Best places to see the Redwood trees

Redwood National and State Park is an aggregation of California owned land which is managed jointly by the National and California Park Services. The official Redwood National Park is near the city of Eureka, but there are large clusters of giant redwood trees scattered as far south as San Francisco and all the way north at Crescent City. Read on to see my favorite things to see in Redwoods national park.

What to expect when visiting Redwood National Park?

Redwood National Park is spread over a large part of Norhern California. It covers about a third of California coastal area, and because of this, it is confusing to actually find the park since it is actually multiple places. So let’s start our exploration of the California Redwoods going north from San Francisco to the border with Oregon near Crescent City.

Elk Meadow - A herd of elks grazing right by the road
Elk Meadow near Crescent City, California – A herd of elks grazing right by the road
See more photos from Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Expect to be in awe of the tallest trees on earth! It is one of the most amazing feelings I have ever felt, looking at these ancient giants towering over everything else. If you are patient to do a few loop trails in these Redwood groves, you will be amazed and refreshed.

Muir Woods National Monument

If you are near San Francisco, Muir Woods National Monument is the simplest way to visit the Redwoods, without having to travel hours. While comparatively small, Muir Woods has beautifully maintained trails that will give you a great glimpse into these amazing trees. However, being close to San Francisco, the park is very very busy especially in the summer months.

Muir Woods National Monument - Undergrowth of a redwood canopy demonstrating the deep shadow under the trees
Muir Woods National Monument – Undergrowth of a redwood canopy demonstrating the deep shadow under the trees
See my photos from San Francisco

If you are planning a trip to this area, you can find budget hotels in the San Francisco area.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Traveling north towards the southern border of Redwoods National Park, you will find the thick Redwood forest in Humboldt Redwoods State Park around the village of Myers Flat. If you travel north you must exit the 101 freeway and take the old road going through the middle of a large Redwoods forest.

This road is called “The Avenue of the Giants”. And it deserves its name!

Avenue of the Giants, California - Starting at the north side of Avenue of the Giants, the redwood forest covers the road.
Avenue of the Giants, California – Starting at the north side of Avenue of the Giants, the redwood forest covers the road.
See more photos from Humboldt Redwoods State Park

This is the easiest area for visiting the Redwood forest. It is located right by the 101 freeway and the highway provides easy access to several easy walking loops through large redwood groves.

Being pressed for time we were only able to walk the large trees loop and drive the entire Avenue of the Giants highway.

Next is the actual Redwoods National Park near the town of Orick.

Redwoods National Park

Continuing south, there is the actual official and oldest Redwoods National Park with the entrance near the town of Orick. The park includes scenic parts of the local state beaches like the Redwood Creek State Beach. Redwood Creek runs through the national park from East to West.

Redwood Creek Beach Park - Large tree root on the beach at Redwood Creek
Redwood Creek Beach Park – Large tree root on the beach at Redwood Creek
See my photos Redwood Creek

If you are planning a trip to this area, you can find budget hotels in the Redwood National Park area.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

A little further south from the town of Klamath, you will find the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. An easy way to go through the park is to actually drive on the Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway which runs through the park. You can pick up this road at this junction.

Prairie Creek Redwoods - Small waterfall on the side of Rhododendron Trail
Prairie Creek Redwoods – Small waterfall on the side of Rhododendron Trail

Trees of Mystery

Yes it is touristy and dated, but is is very easy to visit because it is right on the main highway. The main loop trail is well kept and has beautiful and impressive tree formations. In addition the aerial tramway will take you to an excellent viewing deck high up in the forest.

Trees of Mystery, Klamath - Beautiful young Redwood trees on the Trail of Mysterious Trees
Trees of Mystery, Klamath – Beautiful young Redwood trees on the Trail of Mysterious Trees
See my photos from Trees of Mystery

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

Next Redwoods park traveling south is Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park which is North of the town of Klamath.

Crescent City, California - The Pacific Ocean and Crescent City at sunset
Crescent City, California – The Pacific Ocean and Crescent City at sunset

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

At the northern end, near Crescent City you find the old growth Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park which is the most dense redwood forest. This is my favorite place to see the Redwoods.

This area is designated a UNESCO heritage site. Logging has been prohibited for more than a hundred years which makes this area very old and dense.

edediah Smith Redwoods State Park - Stout Grove trail going through a fallen tree
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park – Stout Grove trail going through a fallen tree
See my photos from Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

But where to go and see the best of Jedediah Smith Redwoods? My cousin loves these places and he took me to the Stout Memorial Grove and the Boyscout Tree Trail to experience these amazing forests. These are both very easy walks through the middle of old growth redwood forest and they are perfect for families and children.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park - The huge trunk of the Boyscout Tree is a great example of how wide the giant redwood trees can get
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park – The huge trunk of the Boyscout Tree is a great example of how wide the giant redwood trees can get
See my photos from Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

If you are just interested in visiting Jedediah Smith State Park you can stay in Crescent City. You can find budget hotels in Crescent City here.

My best tips for planning your trip to Redwoods National and State Park

You must plan your trip efficiently as it will be difficult to see all these areas. You may want to pick only a few specific places that will fit your expectations.

The easiest places for seeing the Redwood trees is to drive to The Avenue of the Giants, Muir Woods National Monument or Trees of Mystery. These places however, are very far apart, so depending on the time you have, pick your best choice. If you are planning to drive all the way north, then try to see Jedediah Smith State park, especially Stout Grove. Even though the road is somewhat rough, this experience is amazing.

Muir Woods National Monument. Read the official Muir Woods website for latest updates and road conditions. If you are looking for places to stay nearby, you can stay in the beautiful town of Salinas. Find budget hotels in Salinas. You can also look for great hotel prices in San Francisco.

Avenue of the Giants. Read the official website for Humboldt Redwoods State Park for latest updates. For visiting The Avenue of the Giants the closest places you can stay in are Fortuna or the Victorian town of Ferndale.

Trees of Mystery. Plan your visit by reading the official Trees of Mystery website. For visiting Trees of Mystery and the northern portions of Redwoods National Park you can stay in Klamath or Crescent City.

Is it worth visiting the Redwoods?

Absolutely! Just like the Sequoias, the Redwood trees are magnificent. Walking among the Redwoods is an awesome experience that is well with your effort. Children will definitely enjoy it as well and you will feel inspired and refreshed.

Read similar articles:

Leave a Reply

Real Time Web Analytics