IMPORTANT BACKCOUNTRY NOTES:
First, grab the backcountry trip planner!
For those who like to get away, a trail to themselves, a starlit sky at night, or the lullaby crashing waves–Redwood National and State Parks offers you more than 200 miles (322 km) of extraordinary backcountry trails and eight designated backcountry campsites. Whether on foot, bicycle, or horseback, you’ll traverse a wide variety of natural habitats, including old-growth redwood forests, oak woodlands, pristine beaches, prairies, streams, and marshes.
Your best resources for planning your redwood adventure:
Backcountry: Ethics & Regulations
While specific regulations apply to those on bicycles and horseback, all backcountry users should adhere to Redwood National & State Park regulations and are further encouraged to follow Leave No Trace guidelines to minimize their impact. Leave No Trace is rooted in scientific studies and common sense. The message is framed under seven Leave No Trace Principles presented below with accompanying regulations and guidelines specific to Redwood National & State Parks:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Camping is permitted only in designated backcountry campsites (except at dispersed sites on Redwood Creek gravel bars-backpackers only).
- Pets (with the exception of service animals), motorized vehicles, and hunting are prohibited on trails.
- Free permits are required for all overnight stays in designated backcountry campsites and may be obtained from Kuchel Visitor Center, Crescent City Information Center, and Hiouchi Visitor Center. Be sure to notify others of your travel itinerary.
- Overnight stays are limited to a maximum of 5 consecutive days; 15 in a calendar year.
- Proper food storage is required: Store food, garbage, cooking gear, and all odorous items in food storage lockers (where available), in food storage canisters available at the Kuchel Visitor Center, or suspended from a tree at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet from the trunk.
- Inquire at a visitor center about trail conditions, water levels, fire danger levels, and tick/poison oak information.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
- Store all garbage in a manner that will prevent access by wildlife (see #1, above).
- Carry plastic bags and pack out all trash; do not dispose of garbage in pit toilets.
- Bury human waste in catholes 6-8 inches deep, at least 200 feet (70 adult steps) from water, camp, and trails. Pack out all toilet paper and hygiene products.
- Wash yourself, cookware, and/or dishes 200 feet away from water; strain food particles and pack them out or scatter well away from campsite and 200 feet away from waterways.
4. Leave What You Find
- Collecting or disturbing natural features, plants, rocks, antlers, and cultural or archeological resources is prohibited. As part of our national heritage, these resources should be left as they are found for all to enjoy.
- Mushroom gathering or possession is illegal.
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Inquire about fire danger levels at a visitor center before heading-out.
- Strive to use portable stoves only; campfires are restricted to designated fire pits and on Redwood Creek gravel bars.
- Do not leave fires smoldering or unattended.
6. Respect Wildlife
- Bears, elk and mountains lions may be seen near you.
- Keep your distance.
- Keep your camp crumb clean.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors