Redwood Creek Dispersed Camping Permits for Whitewater River Users

A large, flowing Redwood Creek heads downriver through massive redwoods trees. A grey skies and low clouds hover within the trees.
A foggy and beautiful day on Redwood Creek.

NPS Photo / Ally Gran

Whitewater River Use along Redwood Creek

  • Please be respectful of private landowners at launch and exit points outside of the National Park boundary.

  • Please consider uploading a float plan along with your permit application and contacting the park upon your safe exit from the river. Note that Search and Rescue operations would not be initiated based on float plans.

  • Conditions in Redwood Creek change rapidly and are likely to include submerged logs, large boulders, and other water hazards.

  • Be prepared for your safety and the safety of your group.


Dispersed Camping Rules & Regulations

  • Designated Sites

    • Dispersed tent camping is not allowed within 1/4 mile of Tall Trees Grove.
    • Closest areas to camp are 1.5 miles north of the Redwood Creek Trailhead.
    • Maximum group size is eight (8) people; larger groups require multiple permits and must camp at least 1/4-mi. apart.
    • Maximum of 50 people per night are allowed to disperse camp on the gravel bar.
  • Food Security & Bears - All food items, cooking utensils, bathroom items, or anything with a smell must always be kept secure by either hanging them from a tree or storing in a bear can (unless actively using or cooking). Never feed wildlife!
  • Water - No treated water source is available. Drink filtered/purified water from Redwood Creek tributaries, not from the main channel itself.
  • Fires - Remember to completely put out your fire before leaving it and dismantle your fire ring. Up to 50 lbs. of dead and downed wood per day per campsite may be collected from gravel bars.
  • Disposal of Garbage and Human Waste - Pack out or dig a hole at least 6 inches deep for solid human waste. Do not leave human waste exposed or left on leaf litter. Be sure you are at least 200 feet from any water source, campsite, or trail. Pack out all trash/garbage.
  • Practicing Leave No Trace Principles is required on the gravel bar. Please pack out what you packed in, including toilet paper!
  • PLEASE remember to lock your vehicle, take valuables with you, and leave nothing in sight. This trailhead has a history of being a bad break-in spot.

Apply for a Permit

Dispersed camping on Redwood Creek gravel bar during high flow is very limited with the majority of the gravel bar only being available to whitewater rafting groups. Permits must be requested by 9:00 am PST at least two days prior to when you would like to backcountry camp on your rafting trip. The earliest that permit can be requested is 4 weeks prior to your trip. For example, if you want to raft/camp on January 27th, you need to apply by 9:00 am PST on January 25th to receive your permit. Permit requests are typically downloaded once daily in the morning, so plan accordingly.

Know your plan. Consider creating a float plan.

Apply online. 
This weblink is provided by the Park's nonprofit partner, Redwood Park Conservancy.

  • Permit can be reserved until 2pm the day of your trip.
  • To add multiple days, select 'Add A Time' when selecting your dates. 

You will recieve an email immediately with your confirmation. This is your backcountry permit. Be sure to print this email, screenshot it to your phone, or download a copy to your phone to have with you in the park. 

Please reach out to if you have any questions. Please refrain from contacting the park's help line - they may not be able to assist you.

Last updated: March 10, 2023

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