitors with an eagle-eye view of the majestic river below.

2. Fern Canyon

An enchanting forested wonderland lined with ferns and other lush vegetation awaits at Fern Canyon, located south of Orick in California.

3. Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Named after former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, this popular stop along with Redwood National and State Park’s northern boundary presents visitors with a special treat: a grove of old-growth redwoods known as the Rockefeller Forest.

4. River Trail, Central Section

While the trail can be completed all at once or in sections (you choose), the River Trail, Central Section, is a must-see while exploring Redwood National Park. It stretches 4 miles one way and allows hikers to appreciate some of the more pristine areas within the park.

5. Klamath Overlook Viewpoint Hike

An easy 1-mile round trip hike along a quiet section of California State Route 96 leads to a vantage point where breathtaking views of the Klamath River and distant hills come into view.

6. Elk Prairie Lodge Hike

One-way hiking trails range in length from 1 mile to 4 miles (you choose). The Elk Prairie Lodge Hike, for example, is an easy 2-mile roundtrip hike that ends at the old homestead’s ruins (no lodge remains). For those who like seclusion, walk .5 miles to access an additional viewpoint overlooking the prairie lands.


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