On the northern Pacific shore of California lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site called the Redwoods National Park that is the home of the tallest trees on the planet – the Redwoods due to which it got its name.
Protecting a myriad of giant redwood groves that can survive for 2000 years, the park has attracted several tourists just because of this single attraction – when in early morning the fog hugs the trees and their misty tall shadows guides you trekking the different trails. However, this does not mean that this is the only attraction in the Redwoods National Park.
If you enter the park from the south, I recommend stopping at the Redwood Information Center in the Orick zone off the Highway 101. Besides picking the trail map, explore the exhibits as well as publications telling you all regarding the trees, shore, and park. If at all you are coming from the north, visit the Hiouchi Information Center on Highway 199, which caters to you only in summer season. For information on any day, be in its Crescent City area’s Park Headquarters. Tip: do explore the close by highlights: Del Norte County Museum, Battery Point Lighthouse, and Citizens Dock.
These are available in form of hiking, scenic driving, swimming, horseback riding, camping, and wildlife viewing. If you come in summer, do not miss the 2.5-hour seashore or tide pool strolls at the Enderts Beach. Coastal driving is at its best on the 8-mile route in the park’s Klamath area via which you can marvel at the redwoods, Klamath River, and Pacific Ocean. Must do: Drive the Fern Canyon and Howland Hill Road as well as Kayak on the Klamath River.
Walking and hiking
Redwoods National Park offers some 200 miles of trails. I would recommend trying out the Redwood Creek Trail that leads you to the Tall Trees Grove (8.5 miles) where the redwoods are seen on the creek levels and the Lady Bird Johnson loop trail that is a self-guided one meandering via a forest, historical site, and the grove. If you pick up any of the 70 miles of Coastal Trail, you get a chance to discover the wet forests, grasslands, beaches, and tide pools.
The trails are very good to trek particularly in the early morning. Alternatively, you can even be on them during the time of medium fog. During these times, the mist as well as fog offers so scenic views that you are surely to feel in heaven!
Several redwood sentinels
Panorama of the trees on US 101
Lady Bird Johnson Grove
Tall Trees Grove
Gold Bluffs beach
The stretching coastline
Flora and Fauna
Crabs and colorful anemones in tide pools
Douglas fir trees
Hardwoods and shrubs where land meets sea
Northern spotted owl
Western snowy plover
Steller’s sea lion
Best time to visit
Although the Redwoods National Park is open throughout the year, spring or fall is the ideal time to explore. This is because winters are very chilled, while summers bring in highway-jam flocks. No matter whether it is fall or spring, you can still see the bird migrations that add to the redwood beauty. In spring, rhododendrons are seen in plenty here, while the fall features mystifyingly colorful deciduous trees.
Mill Creek Campground from May to August
Gold Bluffs Beach Campground
Jedediah Smith Campground
Elk Prairie Campground
Reaching the park
There are many ways to reach at this park. Of these, the best one is the US 101 that is lined by trees. The Redwood Highway is another option that runs along the park. From the south, it is wise to follow US 101 where you will have to visit the information center as stated above, located at a distance of 40 miles from Eureka in north. If you are coming from the east, you need to drive on US 199 that is a breezy as well as scenic redwood-lined highway.
This is the area of earthquakes and tsunamis. So, kindly inquire about the weather before coming here.