Benbow Campground

$35/night + $8 · Memorial Day – Labor Day
California > Humboldt Redwoods and Vicinity > Benbow State Recreation Area

Site 44 is in an oak grove on the east side of Highway 101

Benbow’s campground is dominated by Highway 101, which cuts right through the middle of it. While that isn't especially unusual — Highway 101 also runs through Standish-Hickey and Richardson Grove's campgrounds — the freeway is much more noticable in Benbow because it runs along an embankment above the campsites. So the noise doesn’t really fall off as you get further from the freeway, and is rather loud everywhere in the campground.

That said, the campground is otherwise very nice, and a lot of people don't seem to mind the traffic noise. The KOA campground just up the road gets just as much traffic noise, hardly anyone complains about the freeway in its online reviews.

The two halves of the campground have dramatically different settings.

Campsites east of the freeway are in a sunny, open oak grove; sites 39, 40, and 41 are on the Eel River, although views of the river are limited by vegetation.

Site 23

Campsites west of the freeway are in dense, shady woodland. This area is more scenic but gets more traffic noise because the highway curves around and is banked toward it. The best part of the campground is the loop at the end of the road, especially sites 69, 70, and 72, which have some good-sized redwood trees.

Site 72 has the most impressive redwoods

Typically for a state park campground, Benbow is mainly intended for tent camping. It does accept RVs up to 30 feet long, but there aren’t any hookups. If you have an RV or a trailer, it's necessary to take the Benbow Drive exit south of the campground and then drive north on Benbow Drive for 3 miles to reach the campground. Don’t take the Benbow exit, because a landslide on Benbow Drive has left an unpaved stretch where you have to drive up and over a somewhat steep little hill (visible on Google Street View).

Map of Benbow Campground

Site 64 is more typical of the sites west of Highway 101


  • Here’s the campground entrance in Google Maps.
  • Make reservations through Reserve California; search for Benbow. Reservations are available up to 6 months in advance.


© 2019 David Baselt