Open year-round. Day use sunrise to sunset. Campground closed until further notice.
Tolowa Dunes State Park
What is open now?
- Day Use Vehicular Access.
- Very limited parking is now available to the public.
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- Be COVID-19 Safe – State Parks continues to meet guidance from local and state public officials as COVID-19 is still present and still deadly. Effective March 1, 2022, state guidance recommends that all individuals, regardless of vaccine status, continue masking in indoor settings, such as museums and visitor centers. Universal masking remains required in specified high-risk settings. Please plan ahead as local county guidelines may differ from state guidance and visitors are urged to follow county guidelines when required. Read the latest COVID-19 guidance at COVID19.ca.gov.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
This park takes in some of the finest wetlands habitat on California’s northern coast. An ancient sand dune complex that has evolved into several distinct ecological communities, Tolowa Dunes encompasses ocean beach, river, open and vegetated sand dunes, wooded ridges, and wetlands. A diverse assortment of birds, animals and plant life thrive here, and the area serves as an important stopover on the Pacific flyway for thousands of migrating ducks, geese and swans. The Smith River is a good place for salmon and steelhead fishing, and cutthroat trout can be taken at Lake Earl. The basic amenities are provided for campers at two primitive campgrounds, including a ride-in horse camp and six walk-in sites.
About the park
The Lake Earl area offers an array of opportunities for the nature enthusiast. Hundreds of species of birds including the rare Canada Aleutian goose and the Peregrine falcon can be seen in the forests and wetlands. Deer, coyote and raccoons may be spotted along the many miles of trails that traverse the park.
Great displays of wildflowers can bee seen in the spring and early summer. Marine mammals such as sea lions and harbor seals can be spotted along the coast; gray whales migrate from Alaska to Baja California. Salmon and steelhead are seasonal in the Smith River, cutthroat trout and Starry flounder are in Lakes Earl and Tolowa, and bass and crappie are in Dead Lake.
The Tolowa people were the most recent Native Americans to occupy the area. The natural resources of the area were very important aspect of the Tolowa’s economic and political way of life.
- Crescent Trail Rides (Guided horseback trail rides)
2 miles north of Crescent City.
From Crescent City CA take Northcrest Dr. north off of HWY. 101. Access roads are Old Mill Rd. off Northcrest Dr. and further along Northcrest Dr. (which becomes Lake Earl Dr.) turn left on Lower Lake Rd. to Kellogg or Pala Roads.
Lake Earl, CA
Summer days range from the 60's to 70's (degrees fahrenheit). Nights are in the 40's.
Winter days range from the 40's to 60s (degrees fahrenheig). Nights are in the 30's.
Rainfall average is about 60" to 80" per year, falling mostly between November and May.