Activities For Dogs In Redwood National Park

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Introduction

Redwood National and State Parks lure millions of outdoor adventurers each year to snap selfies with the coastal redwoods, the tallest trees in the world. Many of these gigantic specimens have stood sentinel in Northern Cali's tranquil forests for more than 300 years.

The best part is, your canine companion can join you to marvel up at these tall, tall trees — but there's a catch. Big beasts like bears, bobcats, and mountain lions all make their home among the redwoods, and if they catch a whiff of your woofer, they just might feel threatened enough to attack. That's why it's imperative to follow the pet policies at Redwood National and State Parks.

First things first: doggos aren't allowed on trails. It might seem unfair, but this restriction is in place to protect your pupper, as well as the native wildlife and other park visitors. As long as your doggo is on a ten-foot leash, they're welcome to wander in the campgrounds, stroll along the dog-friendly beaches, chow down in the picnic area, and soak up stunning vistas from paved roads and select overlooks. It's vital that you pay close attention to your surroundings and clean up after Fifi immediately. Any, erm, "presents" that your dog leaves behind might attract some of the park's dangerous wildlife.

As of 2018, your doggo can even become a BARK! Ranger. Head to a visitors' center, take the BARK! Ranger Pledge, and earn a nifty dog tag that you can show off in a social media-worthy selfie.

Now that we've got the safety stuff out of the way, let's get to the fun part: all the activities you and Spot can enjoy together in Redwoods National and State Parks!

Camping

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0 Votes
Any Day
Moderate
Normal
24 hrs
Items needed
Water
Dog Food
Collapsible food and water bowls
Dog bedding
Leash
Activity description

The developed campgrounds at Redwood National and State Parks welcome leashed canine campers with open paws. Whether you're planning to "ruff" it in a tent and do a little stargazing or go "glamping" in an RV, Redwoods National and State Parks has you and your canine covered with four pet-friendly campgrounds: Jedediah Smith, Mill Creek, Gold Bluffs Beach, and Elk Prairie. All campgrounds come equipped with restrooms, showers, bear-proof food lockers, fire pits, and picnic tables. Though the campgrounds have modern amenities, RV hookups aren't available.

Each camping area provides different scenery, experiences, and accommodation options. Offering more than 85 sites set among the redwoods, Jedediah Smith is a firm favorite with anglers. Mill Creek is the largest campground with 145 sites near Mill Creek. Gold Bluffs Beach is a cozy campground that's "pawpular" with canine campers, boasting 26 sites and remarkable vistas of the coast. Finally, Elk Prairie's 75 wooded sites are ideal for wildlife watchers keen to get a glimpse of the park's population of Roosevelt elk.

Now that you know the details of pet-friendly camping at Redwood National and State Parks, let's get to the good stuff: planning your trip in the California redwoods!

Step
1
Pack your bags
Apart from the essentials listed above, you might want to pack a few extras to keep your canine comfy. It never hurts to have a first aid kit and some pest repellent on hand. Your fur-baby's favorite toy probably wouldn't go amiss, either.
Step
2
Find a site
Except for Mill Creek, which is open from May to September, the park's developed campgrounds are open year-round. You'll want to plan your stay as far in advance as "pawssible" — all sites at the national park are highly coveted, particularly between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Don't be surprised to find sites booked several months in advance!
Step
3
Set up camp
Now that you've snagged a dog-friendly site at Redwood National and State Parks, it's time for the fun to begin. We've said it several times, but it's important to keep your dog leashed, even in the campgrounds. Elk and black-tailed deer frequently roam through the campgrounds, so it's worth brushing up on your dog's obedience training before "em-bark-ing" on your adventure.
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Beach Day

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
2 hr
Items needed
Leash
Waste bags
Water
Activity description
Even though doggos aren't allowed on the trails, they're more than welcome to frolic on the beaches! Freshwater, Crescent, and Gold Bluffs beaches all welcome leashed pups. Gold Bluffs has some mesmerizing tide pools, but you'll need to take a hiking trail to access them, so this activity is, unfortunately, off-limits to dogs. The good news is, there's still plenty of fun things to do with your four-legged friend. Keep scrolling for the down-low on dog-friendly beaches at Redwood National and State Parks.
Step
1
Plan your beach day
At this awe-inspiring national park complex, you can do so much more than take a stroll along the scenic coastline! Bring binoculars if you're visiting during the winter and spring gray whale migration seasons. If you've set up camp with your dog at Redwood National and State Parks' Gold Bluffs Beach campground, mosey on down to the coast and keep your eyes peeled for sea lions. Or, if you just want to chow down with your chow hound, pack a picnic basket with a few of Fido's favorite treats. Please respect this natural environment and pack out all waste. (That includes doggy doo!)
Step
2
Go beachcombing
No matter what activity you've chosen to enjoy with your canine companion, make sure to come prepared. Redwood's beaches are quite the contrast to the warm, sunny shorelines down south, so pack warm clothes and come prepared for rain in all seasons.
Step
3
Expand your horizons
Pets aren't welcome on all beaches in Redwood National and State Parks, so if you're looking for more fur-friendly fun on the NorCal coast, consider exploring the surrounding area. Crescent City's public beaches are open to leashed dogs, and the hidden coves at Moonstone Beach County Park in Trinidad are a great place to go spelunking with Sparky. You can even let Lassie loose at this off-leash county park. As long as you clean up after your beach bum buddy, you two will be all set for an "unfurgettable" beach day!
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Walkies

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Any Day
Free
Easy
30 min - 1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Waste bags
Water
Activity description

Hounds aren't allowed on designated hiking trails within the park, but they're welcome to wander along paved parking lots and select roads. Puppers can sniff around the following parking areas: Stout Grove, Tall Trees Trail, Lady Bird Johnson, and Fern Canyon.

Cal Barrel Road is a "pawticular" favorite among four-legged explorers. Along this gravel path, you'll amble under a lush canopy of redwoods. Be careful, though; this route is also open to cars. While most vehicles drive slowly to absorb the magic of the redwoods, others might not play by the rules. Stay alert at all times. Walker Road is also worth a walk — this short, one-mile road meanders through old-growth redwoods.

Step
1
Plan your route
Your first order of business is to decide which path to take. Cal Barrel Road is three miles long, while Walker Road is ideal for lazy lapdogs who don't need much exercise. Bring plenty of water and waste bags, and keep your eyes peeled for poison oak.
Step
2
Stroll!
All that's left to do now is enjoy a leisurely ramble. Take your time experiencing the redwoods, and keep your camera at hand to snap some selfies of your photogenic pupper against a beautiful backdrop of ancient trees.
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More Fun Ideas...

Soak up the Scenery

Some overlooks in Redwood National and State Parks permit pups to experience the views with you. Bring your buddy along for a quiet moment at the Klamath River and Redwood Creek overlooks.

Scenic Driving

Does Fifi need to feel the wind in their fur? Howland Hill Road, Enderts Beach Road, and Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway are just a few of the noteworthy driving routes in the park. Pick a path and hop in the car, roll down the window, and bay along to your favorite tunes as you cruise through California's redwood forests.

Conclusion

And there you have it: all the activities you can enjoy with your doggo at Redwood National and State Parks. While dogs aren't allowed in all areas, you can still have a barktastic time with your buddy, whether you're just passing through on a scenic drive or you're planning to camp among the redwoods for a night or three.