Noyo Pacific Kayaking

A Resources for Beginers to Experts

Free Camping Along the Noyo River
Places to Kayak - California

Here is a list of all the FREE campning sites along the Noyo River in California. Free camping is everyones favorite but we have to remeber to leave the campsite better than the way we found it, that is what keeps it free. Enjoy the entire list and happy free camping.

FREE CAMPING!! Camping is no longer free it is $15.00 per night and subject to change please call ahead!
Along the Noyo River
For information regarding seasonal closures and group use by reservation, contact:
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Jackson Demonstration State Forest
802 North Main
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 964-5674

Camp One, on the South Fork of the Noyo River
Locally known as: "The Egg Take"

The California Department of Forestry (CDF) provides one of the nicest campgrounds in the area at Jackson State Forest. It is approximately 8 miles from Fort Bragg. Not only is it free to camp here, Camp One is one of the least used campgrounds in Mendocino County. It seems surprising that such a nice area could remain a secret for long but several factors keep most people from discovering it.  The Highway 20 turn off for the campground doesn't have any signs to help visitors find it. Even the excellent book: "A Complete Guide to California Camping" doesn't list this one although the book does describe other camping facilities in Jackson State Forest at Camp 20 which is approximately 20 miles from Fort Bragg. While CDF has done a great job in developing these campgrounds, it would appear that there is very little incentive for them to try and publicize their efforts.

Camp One features 33 campsites under a redwood forest canopy. The campsites are widely spaced along a 3 mile stretch of the stream. These campsites offer tranquility & seclusion that is unmatched by any other local camping area. To find out which campsites are available, check first with the Camp Host located just beyond the Camp One Day Use Area . Permits are required for overnight camping and can be obtained from the Camp Host or at the CDF office in Fort Bragg at no charge. Camp One also offers several group campsites. These group campsites can be reserved in advance by contacting CDF at the address & phone # listed below.

Each campsites has picnic tables, fire grills, and a pit toilet.  Pets must be on a leash. There is no drinking water provided at the campground or day use areas so be sure to bring your own. Jackson State Forest is also available by permit for group use and events, firewood cutting and mushroom harvesting. California Fishing regulations do not allow fishing on the South Fork of the Noyo River but steelhead fishing is permitted 5 miles downstream in the main stem and North Fork of the Noyo. Be sure and check the regulations before you go to determine season, special restrictions and bag limits.

I drove down to check the area  over the Labor Day weekend, on Saturday at 3 PM. Although a sign in front of  the Camp Host indicated the campground was full, the camp host told me that a campsite had just become available. If Camp One is full, and you are determined to spend the night, I did notice a few small side roads on the way in. I drove my pickup in to find a couple of areas that might be used for  “guerrilla camping” if there were nothing else available.  I don't know if CDF permits camping in undeveloped campsites.


If you are driving in from Willits, you will take Highway 20 west 28 miles from the intersection of Highway 101. OR: From Fort Bragg, take Highway 20 east 5.9 miles from the intersection of Coast Highway One.
Travelers should use the mileage markings on the roadside reflector / markers to find the intersection of Highway 20 and Road 350. The mileage markings indicate the distance from Coast Highway One.

For westbound travelers, the last mile marker prior to the Road 350 junction is 5.91.

For eastbound travelers, the last mile marker prior to the Road 350 junction is 5.63.

Free camping

Free camping

There are not currently any signs on Highway 20 to mark the turn off to this campground. The only marking that identifies the road to Camp One is a , 4” X 4” wooden post with “RD 350” carved into the sides. There is a utility pole in the middle of Road 350 at this wide junction. A small triangular sign: “Camp One Area Campgrounds” is posted on Road 350 about 200’ south of the Highway 20 junction.

Road 350 goes all of the way down to the campground.  It is a well-maintained, two-lane gravel road. There are a few potholes and the road surface is washboard in places. Driving my pickup, I can comfortably maintain about 15 mph on this road. After driving 0.2 miles from Highway 20, Road 350 turns to the right at a junction with another road.  If you do miss this turn, you will arrive at a locked gate where you can turn back. Road 350 is the more traveled route and winds down to the river in a gradual descent. The first of three “South Fork ” campsites, “South Fork #3,” is 1.6 miles from Highway 20, SF # 2 is 2.2 miles & S.F #1 is 2.7 miles from Highway 20. These three very large campsites are on the river. They are suitable for groups and are also popular with transient construction workers because of their proximity to the Highway.



Map of Camp One area:

Map of Jackson State Forest and surrounding area



The Camp One Day Use Area is 3 miles from Highway 20. Locals refer to it as: "The Egg Take" as in: "We'll meet you out at the Egg Take for a barbecue.” This rather odd sounding name refers to the salmon egg collection station operated by the Department of Fish & Game. Migrating salmon are diverted by a small dam into holding pens. The salmon eggs and milt are harvested from adult fish and are then transported to a fish hatchery (in Yountville?) There is a very nice day use area in the meadow here with covered tables, fire grills, horseshoe pits and you can wade in the river by the dam. If you are trying to explain local folks where you are staying, it'll confuse most us if you say that you're camping in Jackson State at Camp One.” If you instead say: “We’re camping out at the Egg Take,” then we'll understand.


Jackson Demonstration State Forest:

This largest portion of this 50,195 acre property was purchased by the state in 1949. It is the largest of CDF's eight demonstration state forests. Located in the coastal redwood region, on the western edge of Mendocino County near Fort Bragg. The area has a long history of industrial logging activity, which began in 1862 and continued under private ownership until the State's purchase of the property in 1947. Today, more forest wood growth occurs each year than is harvested. The most common tree on the forest is coast redwood, but visitors will also find Douglas fir, grand fir, hemlock, bishop pine, tanoak, alder, madrone and bay laurel or myrtle. This State Forest is called a "Demonstration Forest" because part of their mission is to demonstrate and test sustainable and advanced timber management practices.

Recreational facilities:


Jackson State has trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, several campsites that will accommodate people with horses, swimming, horseshoe pits and picnicking. Three demonstration trails have been developed with trail guides to inform visitors about the ecology, history and management of the redwood forest. There are also numerous trails situated in historically and ecologically interesting settings, such as the Waterfall Grove Trail and the Forest History Trail.

Guide Books:
Mendocino Coast Bike Rides
The Hiker's hip pocket Guide to the Mendocino Coast

For More Information, contact:
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Jackson Demonstration State Forest
802 North Main
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 964-5674

Elevation range: 80 - 2,200 ft.
Annual Perception: 70 in per year.
Temperature: Max: 100 F - Min: 25 F