During the peak summer months, Humboldt Redwoods State Park offers a variety of interpretive programs that are sure to inform, entertain, and delight visitors of all ages. Activity details and times are posted at locations throughout the park.
NATURE WALKS – Nature walks are usually in the morning and last about an hour. Locations and topics vary so you may want to participate in more than one during your stay. These are suitable for all ages.
JUNIOR RANGERS – Junior Ranger programs take place in the afternoon and usually meet at the Visitor Center, though sometimes there are programs at other locations. These activities are for our visitors age 7 to 12 and last about an hour.
CAMPFIRE PROGRAMS – A visit to the redwoods isn’t complete without an old-fashioned campfire program! Sing some songs, hear some stories, learn about a fascinating topic, and enjoy the cool night air around a roaring campfire – what could be better?
LITTER GETTERS – Children of all ages can learn about the importance of keeping our planet litter-free, and can help the park, by participating in the Litter Getter program. Kids earn rewards for each bag of litter they gather. Check at any open campground kiosk for details.
The heart of the busy park is the Visitor Center, which is full of exhibits and displays, and which has a friendly, helpful staff. There is a theatre, a wonderful bookstore, and the Kellogg Travel Log, a 1920s-era motor home with a body carved entirely from a single redwood log! The Visitor Center is run by the Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about this wonderful and unique place. The Visitor Center is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, 9 am - 5 pm April through October and 10 am - 4 pm November through March.
The South Fork of the Eel River and the Main Stem Eel travel over 30 miles through the park and offer many locations for swimming, boating, or fishing. The South Fork Eel is dependent on rainfall for its water, and can swell quickly and dangerously following a heavy rainstorm. All visitors are cautioned to respect the river and to use proper water safety at all times.
SWIMMING – During the summer when temperatures climb, nothing is as refreshing as a cool dip in the river. Good swimming holes are located at, amongst others, Lansdale Bar, Eagle Point (near Hidden Springs Campground), Williams Grove, Garden Club of America Grove, Gould Bar, and Leatherwood Bar. Humboldt Redwoods State Park does not provide lifeguard service – please use caution near the water. Though the water may look calm it has claimed lives in the past – be careful! In late summer the river often has blooms of blue-green algae, which can be hazardous and even fatal if ingested by pets or small children – when the river flow is low check for algae warnings.
BOATING – Summer flows are usually too low for boating but springtime brings great opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. Because the river flow changes radically depending on recent rainfall it can be hard to plan ahead. High flows combined with woody debris in the river can be hazardous – determine river conditions before starting out and make sure your skills are appropriate to current conditions.
FISHING – Fishing for salmon and steelhead is a popular activity at certain times of year. Fishing is allowed on the South Fork and Main Stem of the Eel subject to California Department of Fish and Game regulations. There is no fishing in any tributary stream, and all fishing is catch-and-release.
For those mountain bikers looking for a real challenge Humboldt Redwoods has plenty! All trails designated as Multi Use Trails (M.U.T.) and all roads are open to mountain bikes, making for well over 75 miles of riding. Creative mountain bikers can pack their camping gear and stay at any of the five trail camps in the park. Currently the only single-track open to mountain bikes is Thornton M.U.T., and those sections of park designated as wilderness are off-limits to all mechanical transportation. To avoid resource damage in this one-of-a-kind environment please stay off trails not designated as open to bicycles, and exercise caution when riding after rainfall to avoid trail damage.
For road bikes the Avenue of the Giants and the Mattole Road offer level riding over paved surfaces through the magnificent forest. Please remember that these roads are narrow and twisting – use caution.
Whether you have come to camp at Cuneo Creek Horse Camp or have just brought your horse for the day, Humboldt Redwoods has over 80 miles of trail open for riding. Good staging areas include Cuneo Creek Horse Camp (day use fee charged), the Old Mill Site (Mattole Road 5.3 miles west of Ave. of the Giants), and Blue Slide Day Use Area (Mattole Road 3.9 miles west of Ave. of the Giants). Currently there are no horse rentals available in the park. Please remember to avoid resource damage in this one-of-a-kind environment by staying off trails not designated as open to equestrians, and exercise caution when riding after rainfall to avoid trail damage.
The Avenue of the Giants Auto Tour is a 32 mile, 8 stop tour through the heart of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Brochures are available at the north and south ends of the Avenue, and at the Visitor Center. If you only have a few hours to spend in the park this is a great way to hit some of the highlights, and will probably make you want to come back for a longer stay. If your visit with us is an extended one this is a great leisurely drive that might point out some areas you’d like to spend a little more time exploring.