Exploring Nature’s Haven: A Guide to Hickey Campground in Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area

Discover the serenity of Hickey Campground, nestled in the heart of Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area, just 1½ miles north of Leggett off Highway 101 in northern Mendocino County. As the southern gateway to the Redwood Empire, this campground offers 63 well-shaded sites on a bluff above the South Fork Eel River. To make the most of your camping adventure in this picturesque location, follow these top tips, strategies, and gear recommendations for an unforgettable experience surrounded by nature.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for First-Time Campers at Hickey Campground

  • Reservation Wisdom: Secure your spot by making reservations, especially during the peak season from mid-May to mid-October. This ensures a stress-free arrival and a guaranteed campsite.
  • Watch for Water Levels: If you plan to swim in the Eel River, check water levels for safety. The campground’s proximity to the river provides an excellent opportunity for a refreshing dip.
  • Hiking Exploration: Take advantage of the nearby hiking trails and redwood groves. The Grove Trail and Taber Nature Trail offer captivating experiences amidst nature.
  • Campground Amenities: Enjoy the convenience of hot showers, well-maintained restrooms, and picnic areas. Embrace the campground’s offerings for a comfortable stay.
  • Attractions Beyond: Explore nearby attractions like Smithe Redwood Grove, the Drive-Thru Tree Park, and the fascinating Confusion Hill for additional adventures.

Top Strategies and Tactics for Maximum Camping Enjoyment

  • Ideal Seasons: Plan your visit during the peak season (generally Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day) for the full campground experience. Check the reservation website for specific campground opening dates based on weather conditions.
  • Evening River Activities: Take advantage of the evening hours for fishing along the river, with fall and winter being prime times for salmon and steelhead.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep your eyes peeled for the diverse wildlife that inhabits the area, including black-tailed deer, gray foxes, river otters, osprey, woodpeckers, owls, eagles, and hawks.
  • Picnic Pleasures: Enjoy a leisurely picnic in the day-use area, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area.
  • Interpretive Programs: Attend summer interpretive programs at the campfire center to enhance your understanding of the local ecosystem and history.

Recommendations on Camping Gear for an Optimal Experience

  • Reliable Fire Essentials: Ensure a cozy camping experience with reliable fire essentials, including firewood and a sturdy fire grill for cooking.
  • Comfortable Sleeping Gear: Invest in a comfortable sleeping bag and camping mattress for a restful night’s sleep amidst the tranquility of nature.
  • Illumination Tools: Bring reliable lanterns and flashlights to illuminate your campsite during the evening, providing both practicality and ambiance.
  • Binoculars: Enhance your wildlife watching experience with binoculars, allowing you to observe the rich birdlife and other creatures in the area.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Check our gearlist account for detailed recommendations on camp cooking equipment, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing to ensure you have everything you need for a seamless camping adventure.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Hickey Campground, where the Eel River, redwood groves, and diverse wildlife create an enchanting backdrop for your camping escape. Whether you seek outdoor activities, river adventures, or simply the tranquility of nature, Hickey Campground offers a unique and rejuvenating experience in the Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area.