Mill Creek Campground in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park on the north coast of California is located in an old-growth redwood forest that extends in land from the Pacific Ocean near the Oregon state line. Del Norte Redwoods is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation in conjunction with the National Park Service along with Prairie Creek and Jedediah Smith State Parks and Redwood National Park. Mill Creek Campground is a large family friendly campground that split in half by Mill Creek and connected via bridge. Mill Creek Campground is situated under a redwood canopy with maple and alder trees closer to the ground. There are miles of hiking and walking trails near the campground, including the Damnation Trail which is the only way to access the rugged Pacific coastline, and coastal tide pools. Each campsite includes a food locker (for Bears), a fire ring, and a picnic table.
Mill Creek Campground Bottom Line
Mill Creek Campground is a great spot for family camping on the northern California coast with lots of recreation activities, including hiking, biking, bird watching, plant studying, and tide pooling. The campground has many of the amenities you would expect for a large campground including bathrooms, showers, running water, and food lockers. However, there is no visitors center or camp store within the campground or the rest of the park.
Campsite privacy can be a mixed bag depending on which campsite you select. There are larger, open campsites which offer little privacy, and there smaller, very-private campsites that are fully separated by plant overgrowth. In general the campsites on the southern side of Mill Creek are more private, when compared to the northern side of the campground. Mill Creek Campground also offers 21 walk-in, tent-only campsites which offer greater privacy than the non-walk-in campsites.
During peak summer camping season, Mill Creek Campground can be very crowded and reservations are often recommended.
Private, walk-in campsites: 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 19, 21, 22, 25, 27, 29, 60, 87, 88, 90, 92, 94, 95, 98, 136, & 138
Private, car camping sites: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 24, 26, 54, 53, and 55. These are largely separated by tall plants and overgrowth.
Campsites 1-3, 8, 28, 30-39, 43-49, 61-66, 70-74, 89, 91, 103, 105, 112, 113, 114, 116, 122-133, 140, 141, 144, 145 are in visual or hearing range of the bathrooms and showers.
Avoid campsite 108 as it is an awkward campsite that has very little privacy and is adjacent to a dirt road that is often used for hiking.
Mill Creek Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||110 Car Campsites 21 Tent-only, walk-in sites|
|Beach/Lake Access:||Yes – Coastal access available via Damnation Trail. Beach is not for swimming.|
|RV/Trailer Length:||RV – 31 Feet, Trailer – 27 feet|
|RV/Trailer Amenities:||Dump Station|
|Cell Phone Service:||None|
|Operating Season:||Mid-May – Early September|
|Nearest City:||Crescent City, California|
|Location:||Del Norte County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||Yes|
|Proximity to Stores:||10 miles north to Crescent City|
|Directions:||Park entrance is 7 miles south of Crescent City, California. Sign marking the campground is on the west side of Highway 101, the road leading to the campground is on the east side of Highway 101. The road leading to Mill Creek Campground road can be steep and winding. The campground entrance is 1.5 miles east of the highway, the campground is still another mile after entrance.|
Maps & Brochures
|Web:||California State Parks||Twitter:|
|Reservations:||Reserve a Campsite Now|
When To Go
Mid Summer – Mill Creek Campground is usually can be busy in mid-summer, however rainfall is common and heavy early in the summer.
Temperatures range from lows in the 40s to highs near 80 degrees in the summer and it is often foggy in the morning and evening during the summer months.
What To Do
Fishing: Available for licensed anglers who may catch only Chinook Salmon and Cutthroat Trout. Mill Creek is closed to all fishing for part of the year. For up-to-date fishing regulations and details, visit www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing.
Hiking Trails: The Damnation Trail located about four miles south of the Mill Creek Campground at mile marker 16 on Highway 101. The trail is an old Yurok trail that leads roughly two miles down a moderately steep path through magnificent old growth redwood trees, ending at Wilson Beach. South of Wilson Beach, a half-mile trail leads to Hidden Beach tide pools at False Klamath Cove. Old logging roads form easy loops and out-and-back trails from the mill site parking lot. Mill Creek’s former mill site area is for day use only. Observe all posted trail-use and “closed-area” signs.
Like most north coast beaches, the beaches in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park are NOT FOR SWIMMING. Strong rip currents, heavy surf and sudden ground swells make even surf play dangerous. It is especially important to keep children back from the highest water-line and never turn your back to the ocean.
Del Norte Coast Redwoods is the fifth-largest state park in California and was established in 1925 to preserve the large coastal redwoods. It once held some of the world’s oldest and tallest trees, and is part of the largest remaining contiguous stand of of ancient coast redwood forest. The abundance of logging supported early settlements in the 1850’s, however most of the old-growth redwoods were cut down by the 1930’s.
Mill Creek Campground Pictures
Image Credits: Justin Wilson