Exploring Redwood National and State Park
The first major stop on our 15 day road trip was the Redwood National & State Parks. I had driven through this area once when I was a kid. It was definitely time to see it again.
The area known as The Redwoods is a partnership with one National park and three California State Parks. It is home to old growth redwoods and much of the park follows Highway 101 with views of the California coast.
We stayed the evening in Crescent City. First thing in the morning we stopped by the Information Center in town to grab the kids Junior Ranger pamphlets to work on while driving through the Redwoods.
Location: Northwestern California, about 30 minutes from Crescent City
Lodging/Camping: Four campgrounds managed by California State Parks and backcountry camping
Food: No restaurants located within the park
Dogs: Allowed on the beach and paved areas. Also allowed on the gravel roads, Cal Barrel Road and Walker Road.
Entrance Fee: free to enter the National Park , however there are fees at some of the California State Park areas
Park Maps: Link to park maps
The best way to experience these gentle giants is to walk one of the many hiking trails. Things to consider are how much time you have, your hiking comfort level, and how far off the highway you want to go.
The often present fog made a walk to the World War II Radar Station eerie and a bit damp
Built in 1942/43, the radar station was disguised as a farmhouse and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Not only was guarding the Pacific coastline becoming increasingly important after the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Aleutian Islands, but because Japanese submarines fired upon Santa Barbara, British Columbia, and Fort Stevens.
The fog is great for the trees, but hindered our view of the Pacific Ocean.
We didn’t see quite as much wildlife as I thought we would. I guess we weren’t looking hard enough or the fog hid them from us. We did see butterflies, birds, banana slugs, a lizard, and elk.
Looking up we spotted a number of vultures hanging out in an area near a river. So, we pulled over to check it out. I don’t know exactly what the birds found, but it sure did stink.
We went to Elk Meadow, not far from the Prairie Creek Visitor Center, hoping to see the Roosevelt Elk. They weren’t there. However, a little later we spotted them just off Highway 101.
Outside the park are many tourist attractions.
Paul Bunyan at the Trees of Mystery.
We drove through the Tour Thru Tree in Klamath. They weren’t kidding when they said to pull in our mirrors.
We walked through the One Log House and got a snack in the gift shop.
We gawked at the Grandfather Tree, which is 265′ tall, with a diameter of 24′.
Planted near the Grandfather Tree were blue flowers that had gone to seed. Real blue, not the purpley blue most gardeners call blue. Amazing.
Next destination, San Francisco and a visit to the California Academy of Science.
of 15 Day Road Trip
LEAVE NO TRACE
UNESCO World Heritage Site
A World Heritage Site is a designated area with “outstanding universal value” administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The goal is to preserve and protect these cultural, historical, or natural areas throughout the world. The Redwoods are under this protection.
Thinking About Visiting the Redwoods?
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