Benbow Lake SRA

State Recreation Area

Service Reductions

The Day Use area is open year round.

Due to the recent budget cuts and shortages in staffing North Coast Redwoods District will be putting into place service reductions resulting in the closure of Benbow Lake State Recreation Area campground. Benbow Lake Campground which normally opens just before Memorial Day will not be opening this year.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this causes the park users and the communities near our parks. We are currently in negotiation with potential partners and Requests for Proposals to operate the park. If and when partnerships or concession agreements are finalized this webpage will be updated with additional information.

To provide power for the new development in the valley , a concrete dam was constructed across the south fork of the Eel River in 1928. The dam not only provided power but also created Benbow Lake.

The Benbow family, interested in preserving the natural scene around the Hotel and along the river, made efforts to place the land under State protection. In 1956 funds were approved for the Benbow Project was purchased in 1958.

Today the park consists of campsites and a large day-use picnic area. Hiking, picnicking and camping are popular summer time activities, while salmon and steelhead fishing are popular in the winter.

Please note that the Dam will not be going in this year. For more information please click on Lake and Dam FAQs link.

Location - Directions

2 miles south of Garberville on Highway 101.

·Park Information

  • Hours of Operation:

    Day-Use open year round

  • Park Office Telephone:

    (707) 923-3238

  • Region

    North Coast



  • Max Camper Length:

    30 Feet

    Max Trailer Length

    30 Feet

  • Purchase Annual Passes


707-923-3238 Summer
707-247-3318 Winter


1600 Highway 101
Garberville CA 95542