We recently did a road trip including visiting the Redwood National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Pinnacles National Park with our two dogs. Focusing on our road trip portion of Redwoods National Park, if you want to see more info on this overall trip and other parks click below.
How we got here, our road trip broken down…
The Redwood National Park was our first stop! I really loved visiting this National Park despite that it was nothing like I imagined, but that’s kinda fun sometimes too! We drove straignt up in a day from Los Angeles, CA to the redwood national park. Redwoods national park is nearly 40 miles of coastline lined with the worlds tallest trees.
We stopped in Laytonville, CA for lunch in the afternoon which had some dog friendly cafes we were able to sit outside and all stretch our legs before arriving at our hotel. We spent 3 nights up here, giving us two days to explore Redwood National park which was the perfect amount of time.
The Redwood National and State Parks includes around 200 miles of trails. This unique state/federal partnership of the national park and state park includes Jedediah Smith Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks. These parks are a bit spread out with some towns right in the middle, one of which we stayed in.
To enter the 3 California state parks (Del Norte, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek) you’ll need to pay the state park entry fee in some specific areas. These areas include: Entering all developed campgrounds (Jedediah Smith, Mill Creek, Elk Prairie, Gold Bluffs Beach). Be sure to get an America the Beautiful National Park Pass ahead of time. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and get you into all 400+ national park sites (including the Redwood State Parks.)
Eureka is the largest town near Redwood National Park. Eureka is a quaint costal town with many historic buildings. In Eureka, you’re 45 minutes from the center of the park at Kuchel Visitor Center.
Your other option is Klamath which is the closest town to the heart of Redwood National and State Parks. While there are fewer options here compared to Eureka, there are still some great choices. This is a bit of a college town which can change the atmosphere depending when you are traveling here.
We stayed in the city of Eureka for our Redwoods portion of the trip and I absolutely LOVED where we stayed at the Carter House Inn. It’s a super cute victorian- style house, has an amazing restaurant, wonderful continental breakfast, a bar, friendly staff walking distance to the water, and of course is very dog friendly.
There’s a charge of $30 USD per accommodation, per stay for dogs, which is very reasonable.
From the hotel you could walk to the water and a grassy area nearby, the dogs enjoyed doing this every day.
If you’re looking to stay in the park you’ll need to look at the campsites, there are no hotels located inside Redwoods National Park.
Restaurant 301 is located inside The Carter House Inn and if you are staying elsewhere I highly recommend dining here. By far the best meal of our entire trip was here, from the appetizer down to the desserts.
Note they are not open everyday, so if planning your meals be sure to schedule a night here accordingly.
Visiting Redwood National Park – What to know
I envisioned that Redwood national park is a park with an entrance that you line up for to enter, like many national parks but it’s actually something you can just simply drive through (for the most part); not what I expected but a wonderful surprise. Which means for the car drive you can drive through the national park with your pup(s) quite easily.
Redwoods national park is composed of a northern and southern half, you can find maps to both of these here which encompass Jedediah Smith Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks. We did the northern half one day and the southern half another day, you definitely don’t need a full day to do either. Both of them have great hiking.
On the southern half you can experience Avenue of the giants which is a 31mile scenic drive, it goes parallel the 101. Along the avenue of the giant’s you’ll pass through some scenic towns with shops and cafe’s, access points to eel river, campgrounds and more. There are spots along this drive that are dog friendly
If you want to do some hiking check out some trails such as Tall Trees and Gold Bluffs beach which are two of the well known trails (these are not dog friendly hikes but the area includes Gold Bluffs beach which is dog friendly) they require a permit part of the year that you can get online here – be sure to do this in advance as they do fill up.
There are a few dog friendly beaches on the Northern half, which we loved so much, I have them listed below.
How dog friendly is Redwood National Park?
Redwoods National Park actually has a decent amount you can see and enjoy with your dog, like most national parks they can’t join you on the trails (in the park) there are plenty just outside the park that are allowed (check on all trails).
While dogs aren’t allowed on trails, as long as they are on a 10 foot leash they can wander the campgrounds, dog friendly beaches, picnic areas, paved roads and some overlooks which is actually plenty of places to enjoy the tall trees with your dog.
Redwoods National Park also offers the BARK rangers program, just go to the vistor’s center (which dogs are not allowed in) take the pledge and you can buy them a BARK rangers tag.
Where dogs are allowed:
Pets are only allowed in developed areas on leash– roads, parking lots, dog-friendly beachs, day-use and picnic areas, and paved paths within the campgrounds.
While dogs are not allowed on the avenue of the giants trails, we had an amazing time driving with the dogs on this 31.5 mile long scenic journey. There are paved spots along the avenue of the giants drive that are dog friendly and follow the above rules, where you can pull over and go for a stroll and let your dog sniff. As always please clean up after your dog so places that do allow dogs continue to let us visit with our pups.
Dog friendly trails nearby:
- Myrtle Creek Trail – Trailhead: ~1 mile east of Hiouchi, Calif.
- Craig’s Creek Trail – Trailhead: ~1/2 mile south of U.S. 199 on South Fork Rd.
Dog friendly Campgrounds:
- Elk prarie campground
- Gold bludds beach
- Milll creek campground
- Jedediah Smith campground
Dog friendly scenic view points:
- Klamath Riverocerlook
- Redwood Creekoverlook
Dog friendly beaches:
- Goldbluffs beach: Dogs are allowed on the campground and beach here but not on the trails. Note part of the year you may need a permit to get here.
- Fresh water Beach
- Crescent beach
Dog friendly gravel roads:
Want to walk through the redwoods with your dog? Be sure to visit these!
- Cal Barrel Road: 3.5 mile gravel road. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
- Walker Road: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Where dogs are not allowed:
Not allowed on the trails in Avenue of the Giants or in Red Woods National Park.
Overall redwood national park isn’t huge and while dogs aren’t allowed on the trails (besides a few paved ones that are still worth a visit) there are plenty of campgrounds, paved roads and dog friendly beaches and definitely made this national park one to visit (with the dogs). I had such a lovely trip here. Next we headed east to Lassen Volcanic National Park.