Ruby van Deventer is a small campground sandwiched into a thin strip of second-growth redwoods between busy Highway 197 and the Smith River, five miles north of Jedediah Smith Redwoods. It’s first-come, first-served; there are no reservations.
The campground isn’t nearly as organized as the much larger Florence Keller Regional Park, which is also run by Del Norte County. There aren’t assigned parking spaces and the picnic tables are just randomly scattered around the redwood grove. There isn’t any privacy (except maybe in site 18) since the sites are close together and the woods are very open. Some of the tables are clustered together to make a group site.
Highway 197 is just a few yards away, on top of an embankment above the campground, and the entire campground gets considerable noise from the high-speed traffic on the highway.
Site 12 is out on the river bank and gets a little less noise since it’s further from the road.
There’s a bathroom but no showers.
Roads lead down to the gravel river bank, and during the day, most visitors are locals who come to fish in the river.
© 2019 David Baselt