Best Time to Visit Redwood National and State Parks

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Deserted footpath amid redwood and sequoia trees
When to visit Redwood National Park depends on many factors, like weather preferences

With its towering trees and miles of hiking trails, California's redwood forests are well worth visiting. However, it can be tricky to determine the best time to visit Redwood National and State Parks since multiple variables can affect your trip.

For instance, summer (June to September) arguably has the best weather. It rarely rains, and temperatures reach highs around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. But, at the same time, it's also the most crowded and expensive season.

On the other hand, winter (December to March) is the opposite. Crowd levels are low, and you can plan an affordable trip, but it can rain up to 15 days each month. Spring (March to June) and fall (September to December) are transitional seasons with elements of both the warmer and colder months.

Don't let planning become overwhelming, though. By the time you've finished reading this article, you'll know everything you need to take the perfect trip to this famous California landmark.

Best Time of Year to Visit Redwood National Park

Redwood National and State Parks Best Time to Visit Tips Video

Check out our highlights video of Redwood National and State Parks best time to visit tips.

Redwood National and State Parks Vacation Planning Questions

A forest with a trail surrounded by tall redwood trees and different shrubs
Since Redwood National Park is a famous tourist spot, it's busy most months
Spring is the best time to visit Redwood National and State Parks to see flora
Summer is the best time to visit Redwood National and State Parks for good weather

When is the best time to visit Redwood National and State Parks?

It's hard to pinpoint the best time to go to Redwood National Park because each season has pros and cons. For example, summer (June to September) has the best weather conditions. It only rains one to three times per month, and the temperatures range between 71 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, since the parks are one of California's most famous tourist areas, summer is understandably busier and, thus, more expensive. Therefore, if you want to visit during the off-season for tourism, a better bet would be to go in the fall (September to December).

At that time of year, weather conditions are similar, with temperatures between 61 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Do note that it can also rain up to three times a week.

A hiking trail path surrounded by green plants lit by sun rays
The Praire Creek Trail is one of many to tackle in Redwood National Park

What are the best hikes in Redwood National Park?

Since there are over 100 trails in Redwood National Park, deciding which one to choose can be a little overwhelming. Before heading out on a hike, make sure you've checked the trail's difficulty level so you know what to expect. If you'd like a little inspiration, here are a few visitor favorites.

To start, casual hikers love the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail. It's less than a two-mile loop and often takes only 30 minutes to finish. In addition, the terrain is easy and relatively even, making it a great family hiking option.

The Trillium Falls Trail is a moderate hike with some steep and uneven terrain, which makes the roughly three-mile loop take over an hour to complete. While children and people with mobility concerns might have some trouble on this path, most hikers shouldn't find it too challenging.

On the other hand, if you're a serious hiker, check out the Mill Creek Horse Trail. The loop is nearly ten miles long and can take up to five hours to complete. However, it's quite rugged with multiple inclines, so you might prefer to take a mountain bike on this route.

A car driving along a road surrounded by redwood trees
Those wanting to camp in tents, RVs, or campervans can find campgrounds in the park

What are the RV parks in Redwood National Park?

As one of the most popular national parks on the West Coast, it's not surprising that Redwood National Park attracts a lot of camping enthusiasts. Four in-park campgrounds accommodate people who wish to stay overnight. Conveniently, these campgrounds are open all year and are available for reservations.

The Jedediah Smith Campground can hold up to 86 tents or RV campers up to 25 feet long. However, no hook-ups for water or electricity are available, so you may want to use the on-site shower area and bring a generator. There are also four cabins available for rent at this site.

Mill Creek Campground is open from May 18 until September 30 and has enough room for 145 tents or RVs up to 28 feet long. Once again, these sites have no hook-ups, so you'll likely want to use the campground shower area and have a portable generator with you.

Elk Prairie Campground has four cabins available for rent, but you can also camp here in a more traditional way. The park is open all year and has 75 sites for tents or RVs up to 27 feet long. Again, no hook-ups are available in the campground.

Gold Bluffs Beach Campground is the last of the Redwood Park campgrounds. It's usually open all year. However, sometimes funding to this campground only permits it to be open during busy tourist times, so check before visiting. This is the smallest campground, with only 26 sites for tents or RVs up to 24 feet long.

A camping site with a tent, a bench, and a van in the middle of a forest
There are many campgrounds to choose from depending on your preferred amenities

Where are the best campgrounds in Redwood National Park?

There are only four campgrounds within the Redwood National and State Parks, so options are relatively limited if you want to overnight on the parks' grounds. While all of these campgrounds offer similar amenities, two tend to be recommended by locals a little more often. Keep in mind, though, that these campgrounds are all within the state park areas of the Redwood forests, not the national park grounds.

According to locals and visitors, the Jedediah Smith Campground is the best. It's open all year and can accommodate up to 86 tents or RVs. In addition, the campground offers an on-site shower area, food lockers, fire pits, and a visitor center and is accessible to visitors with different mobility capabilities. This campground is also the closest to the part of the forest within the national park.

Mill Creek Campground is the largest of the four campgrounds, regarding the number of sites available and the size of each campsite. RVs can be up to 28 feet long and still fit comfortably here. What keeps this campground from being the top campground is that it's only open between May 18 and September 30.

Bill Roque/
Commercial planes parked near a white building
Many visitors fly into Seattle-Tacoma and connect to an airport closer to the park

What is the closest airport to Redwood National Park?

Despite being in California, the closest airport to the Redwood National and State Parks is in Oregon. Rogue Valley International Medford Airport (MFR). This airport is between 99 and 109 miles away from the parks, depending on which area you want to visit. In travel time, that's a one or two-hour drive between the airport and a park entrance.

However, MFR is a relatively small airport and only connects directly to 12 other locations in the western half of the US. So if you plan on coming from the east or want to fly from a more convenient airport, booking a connecting flight will probably be necessary. Flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport or San Francisco International Airport and connecting is a good choice.

Tall redwoods surrounding a road covered in fog
All routes to Redwood National Park offers a stunning views

What's the best way of getting to Redwood National Park?

No matter how you decide to travel to California, you'll need access to a car to get to Redwood National Park. The closest airport is in Medford, Oregon, a two-hour drive away from the national park entrance in Crescent City.

Since you must be on the road, the best time to travel to Redwood National Park is in the summer when you shouldn't encounter much rain. If you fly into Oregon, you'll then take Interstate 5 to California.

After that, you can take California 36, California 299, or US 199 until you see signs for Crescent City and the park. Alternatively, you can also take an Amtrak train directly to Crescent City.

Danita Delimont/
A sign in front of trees that says "Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park"
Crescent City has many hotels and is near Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

What are the best hotels near Redwood National Park?

If you're not into camping or plan to visit Redwood National Park during the colder months, you might want to book an overnight stay at a hotel. Luckily, there are multiple options near the park's entrances.

Crescent City houses the park's main visitor area and is the town most often associated with the park. Stay at the Travelodge for comforts like free WiFi, on-site laundry services, and access to the nearby Crescent City Harbor Beach.

If you'd prefer to stay outside the usual tourist bubble, you can book a room at the Holiday Inn Express in Klamath, California. Eateries are nearby, and breakfast is available at the hotel, so you can be well-nourished before heading to the parks.

Weather, Prices, and Crowds in Redwood National and State Parks

A walking path through a forest of tall trees
Hiking in Redwood National and State Parks can be viable in any season

Redwood National Park in January

There are multiple reasons why you might want to consider visiting Redwood National Park in winter (December to March). For one, the weather in the park isn't frigid, so hiking is still a viable option. January temperatures can dip as low as 46 degrees Fahrenheit, but highs are usually near 57 degrees.

On the downside, January is a rainy time in the parks. With up to 15 days of rain expected during the month, there's about a 50% chance you'll have to deal with some precipitation while visiting. You can use that to your advantage, though. Few people come to the park in January, so the trails won't be crowded, and most hotels and airlines offer discounts.

Redwood National Park in February

February is a pretty calm month to visit Redwood National Park. While the area's climate prevents any drastic temperature drops, it can still get as cold as 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler temps coupled with an average of 13 days of rain cause many people to avoid visiting at this time.

Since there aren't many people in the area, the state parks' campgrounds will have plenty of room, and even the overnight cabins are likely to be free. However, if you'd prefer the comforts of a hotel, you can find deals on rooms as well.

Redwood National Park in March

March is one of Redwood National Park's rainiest months, with an average of up to 15 days of precipitation. Though the temperature isn't too cold, usually between 45 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity can make the climate more uncomfortable. You'll also want to watch your step and wear good hiking shoes with a lot of traction if you plan on hiking in March.

On the bright side, the frequent rain usually means fewer visitors in the park, so trails will be relatively empty. Nearby hotels and the campgrounds at Redwood State Park will also have plenty of openings for overnight stays. You might even find a few deals on bookings.

Redwood National Park in April

In April, Redwood National Park's climate really starts to shift from winter (December to March) to spring (March to June) weather. Temperatures slowly creep up to 60-degree Fahrenheit highs on average, and the number of rainy days for the month drops to around 11.

In-state residents tend to take advantage of the area's slowly improving climate to visit before the park's busy season, so crowd levels can start to pick up on April weekends. However, since the number of out-of-state park-goers is still minimal, you'll likely be able to find discounts on hotels and flights to the area.

Redwood National Park in May

According to locals, May is the best month to visit Redwood National Park. Since the worst of the area's rainy season is over, you only have to deal with precipitation one to two times per week on average. It's also warmer in the park, with highs around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and lows around 52.

The trade-off for the nice weather is an increase in crowds and costs. More people can travel since school ends in most states during the last half of May. Memorial Day at the end of the month is particularly busy, so if you want to camp at one of the on-site grounds, reserve a spot in advance.

Redwood National Park in June

In June, Redwood National Park's summer (June to September) season is in full swing. Temperatures stick to between 57 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit, making the weather ideal for hiking. Since there are only three days of rain on average, you won't have to worry about the trails being too muddy.

However, June isn't a good time to plan a last-minute trip since many people are taking summer vacations. You'll want to book your reservations at least a month or two in advance to ensure you get a campsite, flight, or hotel room. That will also help you get a better deal on accommodation and travel costs.

Redwood National Park in July

Summer (June to September) is the best time of year to see Redwood National Park, and as far as the weather is concerned, July is hard to beat. With daily highs rarely exceeding 81 degrees Fahrenheit and only one day of rain expected, you can enjoy nature without overheating or worrying about adverse weather conditions changing your plans.

The downside to the beautiful weather is that it also brings a lot of visitors to the area. Independence Day week tends to be one of the busiest of the season, but crowd levels stay high all month. As a result, not only are hotels and campgrounds likely to run out of vacancies if you wait too long to book, but prices will also be at their peak since demand is high.

Redwood National Park in August

August is the last of Redwood National Park's busy tourist months because it ushers in the last few weeks of the school summer (June to September) vacation period. There are generally more crowds in the first half of the month compared to the last half when some students are already back in the classroom.

As crowd levels start to dip, prices for flights and hotel rooms in the area will also begin to decrease. You might even notice more vacancies in the campgrounds. Luckily, the weather is still almost perfect, with very little rain and warm days near 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Redwood National Park in September

One of the most fascinating things about California is how tall the state's redwoods can grow. One of the best examples of this is the 380-foot-tall tree affectionately named the Hyperion, which has become one of the most famous landmarks in the park.

September is the best time to visit Redwood National Park to enjoy its natural wonders, like the Hyperion tree, without dealing with huge groups of people. After Labor Day weekend at the beginning of the month, out-of-state crowds typically drop. Since most of the park's visitors are locals who come on weekends, hotels usually have a lot of vacancies and start offering discounts.

September's climate is pretty comfortable as well. On average, it rains less than once a week, and the temperature range is comfortable, between 62 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Redwood National Park in October

If you want peace and quiet while exploring the natural beauty of Redwood National Park, consider planning an October getaway. Aside from Indigenous Peoples' Day weekend, also known as Columbus Day in many parts of the country, the month is pretty calm. The lower crowd levels also make this an excellent time for budget traveling.

Fortunately, October also has pleasant weather conditions for hiking, biking, or camping. The average low is around 56 degrees Fahrenheit, and highs hover around 71 degrees Fahrenheit. However, be prepared for potential rain since there are six days of precipitation on average.

Redwood National Park in November

If you're undecided about when to visit Redwood National Park, November is a month that usually flies under people's radar. However, it offers decent weather, manageable crowd levels, and affordable prices compared to other vacation spots.

Redwood National Park is spared extreme climate conditions, so despite the 13 average days of rain, the temperatures aren't bad. They tend to stay in the range of 49 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you're dressed in layers, you can be perfectly comfortable hiking around.

However, since people who come to California in the colder months are often searching for sunny weather, out-of-towners tend to avoid the redwood area. The one exception to that rule is Thanksgiving weekend. It can bring more people to the park, though they're usually Californians.

To top it off, November prices are pretty reasonable. Flights to Rogue Valley International Medford Airport are sometimes discounted if purchased early, and lower rates for hotel rooms can be found.

Redwood National Park in December

December officially starts Redwood National Park's winter (December to March) season. While December is a busy month in some places, it's pretty calm around the park.

The tourism lull is mainly due to the month's weather conditions. Many out-of-state travelers are dissuaded from visiting in December due to temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit and an average of 14 days of rain.

However, if you dress warmly and bring a raincoat, you can use the December off-season to your advantage by finding good deals on lodging in or near the parks. You'll likely even be able to reserve one of the on-site cabins, which book up quickly during the busy season.

In Summary

The Redwood National and State Parks house natural wonders that deserve to be visited any time of year. However, your preferences will determine what page on the calendar you'll mark for your trip.

While budget travelers and people looking for a quiet stay might enjoy themselves more in the winter (December to March), it's the rainiest time to be in the park. Instead, the best hiking weather can be found during a summer (June to September) getaway.

Hopefully, this list has helped you fine-tune your trip details, no matter when you decide to pack your bags and head to Redwood National Park. All that's left to do now is make your reservations!

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Written by Gabrielle T

ggtraveler1213 FORMER WRITER Gabrielle loves all things travel and culture. She is originally from the USA, but she has lived in Italy for over a decade. She's always ready to pack her bags, grab her passport, and head out on an adventure!

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