Where is Humboldt Redwoods State Park
17119 Avenue of the Giants, Visitor Center Weott, CA 95571
Humboldt Redwoods State Park is located in northern California along Highway 101. State Route 254, otherwise known as the Avenue of the Giants, is a scenic alternate route that lies within or near park boundaries. The 32-mile-long Avenue of the Giants runs roughly parallel to Highway 101, with the towns of Phillipsville to the south and Pepperwood to the north. Both routes offer easy access to the park and nearby towns, and many connections to and from each highway. The park is set along the Eel River, 30 minutes south of Eureka and 20 miles north of Garberville, California.
How Big is Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Humboldt Redwoods US State Park is a massively large state park, encompassing 53,000 acres total. Inside the park lies 17,000 acres of redwood trees, otherwise known as Rockefeller Forest. It is the largest remaining old-growth forest and even houses a few of the tallest trees recorded in the world. Visitors from all over the country and globe come to see these ancient redwood groves and learn more about their history and significance. As California’s third-largest state park, Humboldt offers visitors more than 250 campsites, 100 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, and a scenic 32-mile drive along the Avenue of the Giants.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park Weather
Visitors should be prepared for any type of weather when planning a trip to Humboldt State Park. Specifically, in the summer, temperatures can vary dramatically from highs into the 90s to lows down to the 30s. There can even be 30-degree differences, depending on the location within the park. The north end of the park, which is closer to the ocean, has much colder temperatures compared to the southern end of the park. In the summertime there is often a morning fog that breaks by early afternoon. In the winter, temperatures average around 50°F to 60°F for daily highs and drop to around 20°F to 30°F at night. Additionally, the park receives between 60 and 80 inches of rain per year. The wet season usually starts in October and lasts until May, but the chance of rain is common year-round.
When did Humboldt Redwoods Become a State Park
Humboldt Redwoods State Park was established by the Save the Redwoods League on August 6th, 1921. League members donated $12,000 in memory of Colonel Bolling, a United States Army Officer killed in combat during World War I. Then in 1926, John D. Rockefeller Jr. donated $2 million to the league in order to purchase Dyerville Flat from the Pacific Lumber Company. In 1931, the old-growth redwood forest was renamed Rockefeller Forest and become the center of the park. By 1970, it expanded to include many more miles of forestland.
Things to do in Humboldt Redwoods State Park
With numerous campgrounds, miles upon miles of trails, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, Humboldt State Park offers something for everyone. Our State Park Visitors Guide has outlined some great activities for you to enjoy at Humboldt Redwoods State Park below:
The Visitor’s Center is a great resource for tourists to stop by, ask questions, and pick up a park map. The staff can give advice regarding park stops, the theater, and the bookstore. Beyond that, it’s a great place to learn more about the historical importance of the park and scoop up a souvenir before you leave.
There are hundreds of trails within Humboldt Redwoods State Park, ranging from easy to difficult. Founder’s Grove Nature Loop, for example, is an easy, relaxing stroll that’s great for kids. For a more strenuous hike, check out the Johnson Trail Loop. It’s a 10-mile long hike and has a 1,600-foot elevation gain.
Check out the self-guided auto tour through the Avenue of Giants. The 32-mile trip has eight stops, where visitors can get out of the car and explore the area. The stops also highlight areas of historical significance, like the Weott High Water Pole, a 33-foot water pole that was used to indicate where floodwaters rose back in the 1960s. The tour is recommended for cars and smaller recreational vehicles.
Many visitors enjoy kayaking or canoeing down the Eel River, which stretches 30 miles through the park. Double check that the river conditions are suitable for a paddle ride. Rainfall can cause a drastic change in river flow, where it becomes too fast or water levels become insufficient.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park provides some epic horseback riding opportunities. There are over 80 miles of trails available for riding, along with many staging areas. Duneo Creek Horse Camp, the Old Mill Site, and Blue Slide Day Use are all good staging areas. Viewing the park on horseback gives visitors a chance to see some of the most breathtaking views without the exhaustion.
During peak season, the park system hosts many interactive programs aimed to educate children on the park’s landscape and history. Some of these programs include the Junior Rangers program and the Litter Getters program. There are other programs, like nature walks, available for visitors of all ages.
Many visitors of the park fish for salmon, steelhead, lamprey, and Sacramento pikeminnow. September and October is a good time to fish for salmon, while January, February, and March are great for steelhead. Lamprey and pikeminnow are stocked year-round. The park maintains a catch and release policy in the South Fork and Main Stern Eel River. There is no fishing allowed in other waterways.
The park has many day-use areas available for picnicking and swimming. Some are open all year long, while others are only open in the summer and fall. Most offer picnic tables, restrooms, and access to many miles of trails. Big Trees, Blue Slide, Dyerville, and Garden Club Grove are all great options.
River access and swimming holes are located throughout the park, specifically on the South Fork, Main Stern Eel River, and Bull Creek. There are quite a few swimming holes near day-use areas, making it convenient for those picnicking. Keep in mind, there are no lifeguards on duty and Eel River is a natural body of water with a rock bottom. The river can often have a strong current even if it looks calm.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park has some great biking opportunities for road cyclists and mountain bikers alike. For those who prefer paved roads, head to the Avenue of Giants or Mattole Road. Mountain bikers can only use multi-use trails, as an effort to protect resource and avoid erosions. These trails are open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians. They tend to be quite steep and are best suited for experienced riders.
When to go to Humboldt Redwoods State Park
The park is open year-round, from 9 AM to 5 PM April through October, and 10 AM to 4 PM November through March. Campers are permitted to stay overnight. There are different activities to take part in from season to season. In-season activities include boating, horseback riding, and participating in park-sponsored programs. During the off-season visitors enjoy fishing and scenic drives down the Avenue of the Giants. Although the campgrounds are open year-round, most plan for a camping trip anywhere from May until October. There are activities available to participate in regardless of the season. There is no right or wrong time to plan a visit; it all depends on what you’re planning to do and which activities you like best.
Must-Have Things to Bring to Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Here are the top ten essentials to bring on your visit to Humboldt Redwoods State Park. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from snacks to clothing to equipment and gear.
List of Parks suggests that water is arguably the most important item to bring on your visit. No matter what trail you take, you’ll love being immersed in such a vibrant forest and park. When in the middle of any exciting adventure, it can be easy to forget to drink water throughout the day. Remember to pack plenty of water bottles in your car or backpack and continuously hydrate yourself over the course of the day.
California Fishing License
Anglers 16 or older must carry a valid California fishing license in order to fish in the park. Visitors can purchase a residential pass or a simple one-day license through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website. There are two free fishing days during the year where a license is not required. That information is also given on the CDFW website. Remember, all visitors must follow the sportfishing regulations throughout the year.
Besides a sportfishing license, it’s important to remember all other fishing gear. Things like rods, lines, bait, hooks, and lures are some of the basic fishing essentials. There are so many opportunities to catch some brag-worthy fish in the park. Keep in mind, the park does have a catch and release policy.
Nothing quite beats a cool dip on a hot summer day. Luckily there are numerous river access points and swimming holes throughout the park on the South Fork and Main Stem Eel River. Don’t forget your bathing suit! A day spent picnicking, swimming, or just relaxing is a great way to enjoy your time in the park.
Proper Hiking Boots
Within the 53,000 acres of Humboldt Redwoods State Park there are many hiking opportunities, ranging from easy strolls to more intense treks. Pack a quality pair of hiking boots or sneakers that will support your feet through any difficulty level. Other than that, enjoy the trails!
The park receives close to 80- inches of rain per year. Chances are you could get rained on during your visit. Make sure to pack a rain jacket or poncho to protect against heavy rainfall. If you plan to visit between October through May (the park’s rainy season), it’s a good idea to bring rain boots as a backup.
Road or Mountain Biking Gear
There are miles upon miles of biking opportunities throughout and around the park. If you’re an avid road cyclist or mountain biker, prepare for an amazing trek. Pack your bike, helmet, knee and elbow pads, and a basic repair and maintenance kit. Don’t forget to do a pre-ride inspection as well, looking at everything from the tire pressure to seat and handlebar height.
When heading to Humboldt Redwoods State Park, whether for a scenic horseback ride, camping, or really any adventure, it’s important to bring food along. Staying well-nourished will help keep you alert and present throughout the course of the day. Bring anything that you enjoy, making sure is full of energy-worthy nutrients. Items like protein bars, nuts, and fruit are all great options.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park has over 250 family camping sites at Albee Creek, Burlington, and Hidden Springs Campground. Packing the necessary gear and equipment can make all the difference on an overnight camping trip. Remember to get a reservation ahead of time and bring items like a flashlight, matches, firewood, food and more.
As the third-largest state park in California, Humboldt Redwoods contains seemingly endless trailheads, paths, and roads. All-in-all, it can be very easy to get lost in the park. Pick up a park map and trail guide at the Visitor’s Center when you first arrive. It’s a great resource to ensure your trip goes according to plan.
Where to Stay in Humboldt Redwoods State Park
There are a few sites available for campers within and around Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The first being Hidden Springs Campground, with 154 campsites located on a forested hillside. Each site is equipped with a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker. Next, there’s Albee Creek Campground, featuring 40 campsites underneath the redwoods or in a prairie. This campground is only five miles west of the Avenue of Giants, so it’s near many nature trails. Finally, there’s Burlington Campground, a popular choice for RV campers. It is comprised of 57 campsites that can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 24 feet. It is located right beside the Visitor’s Center and open year-round. None of the campgrounds have electric hook ups or dumping stations, but there are some just outside the park.
Food Nearby Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Humboldt Redwoods is widely known as an isolated area due to the vast landscape and surrounding state and national parks. There are a some off the beaten path cafés and restaurants that are just a few miles outside the park. Avenue Café serves comfort food in the heart of the Redwoods. The food is fantastic, and the location is even better. Some other popular options include Riverbend Cellars for a local wine tasting, Daily Grind for a hot brew and caffeine fix, Eternal Tree House Café for a quick lunch stop down the Avenue of Giants, and finally Redwood Palace for a more upscale experience.
Airports Near Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Humboldt State Park is easy to reach by car or RV, but once you enter the park it can be quite tricky to navigate the tight, winding roads. There are many exits along Highway 101 that lead you to the park entrance. Once inside the park, drive slow as the roads become much narrower. The max RV length allowed inside the park is only 24 feet.
As far as flying, there are a few airports in the surrounding areas. The closest one is Arcata/Eureka Airport which is 45 miles away. Other airports include Medford (153 miles), Sacramento (171 miles), Oakland (205 miles), and San Francisco (207 miles).