When visiting the Redwoods, numerous camping options abound, however many of them can quickly see the prices soaring well into the $30-$50 range. I wasn’t wanting to spend quite that much and was relieved when I found the Panther Flat Campground just a short distance from the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park area.
Unlike the state park, the fee to stay here was only $15 a night (single site) or $30 for double occupancy, which was more than worth the investment as the amenities compared to that of the state park itself. There are several reservable sites which can be accessed online, but most sites are first come first serve, available at the self pay kiosk at the entry.
Unlike other forest areas which have limited benefits to your stay, this campground has a host of amenities which will leave you feeling more than pleased with water spigots located throughout camp, flush toilets, trash services and showers.
The showers were potentially one of the biggest surprises for a forest campground I had seen in the area. Most camps of this price point offer very limited and sparse offerings but hot showers after a long day in the sometimes gloomy and drizzly Redwoods was a great asset.
The size of the individual sites was nice and many were separated by dense forest. I found that the pull in was perfect for my smaller car and there were some sites which were designed for larger groups with multiple vehicles.
Standard site amenities included picnic tables and fire rings. This coupled with a light layer of pine needles for padding made for a very comfortable stay at the campground.
The campground runs alongside a portion of the Smith River, where during the warmer months many campers find recreation. For those wanting to escape the crowds a bit hiking along the river is accessible from this location as well and can take you well into the Smith River National Recreation Area.
The Recreation Area is most well known for fishing, something you can do from the banks of the campground access, but also is a great area for hiking, horseback riding and nature viewing. Although you will not be able to embark upon horseback or equestrian activities from this campground itself.
If you are visiting this campground you will be able to get basic supplies within a 5 mile drive of the camp or more complete supplies and novelty items within a 20 minute drive.
If you will be fishing while staying at this location make sure you have proper fishing permits as this area is patrolled by authorities upon occasion.
Senior Interagency passes are accepted and discounts are applied for those providing display of these passes.