The Redwood National Park Hostel is housed in an historic pioneer homestead, built a century ago by the DeMartin family. This former ranch house is owned by the National Park Service and in 1987 became a hostel operated by the Golden Gate Council of Hostelling International USA. It is the only lodging facility within the boundaries of Redwood National and State Parks.
In 1877, Swiss-born Peter Louis DeMartin and his wife Agnes moved to
the rugged and wild country on the north coast of California. Settling
at the mouth of Wilson Creek in Del Norte County, they built a log home
for their large family that included 10+ children.
To reach the area, the family traveled by pack mule along an
overland trail. For the next 12 years, this trail and Native American
canoes supplied the only contact with the outside world, until DeMartin
built a seven-mile wagon trail to Requa in 1889, and the road from
Crescent City reached the ranch in 1894.
At first, the family raised sheep, but soon switched to cattle,
hogs, and assorted crops. They even opened up their home to travelers,
charging 25 cents for a bed and about the same for a plate of Agnes'
famous baked beans. In 1889 the DeMartins built a new home and
hostelry, with more space for travelers.
Louis passed away in 1907, at which time his children undertook a
complete reconstruction of the house, including the addition of a
second story. The house remained in the hands of the DeMartin family
until 1944, when it was sold. By 1985, the house was vacant and boarded
up, and locals questioned whether it should be torn down.
That's when Hostelling International USA stepped in. In
partnership with the National Park Service, the Coastal Conservancy,
and the California Conservation Corps, the building was renovated once
again and the Redwood Hostel (now HI-Redwood National Park) opened its
doors in June 1987.