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Overnight Camping Permits Once Again Available for Paddlers on Redwood Creek

Posted: 02/09/2021
By: Scott Harding

Redwood Creek flows through the heart of Redwood National Park, offering whitewater boaters the rare opportunity to paddle through groves of the tallest trees on earth. It’s a 25-mile run (or longer) and, for many, the real joy of paddling this reach is making it an overnight trip and camping out on one of the many gravel bars along this very large creek.


Without intending to shut paddlers out of this opportunity, Redwood National Park had stopped issuing camping permits for Redwood Creek late last fall. Most people who camp on Redwood Creek are hikers who walk the creek channel during low summer flows. When water levels first rose last fall, the Park Service decided to stop issuing camping permits since hiking isn’t safe—or even possible—when creek levels are high. Unfortunately, this meant that paddlers couldn’t get the camping permit required for an overnight boating trip.


We resolved this issue with the Park Service recently, and we’re pleased to announce that they are now issuing dispersed camping permits to whitewater boaters. The permit system, for now, is a bit clunky as the Park has not yet fully adapted to issuing permits online. Paddlers need to request a permit 48 hours in advance of their trip via email. Get started here: Redwood Creek Dispersed Camping Permits for Whitewater River Users. No permit is needed for a day trip.


Many thanks to one of American Whitewater’s members for bringing this issue to our attention, and thanks to the Park Service for enthusiastically and quickly getting boaters back on the creek for overnight trips. We look forward to an improved permit issuance interface in the future.

NPS Redwood Creek Camping Permit Webpage Screenshot

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