Portola Redwoods State Park Campground in northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area is in a rugged, natural basin which is shaded by coastal redwoods, douglas fir and live oak trees. Portola Redwoods State Park Campground (and the rest of the state park) was threatened with closure in 2012 due to state budget cuts it was given at least a year’s reprieve by generous donations.
There are 52 campsites in Portola Redwoods State Park Campground, each has a picnic table, food locker, and fire ring. There are 18 miles of trails that switchback across the canyon and the streams within the basin. The trails within Portola Redwoods are part of a larger network of hiking trails which are connected to the trails in the neighboring county and state parks.
Portola Redwoods State Park Campground Bottom Line
Portola Redwoods State Park Campground is a hidden gem in the San Francisco Bay area, located only around hour away from much of the bay area it is a great destination for car camping. Unlike most of the other nearby campgrounds, Portola is underutilized and often has campsites available at the last minute. The road leading into Portola Redwoods State Park Campground is paved, but it is very narrow, winding, and steep, which contributes to the campground’s underutilization. While the campsites are somewhat close together, often you can bet the campsite next to you may not be occupied, which gives you a greater level of privacy and solitude.
Portola Redwoods State Park Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||52|
|Cost:||$35/night + $8 fee when reserved online|
|Dogs Allowed:||Yes – Leashed allowed in campsites and on paved roads. Dogs not allowed on hiking trails, except for the unpaved Escape Road.|
|Showers:||Yes – Coin operated|
|RV/Trailer Length:||RV: 24 feet, Trailer: 21 feet|
|Cell Phone Service:||None|
|Operating Season:||Campground open year-round.|
|Other:||Firewood sold at Ranger Station near park entrance.|
|Geo Coordinates:||37.256753, -122.218672″|
|Nearest City:||La Honda, California|
|Location:||Bay Area – San Mateo County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||Yes|
|Proximity to Stores:||10 miles in La Honda|
|Directions:||From Highway 35, turn west onto Alpine Road, go 3 miles, and turn onto Portola State Park Road. The road dead ends in the park. Use low gear as both these roads are steep and winding.|
|Phone:||650-948-9098||Facebook:||Portola Redwoods State Park|
|Web:||California State Parks||Twitter:|
|Reservations:||Reserve a Campsite Now|
When To Go
Late Spring – Fall – Campsites are often available at the last minute
Portola campground is very shaded and located in a canyon causing cooler temperatures at the campsites.
Portola Redwoods State Park has one of the tallest redwoods (over 300 feet high) in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A short nature trail along Pescadero Creek introduces visitors to the natural history of the area. Visitors can see clam shells and other marine deposits from the time when the area was once covered by the ocean.
Portola Redwoods State Park Campground Pictures
Image Credits: Justin Wilson