Campgrounds open and space available, but reservations no longer accepted.
As of 9.3.2012, winter reservations no longer accepted (via reserveamerica.com; 1-800-444-7275) for Jed Smith, Mill Creek, and Elk Prairie campgrounds. This does NOT mean that sites are unavail. All sites avail. first-come, first-served basis until May. More »
Miners Ridge and Ossagon backcountry camps closed indefinitely.
Backpacker sites avail. during summer only at Gold Bluffs Beach Campground (8 sites avail.; free permit req'd; $5 fee paid on site) and year-round at Elk Prairie Campground (hiker/biker sites avail., first-come, first-served; $5 fee paid on site). More »
A variety of wildlife species call RNSP home. The diversity of ecosystems in the parks means that creatures as different as black bears, sea stars, and bald eagles can be seen by a lucky visitor in a single day. In addition to the more common inhabitants, many threatened and endangered species rely on the parks' old-growth forests, open prairies, estuaries, and the coastline for crucial havens of survival.
Marine mammals such as sea lions and gray whales are among the most visible wildlife in the parks. Visitors are also likely to see Roosevelt elk browsing in the prairies. Pelicans, ospreys, and gulls are frequently spotted along the coast. Of course, tidepool creatures aren't likely to run very far at your approach, so anenomes and crabs are easy to spot too.
While you're out watching wildlife at RNSP, remember that all wildlife is protected in the parks. Never feed or approach animals such as bears, mountain lions, elk, chipmunks, racoons, rabbits, or birds. Please treat the members of this natural community with respect.
Threatened and Endangered Species
RNSP protect threatened and endangered (T&E) species by minimizing potential disturbance to T&E species caused by visitor use and park management activities. Hunting is not allowed at any time within RNSP. Fishing is allowed in certain designated watercourses within the parks. In 2000, the park closed beaches to off-road vehicle traffic, with the exception of commercial fisherman holding permits, and they are required to drive only on the wave slope. This action helps ensure that habitat for the federally-listed western snowy plover is not degraded and reduces disturbance to the brown pelican and other seabirds and marine mammals. Remote areas of the park, including old-growth forest habitat, are off-limits to motorized vehicles and have controlled visitor use. Park management activities are designed to minimize noise and other forms of disturbance to breeding T&E species by implementing limited operating periods, using hand-tools instead of machinery to conduct park maintenance, and consulting with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service on all projects that have the potential to affect federally threatened or endangered wildlife, fish, or plants.
Restoration efforts in the parks have helped T&E fish and wildlife primarily by reducing sedimentation from logging roads through road decommissioning and rehabilitation. Reducing sediment runoff from hillslopes creates better stream substrate for anadromous fish redds (gravel bed for eggs) and fry (young fish). It also helps stabilize streambanks, which allows old-growth redwood trees to remain upright and keeps old-growth habitat intact for species such as the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet. Exotic plant management (for example, of European beachgrass, yellow bush lupine, and pampas grass) along beaches enhances habitat for wildlife such as the western snowy plover, that nests and roosts in back dunes, and plants such as the endangered beach layia that requires shifting sand dunes to grow.
The parks' fishery and wildlife biologists conduct annual surveys to assess the status and distribution of T&E species in RNSP. Specifically, fishery biologists conduct stream inventories including snorkel surveys, electro-fishing, seining for anadromous fish, and spawning/carcass surveys in Redwood Creek and its tributaries. Wildlife biologists monitor known northern spotted owl territories, bald eagle nests, and peregrine falcon eyries (nesting sites), and conduct monthly western snowy plover surveys on all accessible beaches.
Listed below are some T&E species found at RNSP:
For information on California T&E species click here.
Wildlife of the Forest
Reptiles and Amphibians
Wildlife of the Ocean
Wildlife of River and Stream
Reptiles and Amphibians
Wildlife of the Prairies
Reptiles and Amphibians
Did You Know?
The Bald Hills Road serves as a scenic byway to a high prairie landscape dotted with magnificent 300-year-old Oregon white oak trees. This region of the parks offers fields of colorful springtime wildflowers and trail access to several historic ranches. A Roosevelt elk herd could surprise you!