Camping in the Redwoods is by far one of the most wholesome amazing adventures we’ve had as a family. I knew I wanted to go camping in the Redwood Forest when we were on our Pacific Coast Highway road trip and just writing this post has got me itching to go back!
We stayed a week between the campgrounds listed below. There’s nothing like the damp smell of the forest. Climbing over larger-than-life sized trees. Realizing these giants have been here on this earth much longer than I have. I’d go back to the Redwood Forest areas in a hot second!
Aside from wanting to see the “Avenue of the Giants” in Humboldt County, famous for its towering redwood trees, we originally wanted to sleep among the Redwoods near some of the Jurassic Park filming locations. (Patrick’s Point State Park, Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, etc.)
If you’ve never been to the Redwoods, it’s a VAST area spanning hundreds of miles. There’s so much more than “just” one spot to see Redwoods! Moving north through the California coast we decided to start at Muir Woods, which was beautiful. Ultimately we then moved further north all the way up the Oregon coast to Washington.
Camping South of San Francisco:
NOT in the Redwoods, but I wanted to share where we camped just south of San Francisco in case you are visiting the area first! We absolutely LOVED our stay at the Half Moon Bay – Francis Beach Campground. It was FANTASTIC and right on the beach!
It was far away from the busy roads of San Francisco and we were able to spend our evenings soaking in the beautiful sunsets of the Pacific Coast. It can get pretty windy though so be forewarned!
Visiting Muir Woods:
My BIGGEST tip for visiting Muir Woods is that you MUST get a parking reservation BEFORE you go! You will not just be able to drive there and get in! The parking reservation is free, but you need a timed slot in order to park.
Aside from that, definitely take the time to go! Muir Woods was our family’s first experience in the redwoods, although these are considered coastal redwoods. The tallest tree in Muir Woods is 258 feet high! It’s the closest area to go hiking through redwoods from San Francisco.
You can also look up Big Basin Redwoods State Park which is just a little further away. Believe it or not, Redwood National Park is actually about 300 miles up the coast from San Francisco so it’s a heck of a haul “JUST” to see the Redwoods. It’s absolutely worth it if you’ve got the time to spare though!
Camping North of Muir Woods:
Finding a campground near Muir Woods wasn’t the easiest thing to do! We decided to stay at Kasini Ranch Family Campground in Duncans Mills. It’s a HUGE spot with plenty of room no matter what size you’re traveling in! They have fantastic laundry facilities, and a great lake to feed ducks on!
I wish we had more time than just passing through to spend there! They even have horses to feed! The biggest downside really was that our tent site was pretty far from the bathrooms.
Visiting “Avenue of the Giants” and Drive Thru Trees:
Visiting “Avenue of the Giants” and drive thru trees is a WHOLE different post packed with loads of more information. This post predominately covers camping in the Redwoods but I will say that if you’ve got the time, everywhere is worth exploring!
We enjoyed the free drive thru trees, we paid for all the touristy options to drive thru trees – it was all fantastic. If this is a “once in a lifetime” trip like it was for us, I highly recommend doing it all! It’s definitely something my kids will remember for the rest of their lives.
Camping in the Redwoods:
Humboldt Albee Creek Camp Site:
We camped at tent site 17AC in Ferndale at the Albee Creek Camp Site. What a fabulous cozy campground! Camping here was near Avenue of the Giants and perhaps one of my favorite spots to camp in the Redwoods. It was a small campsite area, quiet, and next to an open field full of deer at sunset!
Next time I’d like to stay at the tent site right across from 17AC though. Our tent site was slightly downhill from our parking spot. It was unexpected chilly and damp though in the morning so make sure to pack a jacket or sweatshirt no matter how far into the summer you are!
There’s a great small trail that hikes through the field right next to the campground which made a great spot to explore quietly looking for deer. The kids also had a blast climbing through the creek next to our camping area as well.
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park:
We camped on tent site 22 in Crescent City which was a great spot to camp! This was a MUCH bigger campground than Albee Creek but equally as amazing. This is a great spot to spend a lot of time as there are plenty of places to hike and play down by the lake!
There’s a good amount of privacy here with tent spots nestled down in the greenery of the forest. Our tent site backed up to a hiking trail steep above the next level so if you’ve got small kids that wander keep an eye on them! It was very convenient though!