Day-Use open year round, 8am-sunset.
Benbow State Recreation Area
As such, State Parks continues to ask visitors to plan ahead, avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet from others who are not from the immediate household members cannot be maintained, and avoid congregating. This means no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance. Full details on the guidelines are available at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
Below you will find specific information for Benbow SRA:
What is open now?
The following is open at this park:
- Day Use Area parking and restrooms.
- Camping is closed for the winter.
- For more information about camping guidelines, visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
- Some campgrounds across the state remain closed until further notice. Some campgrounds have started to reopen with modifications. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
- Some high public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
- Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
- Stay Local: Although businesses around the state are opening up, Californians should not travel significant distances for pleasure or recreation and should stay close to home. Parking is very limited or closed at park units across the state. Walk or bike to parks in your local neighborhood. Do not travel if you are sick or if someone in your household has had coronavirus in the last two weeks.
- Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
- Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
- Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in the outdoors when you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not your immediate household members. For details, please read California Department of Public Health’s guidance for the use of face coverings here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.
Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
To provide power for the new development in the valley , a concrete dam was constructed across the south fork of the Eel River from 1931-1937. 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 and it was purchased in 1958, creating Benbow Lake State Recreation Area.
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 no longer be installed and there is no longer a lake at Benbow State Recreation Area. For more information please click on Lake and Dam FAQs link.
Location - Directions
2 miles south of Garberville on Highway 101.
Large vehicles and RV's should enter the park from South Benbow Drive. North Benbow drive has a one lane road, on a hill that is difficult to navigate for large vehicles and RV's