Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

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About Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Prairie Creek Redwoods is a wonderful spot to get a taste for both the redwoods and wild beaches of California, with some abundant company of none other than our favorite & majestic elk. The park is filled with lush forest and has no shortage of hiking and biking trails that snake through the grounds, and as if that wasn’t enough, the park’s miles of shoreline combine waves lapping the shore with twisted drift wood. You’ll find yourself in the gorgeous natural scenery with more than enough options to satisfy your aesthetic desires. If this has taught you anything about the park it should be this – don’t forget your camera at home!

Campgrounds in Prairie Creek Redwoods

Gold Bluffs Beach Campground

1. Gold Bluffs Beach Campground

94% Recommend (17 Responses)

Gold Bluffs Beach Campground is located next to the sand dunes, literally only a few hundred yards away from the beach. There are 25 campsites...

Monica
Monica: One of my absolute favorite campsites. Not mentioned here are the wild elk roaming around the campsite and the amazing Fern...
164 Saves
Elk Prairie Campground

2. Elk Prairie Campground

100% Recommend (12 Responses)

Elk Prairie Campground features 75 campsites nearby an open meadow in this expansive park. Most of the campsites are situated far beneath the...

Nick
Nick: There are few campsites adjacent to the fields where the Elk graze, but the most beautiful sites are the among the mossy trees....
41 Saves

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Prairie Creek Redwoods
hipcamper
July 9th, 2016
Prairie Creek Redwoods
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November 10th, 2015
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July 9th, 2016
Prairie Creek Redwoods
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March 19th, 2015
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19 Reviews

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Hipcamper Monica

One of my absolute favorite campsites. Not mentioned here are the wild elk roaming around the campsite and the amazing Fern Canyon that's just around the corner. Where Jurrasic Park was filmed, by the way!

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Hipcamper Nick

There are few campsites adjacent to the fields where the Elk graze, but the most beautiful sites are the among the mossy trees. The 11.6 mile day hike along the James Irving trail to Fern Canyon and Gold Bluffs beach and then back along Miners Ridge Trail is spectacular. (see link below) Pack a lunch, hike to Fern Canyon, chill on the beach for a few hours and then hike back to camp through some of the most spectacular redwood trees you will ever see.

http://www.redwoodhikes.com/PrairieCreek/Miners.html

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Hipcamper Piper

What a place! The drive to get to Gold Bluff beach is such an adventure! The road takes you up and down a 6-mile, single-lane dirt road that takes about 30 minutes, twisting and winding through towering redwoods. To our surprise, there were still quite a few camping spots available. (We visited mid-October.) Gold Bluff has clean restrooms, a couple solar heated showers, and big bear boxes right at each campsite. After backpacking the Tetons the week prior, we felt like we were living a life of luxury! Amazing sunset. And sunrise. And only a handful of people around for miles. Go there!

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Hipcamper Nick

Elk often graze in the fields between the campground and the Drury Parkway. Grab one of the sites along the meadow near the campground entrance for the best views from your tent.

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Hipcamper Nicholas

Camped here in April on a trip I took while camping along the whole PCH. Got there just in time for an incredible sunset over a fog soaked beach. I camped in a spot closest to the water and could walk right to water. Too cold for a swim though (or too chicken, maybe).

Site were well tended and there's a camp host. No reso's taken but it was mid-week for me, so I was fine getting in late.

It can get windy apparently, but most sites have barriers to put your tent behind. Though it wasn't a problem when I was there.

And there's elk. Just trapesin' around.

The road there snakes through a giant redwood forest. Fern Canyon is incredible and some of the oldest plant species in the world are here. An incredible walk through time.

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Hipcamper Katy

Hands down the most beautiful campground I've ever stayed in. Right on the ocean and easy access to some amazing redwood hikes. Beautiful bluffs and really no better place to enjoy a good sunset.

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Hipcamper marley

such a great time! only stayed a night but we plan to go back for so much more! gorgeous elk and a gorgeous sunset! bathrooms were also super clean

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Hipcamper

There is awesome opportunity here for elk watching! Elk on rugged beach...come on, wildlife lovers...book your campsite!

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Hipcamper Hipcamper
Hipcamper

Check out “Corkscrew Tree,” located north of the Prairie Creek Visitor Center. The tree has four tree trunks that have intertwined together as they’ve grown up.

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Chipmunks will try and steal your food – don’t let them succeed!

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This place gets chilly (and rainy), so if you’re camping out, bring some layers.

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We recommend the hike to Fern Canyon, definitely an incredibly cathartic experience.

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The park is fairly isolated, so be sure to bring everything you need in terms of food n’ water.

Hipcamper Kevin

Ride your bike to Gold Beach from campgrounds.

Hipcamper Elizabeth

Gorgeous campground right on the beach and very close to Fern Canyon. Access to running water, bear boxes and toilets were very convenient. There are two options when staying here: backwoods camping (what we did) and car camping.

Hipcamper Matthew

Beautiful, unique campsite. Be ready for lots of wind and sand. You'll need major sand stakes, maybe even some short rebar stakes! Bring an extra tarp to use as a wind break.

Don't miss the hike up nearby Fern Canyon. One of the most magical places I've ever been.

Hipcamper Shanley

Loved this campsite. The drive in was dramatic - the sun was flickering through the redwood trees and casting pillars of light alongside the road. We drove slowly with the windows down, smelling the scent of the moist October forest with our jaws dropped wide open at the scenery and all-around perfectness of the Fall day. When we reached the grounds we had a few different choices of campsites and elected one at the far edge of camp to have some extra privacy. The sunsets could only be described as triumphant and there are just a few precious moments when the sun drops to the right level that you must turn around to face the bluffs - you will find them in their namesake state - as GOLD AS GOLD! Can't wait to return!

Hipcamper Christina

September is the best month for sunshine in the cooler, northern parts of the west coast

Hipcamper Krstl

So many elk! So many hikes! And nice and cool during the hot months. It rained pretty heavily on us but our time was still incredible. Love the redwoods and this campground and park were amazing!

History of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Between 1880 and the early 1900s, thousands of acres of old-growth redwoods had disappeared; in many areas, the trees had been cut to the bare ground.

Alarmed, conservationists established the Save the Redwoods League in 1918, to protect the groves, obtaining donations from lumber companies and concerned citizens. The League and the State of California were able to buy thousands of acres adjoining Prairie Creek. By 1923, some of the grandest old-growth tree stands on the planet had been acquired by the State.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a national work program, began during the Great Depression of the 1930s. CCC members built themselves a camp at Elk Prairie, where they lived while building the present visitor center, trail system, campground and picnic facilities.

In October 1968, the National Park Service (NPS) created Redwood National Park in Del Norte and Humboldt counties. In 1994, NPS and California State Parks agreed to co- manage four parks: Del Norte Coast, Prairie Creek and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks, and Redwood National Park. Both entities agreed that managing the parks together would ensure commitment to greater protection and preservation of more than 105,000 acres of redwood forest.

On September 5, 1980, the United Nations designated Redwood National and State Parks as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.