Emerald Forest – Trinidad, California

Glamping has increased in popularity over the last decade and while it’s easy to “guffaw” at such ventures, I know first hand that their place in the travel world is here to stay.

On our trip to Oregon and California, we wanted to check several boxes for experience and safety in this tumultuous time. We wanted to make sure we could distance from those we didn’t know or weren’t in our household. We wanted to have a comfortable stay, but also stay kind to our budget. We wanted to be close to our top destinations. We also wanted somewhere well-rated, family owned, and offering a charm that we couldn’t find anywhere else.

When I travel, I try to focus on area-specific activities, lodging, food etc. One of the best places to find this information is on tourism board websites, which is exactly where I find the magic gem to our mini-vacation in the redwoods, Emerald Forest Cabins. I knew when I saw the listing that it would be the ideal spot to celebrate my 30th birthday while staying comfortable and happy.

Upon arrival we were nothing short of ecstatic.

Panorama of the cabins

First and foremost, the cabins are literally in the woods, trees almost overtake cabins, and other greenery envelopes all that is ground level. Cabins have private desks allowing visitors to take in the wonders of nature, and a quintessential “cabin charm” harkening to mid-century road trips.

Our cozy stay in cabin I

I later learned some of the cabins dated back to the 1920s! Even better, the cabins had been fully refurbished in the last few years, but kept a traditional charm that was equally comfortable and adorable.

Walk through of Cabin I

While cabin stays don’t include traditional hotel amenities like breakfast, they are happy to accommodate any needs for additional coffee, pillows, towels etc. and they offer additional facilities like laundry and showers for those camping. Some cabins have full kitchens, while others offer a kitchenette set up with sinks, microwaves, some plates and cups, and dish washing supplies. If you want an upgraded cabin, some even have clawfoot tubs! If you have a family, several cabins offer multiple beds and bedrooms. For kids, a sweet little playground welcomes little ones. Those with pets can get a pet friendly room for a nominal nightly fee.

Playground for the littles

Overall, I was truly impressed at the quality and price of our stay and even my husband was happy and comfortable with our time there. As he is not “outdoorsy” cabins and such places give us a cozy middle ground for vacations.

However, as you are going to be in a forest of 300+ year old trees, it’s important to know many modern things don’t work as well as you might hope. My suggestion is to use your down time to disconnect, read, sleep, and relax!

  • Cell Phone service is at best spotty in town, and non-existent at the cabins.
  • There is Wi-Fi in the cabins, but the signal is not strong and cuts out frequently.
  • The ground is very damp and sticks to everything, plan to track dirt and wood and leaves and questionable things into the cabin.
  • Old plumbing takes a while to get going, it might take a little time to get hot water running in the cabin.
  • You are pretty close to the “Redwood Highway” so there is some noise in the day, but at night it’s wonderfully calm and quiet.

The Visit Humboldt and Visit Redwood websites have fabulous lists of lodging, including budget friendly options like Emerald Forest. If you want more traditional options, the Best Westerns and modern and well-rates. Bed and Breakfasts offer an experiential stay, especially in towns like Ferndale and Eureka.

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