CAMPING IN COMFORT at Klamath River RV Park
by: Maggie Burrows
The beautiful coastline of Northern California and its Redwood National Parks is host to several campgrounds and RV parks that can accommodate the weary traveler. But if you want to experience a piece of paradise, the Klamath River RV Park is truly the “crown jewel” of the area’s destination vacations.
Located just 19 miles south of Crescent City, CA off Highway 101, the Klamath River RV Park is an easy destination to get to. Nestled into the mountain side of the Klamath-Siskiyou Range, the 26-acre park is just one mile up West Klamath Beach Road and “Right on the River.” The Klamath River is literally the front yard of the park offering up beautiful scenic views that are teaming with wildlife.
Although famous for salmon and steelhead fishing, bald eagles, blue heron, osprey, and various species of migratory game birds also dot the river’s landscape. Beaver, otter, seals, and sea lions inhabit the waters as well--especially during the migration of the salmon. Along the banks of the Klamath, wild animals such as fox, coyote, raccoons, Roosevelt elk, white-tail deer, and the famous California black bear make frequent appearances. Majestic old growth forest surrounds the park with many species of flora such as, redwood, cedar, pine, Douglas fir, and alder.
It was just this serene beauty and location that drew the present owners, Jack Fillmer and Al Minor, to purchase the property in 2006. After an intense search for parks to buy in several Western states, the owners saw the potential of a first-rate RV Park with all the modern amenities in this Klamath River property. With their combined 20 years in the hotel management and hospitality industry, Jack and Al have worked diligently to bring the park up to the standards expected of a first-class destination. The owners have invested over $100,000.00 in the structures, landscaping, infrastructure, and upgrades that have earned them the accolades of many return customers, as well as a Good Sam approval rating.
The RV Park offers 104 full RV hookups, with several of these sites having 50 amp capabilities that can handle larger coaches. Well-maintained tent camping sites along the river bank or tucked into the tree line are also available. The park has laundry facilities, a club house that features regular activities, squeaky clean restrooms with hot water showers, boat docks, boat ramp, and fish cleaning stations. Relax with your RV neighbors around the community fire pit and patio, or enjoy your own campfire at one of the many fire pit rings located around the park. The park has a gift shop and office/store where you can purchase many items for your camping needs, including fire wood and ice. To make your camping experience a bit more modern, cable and Wi-Fi are also available. Klamath River RV Park is pet and kid friendly with a kid’s play area and a spot to walk “Spot.” The owner’s mission is to provide a camping experience that is fun, clean, and friendly. Exceeding customer expectations is Jack and Al’s number one goal. This is evident in their pride of ownership and how well they maintain the property and take care of their guests.
Fishing the Klamath River has been a way of life for the local Yurok Tribe for generations. In the summer months, you can observe the Yurok Indians fishing their traditional way with gill nets. They fish for salmon and steelhead to help feed their elders, subsistence, and to sell commercially which helps support the Yurok community.
For the sport fisherman, the salmon season usually has two runs. The spring run is typically mid-May to late July. The fall season usually starts at the beginning of August and goes through October. Klamath River RV Park has many seasoned fishing guides that you can hire for an exciting and fun filled day of getting your “fish-on!”
The park is also close to the mouth of the Klamath which is the gateway to the Pacific Ocean. Pack up you gear and head on down to the beach for a day of whale watching, beachcombing, or perch fishing.
There is a plethora of things to do during your stay at Klamath River RV Park. The park is within 25 miles of three Redwood Forests; Jedediah Smith State Park, Redwoods National State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Head north on Hwy 101 and just a few miles from the park, and you will be greeted by Paul Bunyan and Babe, his Blue Ox, at the Trees of Mystery. This attraction features a scenic Skytrail Gondola Tour, several interpretive trails, a museum rich with local Native American history, a gift shop, and restaurant.
If you want to explore the river more, the Klamath River Jet Boat Rides is a 45 mile trek upriver with experienced pilots. They are very knowledgeable about the river, its wildlife, and the Native American Culture.
If you continue north along Hwy 101 towards Crescent City you will have several opportunities to pull over and hike one of the many Redwood trails in the Redwood National Park. There are several sites to see in Crescent City as well. Ocean World is an aquarium built within a “sunken” barge, originally built as the first aquarium in Seattle, Washington and now makes its permanent home in Crescent City Harbor. The aquarium holds close to one half a million gallons of sea water and many different types of local sea life, including 20 different species of fish, wolf eels, octopus, leopard sharks, and horn sharks. Also found here are large bat rays, skates and sea stars that roam the bottoms.
The Battery Point Lighthouse was first lit with oil lamps in 1856, is an active lighthouse with a residence and keeper. It serves as a private aid to navigation. Visits to the Battery Point Lighthouse and Island are only possible at low tides. Extreme care and caution should be used when crossing the two hundred feet between the mainland and island anytime wave action may cover the crossing area. Sneaker waves at any time can threaten visitors standing on or near the rocks and the shore of Battery Point Island. The Lighthouse and its museum is open to the public for tours including opportunities to look into the personal quarters of keepers and their families and the furniture and artifacts they have left behind since the 1850's. Tours include a climb into the light tower. There are displays of many maritime artifacts, photographs and documents that chronicle its history.
One of the wonderful things about staying at the Klamath River RV Park is that you can choose to explore all the spectacular sights of Del Norte County….or you can slow down, pour a glass of your favorite beverage, pull up a comfy chair by the river, and just breathe. Either way, the hospitality, location, and beauty of Klamath River RV Park will not disappoint.