Benbow Lake State Recreation Area RV & Campground Guide


Benbow Lake State Recreation Area is a gorgeous state park and natural area just 2 miles south of Garberville, California, near Eureka. As the name implies, it's primarily focused around Benbow Lake, as well as the South Fork Eel River, making waterside activities one of the main appeals of a vacation to the area. Hiking, swimming, and camping are some of the most popular activities in the area, particularly in the warm summers. In winter, you'll find many people fishing for wild salmon and rainbow trout as they swim in the lake and riverway. Thanks to its location near the northern part of the state, no season is overly hot or cold, making the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area a great destination at any time of the year.

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Spring 43.3-70 F
Summer 54.3-89.3 F
Fall 45.6-76.3 F
Winter 37.3-57.6 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Benbow Lake State Recreation Area

Taking an RV rental out to Benbow Lake State Recreation Area is one of the best ways to enjoy this kind of vacation. RVing makes the great outdoors a little greater with added convenience and stability, giving people who maybe aren't prepared to rough it out in the woods the chance to experience these wonderful sights and sounds. If you're planning to RV down to the Recreation Area, you could try these RV parks and campgrounds as a place to stay in between trips:

Benbow Lake State Recreation Area KOA

Benbow Lake State Recreation Area has its own campgrounds that you can enjoy during your stay in the area. Whether you're in the lower, middle, or upper loop areas, all campsites with electrical hookups start at $35 per night per vehicle. In addition to putting you right up next to all the great things you came to see, the campgrounds also feature showers and restrooms plus Wi-Fi services and a pool. You can also take your pets as long as they're well-behaved and kept on a leash. 

Nadelos Campground

The Nadelos Campground is for people who really enjoy the sensation of roughing it. Located in the heart of the forest surrounding Chemise Mountain, it enables you to enjoy a natural vacation away from any sort of hustle and bustle. Designed primarily for tent camping, there are no hookups, and reception is sparse at best. With land available on a first-come, first-serve basis, it's well worth the $8 camping fee if you're looking for quick, easy, and beautiful fun. You can also reserve the entire grounds for $85 per night if you have a group (minimum 20, maximum 60). It's also pet-friendly.

Redwoods River Resort & Campground

At the Redwoods River Resort & Campground, you can camp out in luxury with all the great amenities the park has on offer. Full hookups, a dump station, trash and recycling, free Wi-Fi, picnic areas, a fire pit, showers, restrooms, laundry, and even rooms for rent all make it an amazing getaway. There are even special packages for different vacation options, including pet-friendly ones. Rates usually start around $50 per night but can change depending on the season, discounts, and holidays.

RV Rentals Near Benbow Lake State Recreation Area

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Benbow Lake State Recreation Area

Inside Benbow Lake State Recreation Area

Spread out across nearly 1,200 acres of land, the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area has plenty to offer campers. Hiking is one of the most popular activities to engage in when you visit, especially in conjunction with picnicking at any of the day-use picnic areas. Camping, both in tents and RVs, is also fun, particularly in the warmer months of spring and fall or across the summer. Swimming is also plenty of fun. During winter, you'll find an excellent opportunity to try out fishing as the wild salmon and rainbow trout return to the lake to spawn.

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How to Get to
Benbow Lake State Recreation Area

To get to Benbow Lake State Recreation Area, the easiest way would be to approach from Garberville as it is the nearest town. Simply head south on Highway 101 for about 2 miles. You'll see the place to get off coming up after that along the right side as Exit 636. Follow that road until you get to Lake Benbow Drive, then head into the park.

By Car

Entering Benbow Lake State Recreation Area

As a large vehicle (RV), you'll be approaching the entrance from the south on Benbow Drive. All fees and costs are due upon entering the park. Camping at the SRA in your RV costs $35 per vehicle per night at any of the camping areas with hookups available. There's also an $8 online reservation fee. However, there is no charge for entering the park for non-camping purposes such as visiting for the day. Hours of operation for day visitors go from 8:00 am each day to sunset (around 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm depending on the time of year).

Benbow Lake State Recreation Area Per vehicle : $0.0

Benbow Lake State Recreation Area is a great place for a vacation if you love the outdoors as much as we do. If you're a kindred spirit, it's well worth considering taking a trip here in one of our RVshare rental RVs. If you go, make sure to take lots of pictures to preserve your great memories for years to come. In fact, we'd like to be a part of that if you'll let us. Send some of your vacation pics to [email protected] or tag us on social media, and we might feature your stories in one of our upcoming blogs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Benbow Lake State Recreation Area

What is the best time of year to visit Benbow Lake State Recreation Area?

The best time to visit Benbow is during the summer. You will get to enjoy swimming, hiking, boating, and picnicking. You will also enjoy the exclusive Summer Arts & Music Festival, which offers two days of fun.

What is the climate of Benbow Lake State Recreation Area?

Summers are mainly hot and calm, with an average temperature of about 87 degrees Fahrenheit and winters are mostly cloudy and very cold, with an average of 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Benbow Lake State Recreation Area?

Benbow Lake has a total of 77 campsites. The campsite has amenities, including restrooms and a dump station. The longest RV is 30 feet long. There are water taps throughout the place, but there are no hookups for your RV.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area and what is the cost?

You do not have to reserve a camping spot, but online reservations are possible if you need a spot in the designated campgrounds. However, Benbow KOA sites are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Are pets allowed at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area?

Pets are allowed but must be on a leash not longer than 6 feet and be under immediate control at all times. Pets are not permitted on trails and should not be left unattended.