Backcountry camping - in the redwoods

Backcountry camping in the world's tallest Redwood groves
 
Redwood National and State Park has a number of backcountry campsites for you to choose from:
  • Location: Redwood National Park (Map)
  • Trailhead: Orick Rodeo Grounds (Parking fee)
  • Mileage to campground: Loops of 3 hours (seven miles, 11 km), 7 hours (14 miles, 21 km), 2-day (20 miles, 29 km) and 3-day (32 miles, 50 km) are your options from the Orick Horse Trail. Elam Creek Camp is on the two shorter loops. On the two longer loops is 44 Camp—open to backpackers only until further notice.
  • Difficulty Level: Strenuous, numerous steep grades.
  • Description: Both located in the Redwood Creek area, these two camps feature four loop possibilities.
  • Elam has picnic tables, bear proof lockers, fire pits, toilet, non-potable water, and a corral. No more than 12 stock animals are permitted.
  • At 44-Camp, no water is available. There are picnic tables, bear proof lockers, fire pits, and a toilet. Free backcountry camping permit required. 
Flint Ridge (8 sites)
  • Location: Redwood National Park (Map)
  • Trailhead: Marked west access is on the Coastal Drive. Marked east access is across from the Old Douglas Memorial Bridge site at junction of Alder Camp and Klamath Beach Road.
  • Mileage to Campground: From west access, 0.25. From east access, 4.5
  • Difficulty Level: East access is strenuous and climbs approximately 800 feet.
  • Description: Picnic tables, bear proof lockers, fire pits, and toilet. Bring your own water. This quiet section of the parks features outstanding wildlife viewing and one of the finest old-growth redwood stands. Free backcountry camping permit required.
Redwood Creek (dispersed camping)
  • Location: Redwood National Park (Map)
  • Trailhead: Marked trailhead and parking area is on Bald Hills Road off Hwy 101.
  • Mileage: 8 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate, some steep grades.
  • Description: Located along a stretch of Redwood Creek, the gravel bars offer the only area in the parks where dispersed camping is permitted. Dispersed camping is allowed anywhere on the gravel bars between the first seasonal bridge and no closer than ¼-mile (½-km) of the Tall Trees Grove.
  • Winter Camping (December–May): Redwood Creek runs high and fast during the winter with unexpected flows and rising water. Gravel bars are rarely available for camping. Foot bridges across the creek are removed in September and are not installed for the summer until late May.
A free permit is required to camp at these campsites. These permits can be acquired at the Thomas H. Kuchel visitor center and the Crescent City information center (year round) and the Hiouchi information center (during the summer season only).

Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center 
119441 Highway 101 in Orick, CA
on the beach
707-465-7765
Hours of Operation:
Year-round: Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 

Crescent City Information Center
1111 Second Street, 
Crescent City, Ca
707-465-7306
Hours of Operation:
Spring-fall: Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Winter: Open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
 
Hiouchi Information Center
US Highway 199 
Hiouchi, Ca
707-458-3294
Hours of Operation:
Summer: Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 

 
Ossagon Creek Camp - CLOSED
Ossagon Creek (3 sites, bikes allowed)
Location: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Trailhead: Hikers: There are several different access points for this camp. Inquire at any visitor center for trail recommendations and current conditions. Bicyclists: Access is only from mile marker 132.9 on Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway.
Mileage to campground: Hikers: Depending on which access you choose, mileages range from 1.7 to over 15 miles round trip. Bicyclists: 1.7 miles
Difficulty Level: Moderate hike, some steep grades with switchbacks.
Description: Three sites are available with picnic tables, bear proof lockers, and fire pits. Purify water from the nearby creek before drinking. Obtain permit and pay fee at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center station.

Parking: Overnight parking for trail access is available only at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center. Overnight parking is not allowed on the Newton B. Drury Scenic parkway.

Miners Ridge (3 sites) - CLOSED
Location: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Trailhead: Numerous access points are possible. Check with rangers at any visitor center for current trail conditions and recommendations.
Mileage to Campground: Mileages vary depending on which access you choose.
Difficulty Level: Moderate, non-level grades, not steep.
Description: Picnic tables, bear proof lockers, fire pits, toilet, and potable water spigot. Obtain permit and pay fee at Prairie Creek Visitor Center. This camp sits dramatically on a bluff above Gold Bluffs Beach.

Parking: Overnight parking for trail access is available only at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center.

FIND LODGING

QUICK FACTS

  • Call for an update on conditions
  • Stop in Visitor Center for permits
  • Dispersed campsites are free but still require permit