We do not remember days, we remember moments.Cesare Pavese
About the Park
Redwood National Park is in the northernmost coastal areas of California and is home to the old-growth coastal Redwood trees, the tallest in the world. These magnificent trees can be over 300 feet tall and live more than 2,000 years. The park is surrounded by three great State Parks, which make up Redwood National and State Parks.
Check out the view from the park!
Live it up!
Best Things to do in the Park
- Take the Old Highway 101 Coastal Drive as you cruise along the coast with great views
- Go see the Big Tree on a short hike in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
- Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Grove of giant trees near the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center
- Go hiking in Fern Canyon. This area was made famous in the filming of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, where this area represented an ancient island with dinasurs
- Drive the Howland Hill Road. This is a narrow road that winds through the forest in and around the giants. This was one of our favorites and is best in early morning when there are no other cars
- See the ancient giants of Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
Annie was a big part of our Airstream journey around the country in 2021 as she visited 49 out of 50 states and many National Parks. She looked pretty tiny sitting inside this giant coastal Redwood. We enjoyed the cool weather and quiet evenings of Redwoods National Park in California. This beautiful coastal area was amazingly different from the scorching summer temperatures of the Central Valley of the state.
Size of Park
The coastal redwoods are the world’s tallest trees reaching 380 feet!
While the Redwood National Park is well known for its tall redwood trees, it is also home to coastal drives, hikes, prairies, wild rivers, and old-growth forests. Located in Northern California, this park proves to be an excellent getaway for those who want an outdoor escape from the cities.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, heavy logging decimated a large portion of the forest that once covered two million acres of land. Today, California State Parks and National Park Service have restored these lands so the public can enjoy this fascinating ecosystem!
During fall and spring, migratory birds are seen flying across the forest. The park is also particularly popular in spring due to the blooming rhododendrons that add color to the forest.
There are more than 200 miles of hiking trails inside the Redwood National Park, all of which highlight the greenery of this landscape! The trails are relatively easy.
Damnation Creek Trail
Damnation Creek Trail is 3.4 miles long, and while that does not seem like a very long journey, it does have a slight elevation change.
The path winds through the trees and eventually leads you to the rocky coastline. The hike is lovely during spring as the track is decorated with wildflowers that immediately stand out in the green forest!
James Irvine Trail
James Irvine Trail may be one of the few long-distance trails in the park. Skilled hikers usually choose this track as it is a little over 10 miles long with more than 400 meters of elevation. The path takes you through creeks and old-growth redwood groves. Another reason why the trail is quite popular is that it also leads to Fern Canyon, offering the best of both worlds!
Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail
This is a short 1.5-mile trail that winds through the redwood grove. The redwoods in this area are over 2,000 years old. Lady Bird Johnson, the first lady of the United States during the 1960s, inspired the trail’s name. The trail itself has minimal elevation and is suitable for all. As you trek on this pathway, it will be hard not to get mesmerized by the rolling fog surrounding the tall trees!
Boy Scout Tree Trail
This is yet another one of the most scenic trails in the park, which crosses forest floors covered in ferns and passes through groves of giant redwoods. The entire round trip is 5.3 miles long and starts from Howland Hill Road. Many hikers combine this trail with Stout Grove Trail to make their hike longer and explore a larger area of the park.
Stout Grove Trail
This trail is less than a mile long and showcases a 44-acre grove of old-growth redwood trees. Most of these trees have been here for thousands of years, and therefore, you will see many redwoods over 300 feet tall. In addition, the trail is near the Smith River, a popular picnic point for hikers!
Camping in the Park
Redwood National Park in California has four developed campgrounds where reservations are recommended. While the campsites offer essentials to the campers, they do not have any hookups.
The campground is located in the middle of the old-growth redwood grove and contains 86 tent or RV sites. The Smith River is nearby, where campers can enjoy swimming and fishing. In addition, hiker/biker sites are available on the campground, along with other amenities such as hot showers, restrooms, dump stations, ADA-accessible cabins, picnic tables, and food lockers.
Mill Creek Campground offers a chance to sleep under the young coast redwoods while having access to Mill Creek. With over 140 campsites, the campground provides hot showers, a dump station, restrooms, picnic tables, trash receptacles, and food lockers. Only 24-foot trailers or 28-foot RVs are allowed on the campground.
Camping in the Elk Prairie Campground means that you will not only enjoy the ancient coast redwoods but will also appreciate the wildlife, including Roosevelt elk and black-tailed deer. In addition, campers have easy access to hiking and biking trails along with seasonal ranger-led programs. The 75 camping sites offer ADA-accessible restrooms, hot showers, ADA-accessible cabins, firepits, picnic tables, food lockers, and a campfire center.
This campground is perfect for those who are looking to experience the wild Pacific coastline of the Redwood National Park. Gold Bluffs Beach Campground provides access to a secluded beach along with 70 miles of hiking and biking trails. There are 26 tent and RV sites on the campground with basic amenities, including restrooms, showers, wind shelters, picnic tables, food lockers, and fire pits.
Some campgrounds near Redwood National Park are Sylvan Harbor Campground and Klamath River RV Park. The camping sites here offer full hookups, laundry, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV. While Klamath River RV Park is designated for RVs only, Sylvan Harbor Campground has seven tent sites and 70 RV sites.
The most popular tourist spot in the park is undisputedly the Fern Canyon. The name of this viewpoint does not deceive, as you will get to see what a fern-covered canyon looks like!
The canyon is almost 50 feet high and covered in mosses and ferns, giving off an ancient vibe! However, some of these plant species have been on Earth for millions of years. As you visit Fern Canyon, expect to get wet in the process, as there is a lot of water in the area that keeps these ferns alive!
In an unexpected place in the middle of the towering trees of the Redwood National Park, you will find a picturesque waterfall. Located on the Trillium Creek, this 15 feet waterfall may be small, but the entire landscape charms the onlooker. As you enjoy water gushing out from the moss-covered rocks, you can’t help but marvel at the park’s natural beauty, where you will find out what a true forest experience can be like!
Redwood Creek Overlook
If you want to have an expansive view of the Pacific Ocean and old-growth forest, you won’t find a better view than the one at Redwood Creek Overlook. Due to the elevation level, sometimes the landscape can get covered in clouds, creating the perfect setting for a gorgeous sunset.
When the weather is clear, you can see the stark difference between the lighter green secondary-growth forests and the dark green old-growth redwood forest. There are also interpretive signs installed on the overlook that explain such visual differences in the landscape.
Gold Bluffs Beach
You can visit this gorgeous beach if you are in the mood for some ‘vitamin sea.’ The park got its name from the gold discovery made in the 1850s. While any attempts to extract the gold were futile, the name stuck! Today, tourists visit this beach to enjoy its iconic golden bluffs.
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