One Perfect Weekend In: Redwood National Park
Visiting the age-old redwood forests of California is a popular bucket list activity. These ancient trees are among the oldest living organisms on Earth – some reaching 400 feet tall. Before commercial logging reduced the landscape in the 19th and 20th centuries, these beautiful trees could be found along the coast of Oregon, and in central to northern California. Even so, many redwood forests still stand tall today, and are protected as endangered species in state and national parks. At these parks, visitors can see these beautiful groves up close. Here’s our itinerary for the perfect weekend in Redwood National Park:
Friday - Jedediah Smith State Park
This is the best location to start your redwood journey. Jedediah Smith State Park is the most historically significant of the Redwood National and State Parks. The park, near Crescent City off of Highway 199, includes a campground, trails and nearby lodging. Explore the area, starting with the Boy Scout Tree Trail to Howland Hill Road. From there, you can venture to the Lieffer and Ellsworth loops and then Simpson Reed Grove. After a long day of hiking, you can even sleep among the redwoods at the banks of the Smith River.
Saturday - Crescent City, CA and Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
As you continue south to Crescent City, you can take some time to explore the lighthouse and coastal scenery. Just north of Crescent City, you will find a seaside coastal park – Point St. George Beach. There are also some nearby islands to see, and the Battery Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1856 and is one of the oldest of its kind. Pay attention to the time if you wish to visit, as tours are only available when the lighthouse is accessible during low tide. Moving south from Crescent City to Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, you will find old-growth redwoods and an exquisite ocean view along a 4-mile trail. Be prepared to hike back uphill on the return if you plan to trek the entire trail – there’s a 1,000-foot descent at the second mile. After your hike, consider staying the night at Elk Prairie Campground.
Sunday - Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is the most diverse landscape of all of the redwood parks. Spend your last day enjoying a walk through Elk Prairie, where you can sometimes see elk in the area. Don’t miss Elk Meadow, where the majestic animals are most often seen. On your final day, take time to enjoy the beach at Gold Bluffs and then finish your trip with a trek through Fern Canyon. Planning to stay another night? Set up camp at Gold Bluffs Beach and enjoy a night on the shore.
Check it out on the map:
Do you have other recommendations for touring Redwood Forests? Tell us about them in the comments below!
Walking around Redwood Forests are a great way to get closer to nature while you’re travelling, so it’s worth taking some time out to visit. Book your next RV trip with Mighway and let the journey unfold!