Trail camps are for backpackers and are the most primitive camp sites in the park. These camps offer the opportunity to see the remote interior of the park while exploring many miles of backcountry trails. All trail camps have untreated water, except for Grasshopper, and a vault toilet. Johnson, Whiskey Flat and Grasshopper camps also have bear lockers. There are no picnic tables, no open fires, and pets are not allowed.
Campers must register for trail camps at any open campground entrance station before departing. Open year round, the camps are on a first come, first served basis with a limit of six (6) people per site. Trail camp fees are $5.00 per person, per night. Backpackers should always take a Humboldt Redwoods State Park trail map with them.
Johnson Trail Camp (pictured right) -- a tree has taken out a bridge on the trail (January 2018) which is now removed, use caution crossing creek -- is the most popular trail camp as well as the most accessible. Backpackers can access this trail from two locations. One location is the Big Trees Area, 4 miles west of the Avenue of the Giants on Mattole Road. This is only accessible when the summer bridge is installed. The other location, available year round, is at the intersection of Mattole Road and Grasshopper Multi-Use Trail (Grasshopper Road). The hike from Big Trees is approximately 5 miles while the hike from Grasshoper is approximately 6.5 miles. The trail climbs about 1400 feet to an elevation of 1600 feet. The camp is located in the redwoods with old tie hacker cabins left behind from a logging operation.
Grasshopper Trail Camp can be accessed year round via the Grasshopper Multi-Use Trail and from multiple trails along the South Fork of the Eel River or Big Trees Area when the summer bridges have been installed. The trail is a steep 7 mile hike one way, regardless of the starting point. The camp is located at 3200 feet and just a short hike from the camp is Grasshopper Peak, offering 100 miles of 360 degree views of the surrounding area.
Bull Creek Trail Camp, the most remote trail camp, is located next to upper Bull Creek.
Whiskey Flat Trail Camp is located on the edge of Rockefeller Forest in old-growth redwoods. At an elevation of 1600 feet, the camp is located on the Squaw Creek Ridge Multi-Use Trail, 4.5 miles from the intersection of Grasshopper Multi-Use Trail.
Hanson Ridge Trail Camp is located on the Hanson Ridge Multi-Use Trail off of Squaw Creek Multi-Use Trail. The trail camp is located at 2200 feet elevation, about 6.5 miles from the intersection of Mattole Road and Grasshopper Multi-Use Trail. It provides nice views of the Bull Creek watershed to the west. Campers must walk downhill from camp to find untreated water.