Day-Use open year round
Benbow State Recreation Area
As of the summer of 2018, the campground is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, annually. Sites 2-47 are on reservation 5/22/19-9/2/19, except for a Special Event 5/30/19-6/3/19.
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