It really can't be overstated how vigorous the beauty is in Humboldt County. Whether lapped by coastal fog in the summer or soaked by persistent rains in the winter, this North Coast kingdom casually stuns no matter your location. And if you are lucky enough to be traveling through with a tent, do your senses a favor and opt for an outdoor accommodation when making your overnight plans. Sleep, dream and recreate at the following campgrounds that grace Humboldt's northern footprint.
1. Shelter Cove on the Lost Coast
One of the only campgrounds with amenities along the legendary Lost Coast hiking trail, Shelter Cove is considered the gateway to Northern California’s remote coastline. Amenities here include showers, bathrooms, fire pits, and even a general store and deli. While the ocean views are remarkable, the real allure are the destinations readily accessible nearby. Make sure to explore the tidepools below the campground, head north to the gorgeous Blacks Sands Beach, or if you’ve really prepared, set out to hike the exceptionally rugged Lost Coast hiking trail. Visit here for more information.
2. Richardson Grove State Park
With the South Fork Eel River snaking through this complex of campgrounds, campers can count on the chance to wade into this graceful waterway, which has been designated both a state and federal Wild and Scenic river. Richardson Grove State Park also boasts a canopy of 300-foot tall coastal redwoods to hike among, a “walk-through” tree and a captivating tree-ring study display from 1933. Three campgrounds with a total of 170 sites are available, but Oak Flat is only open for a short time in the summer, relying on a seasonal bridge for access. Visit here for more information.
3. Humboldt Lagoons State Park
This state park in Humboldt County has the coveted charge of protecting one of the largest lagoon systems in the country. Big Lagoon, Stone Lagoon, Freshwater Lagoon, and Dry Lagoon are hotspots of wildlife sightings, including elk, woodpeckers, and whales. Campers will be treated to a paddle-in and hike-in campground at Ryan’s Cove across from Stone Lagoon. Kayaks are available for rent at Stone Lagoon Visitor Center. Visit here for more information.
4. Patrick’s Point State Park
Patrick’s Point State Park is no bigger than one-square-mile, but its commanding position over the Pacific makes it an larger-than-life attraction. This lush headland packs a forest of pine, red alder, fir, and spruce that are interspersed with meadows of wildflowers, all looming above plunging cliffs that look out onto an cove of imposing sea stacks. Pitch a tent at one of the park’s three campgrounds, including Agate Beach, where you can go searching for the mesmerizing semi-precious stones that give this stretch of coast its name. Visit here for more information.
5. Gold Bluffs Beach and Campground
Established in the dunes of the seemingly endless expanse of Gold Bluffs Beach, this campground is for those who seek an arresting stillness. From the 24 campsites within the bounds of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, hop on the nearby California Coastal Trail for a pleasant outing, or head north towards Fern Canyon Trail for an unforgettably lush canyon immersion. Visit here for more information.