RV Destination Guide: Redwood National Park

An RVer's Destination Guide to Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park

Zen Rial/Moment/Getty Images

There is a destination in the United States that contains the tallest living organisms in the world. Massive trees so tall that you can’t capture them in a single a photograph, and so big, that tunnels were carved in their trunks to let cars pass through. We are talking about the mighty California redwoods of Redwood National Park.

Redwood National Park is full of beauty that draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly, many of them choosing to RV there. Let’s look at what accommodations Redwood has for RVers, things to see, places to go, and the best times for visiting the greatest trees on Earth.

A Brief History of Redwood National Park

Redwood National and State Parks are considered a rainforest by modern standards established in 1968. Located along the northern coast of California, Redwood National Park contains more than 139,000 acres of land. Home to the majestic coast redwood trees, more than 45 percent of the remaining trees in the world live within the park. These trees are the tallest in the world and some of the biggest you’ll see in your lifetime.

To ensure cooperation between the state of California Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Parks Service, both organizations combined the National Park and State Parks comprising the area to make it easier to manage the forestry needs of the area. This happened in 1994, allowing for the stabilization and management of watersheds as one single unit to sustain the redwood trees well into the future.

Redwood National Park is threatened by lack of sustainable water, invasive plant species, and territorial animal life in the area. It is both a World Heritage site and a California Coast Ranges International Biosphere Reserve. This unique ecosystem is one of the most threatened in the world.

A beach along the Redwood National Park
TripSavvy / Alisha McDarris

Where to Stay at Redwood National Park

If you’re hesitant to leave behind your creature comforts, then you may not want to stay in one of the park service run campgrounds as none provide electric, gas, or water. If dry camping or boondocking is something you enjoy, the park offers four campgrounds that can accommodate RVs up to 36 feet and trailers up to 31 feet.

If you want to camp in the heart of the forest, then I recommend choosing the Jedidiah Smith, Mill Creek, or Elk Prairie Campgrounds. If you’re more of a beach bum, we recommend Gold Bluffs Beach, nestled right on the Northern California Pacific coastline.

If you want to stay hooked up to power and water, there are choices for you, too. We recommend Redwoods RV Resort in Crescent City. Redwoods Resorts has sites available with full hookups and has many facilities for RVers, such as showers, laundry, and even Wi-Fi.

What to Do Once You Arrive at Redwood National Park

There is more to Redwood National Park than the tree themselves. The park contains a variety of wildlife and nearly 40 miles of Pacific Coastline. If sightseeing is your favorite thing to do, then there are many outlets available for you.

Howland Hill Road winds ten miles through the old-growth forest, as does the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. If you’re looking to see gray whales, it’s better to take the eight-mile drive across Coastal Drive and gaze over the Pacific. RVers must keep in mind that some of these routes are not open to RVs and travel trailers. If you only have your RV, then leave it behind at the campground, and see the park as nature intended on foot or by bicycle.

If you’re a wildlife buff, I have some great options for you. Find your way to the Klamath River Overlook to get the best view of the gray whale migration. Highbluff Overlook is the best place for bird watching, and Davison Road looks out on the named Elk Meadow, where you can watch Roosevelt Elk graze and relax in the forest.

Kuchel Visitor’s Center is the largest in the park and offers several different exhibits about the park, its history, science of the giant trees, Save the Redwoods League, and the native culture of Northern California.

Between the different points of interest, there are hundreds of miles of trails that you can hit on foot or bike.

When to Go to Redwood National Park

As with most National Parks, the crowds tend to flock to Redwood in the spring and summer seasons. June through August will see the most pleasant temperatures, but it will also see the most people. If you’re okay with the cooler temperatures, and some snow, I recommend going March through May and September through early November.

Redwood National Park offers some of the most beautiful views in America, whether you’re RVing or not. If you’re an RVer and you haven’t headed to this California park yet, plan a trip as soon as possible. You won’t regret it.