The park is a on beautiful forested hilltop. Some areas are redwood, other parts mixed with other kinds of trees. This is the only place I’ve seen the redwood trees harvest the fog and make their own rain, which is pretty cool. In the morning it’s raining under the redwood trees but not under the madrone or tan oak trees, which is wild.
It is a lot colder here than on the valley floor. Prepare for it to be 40deg colder than Gilroy or San Jose. We weren’t prepared & had to drive into town & buy more clothes! Also, sometimes the fog whistles through on a stiff breeze so not only is it cold but also clammy wet.
The park has some unique features. Near the ranger station there are pens with white fallow deer. They are descendants of the exotic zoo at William Randolph Hearst’s mansion down the coast. The park used to have hundreds of them, but a number of years ago the park service stopped allowing them to breed because they’re an introduced species. So now they’re down to just two white deer and when those die that’ll be the end of that.
There is an archery trail with 28 targets on a trail through the woods. We were there 3 days in a row and did 20 of the 28. It’s really pretty and a cool challenge. Now my daughter’s asking to put a target in the back yard.
The campgrounds are really well maintained. Bathrooms have soap & TP and kept clean. “Tan Oak” campground seems to have bigger sites than the others, but we drove through all the campgrounds and none of them are awful. Our site (418) was huge and private. There is a large vacant campsite across the road that’s reserved for docents but it was empty when we were there so we had the cul-de-sac all to ourselves. Sites 416 and 417 are also big with hidden spots back off the road for pitching your tent.