Find Sites

Find your spot

Find other facilities on map

For more information on Forest
Safety click here

ATTENTION: Please be advised there is currently a water shortage at Mad River Campground. There will be no water available at the campground until June 6th 2015.


part ofSix Rivers National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Open through Mon Sep 14 2015   Season Dates


Mad River Campground is located on banks of its namesake river, about two miles south of Ruth Lake in the thickly forested mountains of northern California.

Natural Features:

The campground is situated on a bluff overlooking the river among a forested area of oak trees and evergreen shrubs. Portions of the campground are capped with tall Douglas fir trees, providing ample shade.

The Six Rivers National Forest lies east of Eureka in northwestern California, stretching southward from the Oregon border for about 140 miles. U.S. 101, the famed "Redwood Highway," parallels the inland Forest along the coastline. The Forest is just east of the Redwood National Park.


Fishing is a popular activity and anglers can expect to catch a variety of trout in the Mad River. Nearby Ruth Lake is open for boating, swimming and other water-related activities. A marina and boat ramp are available for easy lake access, and maps and directions to the marina are located on the information boards in the campground.


The campground offers multiple single-family campsites, available for tent and RV camping. Some sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A majority of the sites are adjacent to the Mad River.

Tables and campfire rings are available at each site. Accessible vault toilets and drinking water are also provided.

Nearby Attractions:

The 13,800-acre Ruth Lake is about three miles south of the campground.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Beach Access
  • Campfire Rings
  • Drinking Water
  • Grills
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Area
  • River Access
  • Self Pay Station
Within 10 Miles
  • Boat Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Medical Facilities
  • Pay Phone
  • Restaurant
  • Showers
  • Trailheads
Know Before You Go
  • Watch for poison oak
  • Extra vehicles are $5 per day
  • Boat inspections for quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species are required at the Ruth Lake marina; an additional fee applies
  • Click here for more information about Six Rivers National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Protect California's forests from tree-killing pests by buying your firewood locally and burning it on-site. For more information visit firewood.ca.gov.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
40.40361, -123.46722
40°24'13"N, 123°28'2"W

When traveling north on Hwy 101, do not turn off at the Zenia Road exit at Garberville. This will result in a 2-hour delay driving on winding back roads. Instead, continue north until you reach the Hwy 36 exit near Fortuna. Turn right, heading east for approximately an hour until you reach the town of Mad River. After you cross the bridge at the Mad River, look for the Mad River Road turn-off on the right. The sign will say Ruth Lake. Continue for 10 minutes to reach the Mad River Campground.

If traveling on Interstate 5, turn at Hwy 36 at Red Bluff and head west for 2 hours until you see the sign for Ruth Lake at Mad River Road.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

741 State Hwy 36
Bridgeville  CA  95526

Phone Number:

Project Office: (707)574-6233
Discover and reserve camping, lodging, permits, tours and more at America's parks, forests, monuments and other public lands with Recreation.gov. Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration