Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Elk Prairie - Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Drive In
Walk In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
Trash Available
Elk Prairie - Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is located in Redwood National Park in California
41.359 N
-124.03 W
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20 Reviews of Elk Prairie - Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Great Access To Forest Hiking

When traveling to the Redwoods there are so many amazing campgrounds to visit. I have been to the Elk Prairie area once before but was not able to camp so made sure that on my most recent trip to make it happen. 

One of my favorite locations within the Redwoods the campground itself is only a short distance to some of my favorite trails in the area. 

You cannot go wrong at $35 a night to be in the direct footprint of the gigantic tree canopies in an area known widely for the frequently traveled paths of some of the forests most majestic elk herds. 

The campground comes with all the basics, fire pits and picnic tables are located at each of the sites. The sites range in overall sizing with some large enough to fit smaller RVs but many designed for the smaller set up such as my tent. 

While the ground is cleared, much like the rest of the location the soft wooded padding of the forest floor made for a comfortable place to settle in for the night. One thing you will want to remember when staying at this location is rain. 

Rain seems to come and go frequently and can occur without any warning. While staying here I was periodically inundated by the persistence of rain both light and heavy. 

While staying at this campground there are many benefits related to the overall location itself. Unlike many who will search for parking in small lots, you will have the built in benefit of having access to parking and thus some of the best entry points to trails. In addition, there is a small museum and Ranger Post at the entry to this camping area which makes for easy access to maps and additional restrooms. 

However with all the benefits there are a few disadvantages as well including the lack of cell and internet service. This is only a disadvantage if you do not have a offline map. Come prepared and you will not struggle at all and will be at an advantage.

Beautiful Redwood Setting

This is a wonderful redwood park geared toward tent camping. It not particularly well suited to RVs. There are herds of Roosevelt Elk throughout the park, grazing in the meadow outside of the camping area. The elk are accustomed to people, but keep your distance. There are nice restroom facilities with hot showers. Bring quarters. The sites are close together but there is lush greenery to create a sense of separation. The big complaint are the bear boxes. They are impossible to close quietly so be considerate and plan your late night snack and beverage needs in advance. Reservation absolutely required months in advance for the summer season. This is a great place to go off-season.

Beautiful setting, but not much to offer for RV

Beautiful setting, most sites are under the redwoods. We did see elk in areas nearby, but not in the campground. We were there in a small travel trailer. There was no place to fill with water (bring your water bandit). And there is no dump station, the one at Patrick’s Point State Park is also closed. We were told to go to Emerald Forest RV to dump for $20 if you are in an RV you may want to consider a private RV Park for the price

Amazing campground! Beautiful!

We loved this campground! We had site number 29 and think it is one of the best ones in the campground. The site was large enough to fit our 10x10 tent. It was also very close to being near the bathrooms without us being right next to them. We were right next to the prairie creek which was beautiful. The campground and bathrooms were clean, with soap provided as well as potable water. The showers were good as well, although it was hard to get hot water sometimes. We also camped here on the weekends when the rangers had their talks in the evenings. We highly recommend attending these! They are geared towards a younger audience, but they are fun to experience and learn more about the area you are in. This campsite also has plenty of access to amazing hikes. We hope to visit again!

Redwoods, Prairies, Ferns & Beaches

This was a fantastic location in Prairie Creek Redwoods SP.  Not too far from the highway was great on a road trip.  We saw a family of elk before even getting into the park.  Our campsite #58 was a little small and pretty squeeze by our neighbors, but overall it was fine.  

I would highly, highly recommend taking the hike down through the redwoods to the beach and then back up through fern canyon.  Was one of the best hikes I've ever done.

Beachside campsites with redwood trails you can walk to from your tent!

Campsites encircle bathroom buildings with private bathrooms (with flushing toilets) and private shower stalls. Very well maintained. Miner's ridge trail passed through several groves of redwoods and minor altitude changes.

Probably my favorite so far

We stayed at two different state park campground in the redwoods and this one was my favorite. Out of our whole two week camping excursion, this was my favorite. The landscape was just amazing, such massive awesome trees. Did not see any elk but there is always the possibility at this campground. Several hiking trails to explore. There is a visitor center and you can buy firewood from the camp hosts. Th restroom were decent and had nicer showers then the other campground we stayed at. Our campsite was nice and spacious. If you get the chance to go here do, and take the scenic highway to get to it. Also check out fern canyon, the road to get there is narrow and crappy but totally worth it.

beach camping

The old growth redwood forest is spectacular. The dirt road to our campsite was 6 miles long winding and narrow and beautiful. Camping as close to the beach as you can get at Gold Bluffs Beach Campground at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. A very nice campground. Nice bathrooms. A favorite and we will for sure go back.

Words Cannot Explain Til You Visit

When staying in this area I explored two campgrounds one more beach view (around 25 miles south) and another with more of the true Redwood Forest feel. This one being that one!  

We first drove up to this area mid afternoon, which in fall is the time that you start to see the clouds pushing back in from the ocean and the sun slowly start making its decline.  While it isn’t dark super early it also isn’t light and it is during this time that you see the elk moving across the area to graze. That was our first impression of this area, one of such awesome beauty!

We then explored the area even more to realize this campsite was much more than just a campsite it was a part of the State Park which held so much information about these unique and beautiful trees that you had to just stop to take it all in.

We opted to take in one of the shorter trails before fully settling in so we picked up a map at the visitor center area which also had a lot of really interesting items inside and took to the trail right outside the center. When we were inside we were told they offer cabins as well as camping and you can bring your RV as long as it doesn’t exceed a certain length.

We had a group of 4 and yet if we were only a few feet away it was odd to even hear one another speaking.

The world is completely quiet around you when you are in this forest and so the campsites are muffled by the forest moss and ground around them.  It is so surreal to be in a slightly improved area but yet feeling like you are a million miles from anything or anyone.  

Campsites themselves are far from typical, despite offering typical amenities.  They are set in the most serene place you can possibly find and have these huge trees peering over your every move.  It is as though time stands still when you are here because you stop to truly realize just how small you are in the big picture.

The one thing we kept trying to remind ourselves of is that because we were in nature to remember that this was one of the more open areas for animals since we were right in the middle of it all and to not forget that while being in such awe.  For this reason we were mindful of keeping containers closed and in the car, nothing in our packs that could attract any unwanted visitors and to always keep a light at hand when traveling as the sun began to set.


  • Don’t rush this is a place you want to take your time. If you are on a trail fully allow yourself time to enjoy that trail don’t try to set a pace typical of other locations.
  • Try hiking toward the shore from camp, it is one of the best views you will find of the California coast.
Best of everthing

This spot has the coast and desolate beaches as well as the magnificent fern canyon trail that takes you into a wonderland of green and inlet streams. I only wish I had stayed here longer.