Points of Interest at Redwood National Park

One of the United States’ most iconic national parks, Redwood National Park is home to vast groves of giant ancient redwood trees. The park also protects prairies, woodlands, grasslands, and stretches of beach, which make this an incredibly unique and versatile natural getaway. Be sure to explore Redwood National Park’s main points of interest during your visit!

Fern Canyon 

A stunning canyon with ferns dramatically enveloping its walls, Fern Canyon is so scenic it was used as a filming location for one of the Jurassic Park films. Enjoy this one-mile loop around the canyon which will take you past hidden waterfalls and lovely lush scenery.

Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a gorgeous grove of redwood trees which honors the former first lady, “Lady Bird” Jonson, who was an environmental activist. Enjoy the 1.5-mile scenic loop while you admire the ancient redwoods along your way.

Klamath River Overlook 

This breathtaking overlook offers views of the Klamath River where it runs into the sparkling Pacific Ocean. A wonderful place for wildlife viewing, at Klamath River Overlook you may have the opportunity to see whales or sea lions!

Big Tree Wayside

As its name suggests, Big Tree Wayside is home to an enormous tree! Thought to be about 1,500 years old and standing at 300 feet tall, this spectacular tree is certainly worth a visit. The walk to Big Tree Wayside is quick and easy, making for a nice short stop along your way.

Trillium Falls 

The 1-mile round trip hike to Trillium Falls offers plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities, and you’re likely to catch a glimpse of elk along your way. The trail leads to Trillium Falls, a beautiful 10-foot waterfall in the heart of the forest.

Tall Trees Grove

Tall Trees Grove is home to several of the tallest trees in the world. This 4-mile round trip hike is moderate, so be prepared with sturdy hiking shoes and plenty of water. A permit is also required to hike this trail so be sure to look into the requirements ahead of time! 

Places to Visit After Redwood National Park

A scenic national park located on the North Coast of California, Redwood National Park is defined by the giant ancient redwood trees that it protects. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this national park offers much to explore. Once you’ve had your fill of Redwood National Park, continue your journey at the following destinations!

Lassen Volcanic National Park – Just over 4 hours from Redwood National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park offers a unique variety of natural wonders, including thermal and geologic features, volcanoes, and more. You’ll enjoy the contrast of this natural park to the lush scenery in the Redwoods.

San Francisco, California – About 5.5 hours away from Redwood National Park lies San Francisco, one of America’s most impressive cities. Make your way over to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, take a tour of the infamous Alcatraz prison, and hike in the city’s breathtaking mountains.

Eureka, California – Only 45 minutes from Redwood National Park, Eureka makes for a great stopping point before or after your visit to the park. Eureka also provides plenty of overnight lodging accommodations if you plan to stay in this charming city during your visit to Redwood National Park.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park –  Head to Humboldt Redwoods State Park an hour and a half outside of Redwood National Park to explore a greater variety of ancient redwoods. Take a drive along the scenic Avenue of the Giants highway for striking views of this state park.

Shelter Cove, California – Situated on California’s Lost Coast, Shelter Cove is a stunningly beautiful natural destination to continue onto from Redwood National Park. Here you can explore the black sand beaches, go fishing, hiking, swimming, surfing, whale watching, and more.

Staying Safe at Redwood National Park

Situated on California’s North Coast, Redwood National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects groves of massive, ancient redwood trees. Visitors to Redwood National Park will be captivated by the natural beauty of this scenic area. It’s important that guests to the park take the necessary safety precautions to ensure a smooth visit!

Weather 

Redwood National Park sees a significant amount of rain, so make sure to bring proper rain gear and sturdy footwear for slippery paths. Wear layers to adapt to changing temperatures. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and strong tides are all common in this area due to the large amounts of seismic activity in the region. It’s smart to have (and know how to use) a tide table, and if you encounter a tsunami, quickly make your way to higher ground and remain there until it passes. 

Wildlife 

There are a large number of Roosevelt elk in the park, and it’s important to view them from a safe distance both for your safety and theirs. Never come between a mother elk and her calf, as they can be extremely protective and dangerous. Black bears are also common in Redwood National Park, so be sure to securely store your food and scented items to avoid attracting them to your campsite. Make plenty of noise while hiking along the trails to avoid surprising bears, mountain lions, or any other wildlife you may encounter. Never feed or approach wild animals and always maintain a safe distance. Ticks and poison oak are also concerns when visiting Redwood National Park. Wear long pants, sturdy hiking shoes, bug spray, and always stay on the designated paths. Be sure to check yourself frequently for ticks during and after your visit to the park. 

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Safety- Redwood National Park

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How to Spend a Weekend in Redwood National Park

Located on California’s North Coast, Redwood National Park has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Characterized by giant redwood trees, this national park is truly something to behold. If you’ve only got a weekend to spend exploring the ancient Redwoods, you’ll want to be sure to see as much as you can.

What to Do

Hiking

The best way to explore this park is by hiking. There are many stunningly beautiful hiking paths throughout Redwood National Park that will offer you the full experience in a weekend. Some of the most popular trails include Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail, Prairie Creek – Foothill Trail Loop, Big Tree Wayside Walk, and James Irvine Trail to Fern Canyon Loop.

Wildlife Viewing

There is no shortage of unique flora and fauna to see in Redwood National Park. Beyond the magnificent trees, you should also come prepared to see wild animals like black bears, sea stars, bald eagles, elk, sea lions, and gray whales, among many others. Some of the park’s endangered species include the Brown Pelican, Western Snowy Plover, Chinook Salmon, Marbled Murrelet, Tidewater Goby, Northern Spotted Owl, Steller’s Sea Lion, Coho Salmon, and Steelhead Trout.

Stargazing

This natural, untouched area provides the perfect environment for stargazing with dark night skies that offer an unforgettable view of the stars. This is why Redwood National Park is excellent for lovers of astronomy.

Where to Stay

There are no hotels or lodging accommodations within the park, but you’ll have no problem finding a place to stay in the nearby towns of Klamath and Crescent City. Camping is a popular option for lodging at nearby state parks which have several campgrounds. 

How to Get There

The easiest way to get to Redwood National Park is to drive. However, if you plan to fly, there are two small airports that will get you to the park. These are the Arcata-Eureka Airport, which has daily flights from San Francisco, and Del Norte County Regional Airport, which has two daily flights from Portland, Oregon. 

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Wildlife in Redwood National Park

Stout Grove, Jedediah Smith State Park, Steve Olson ©

Redwood National Park is one of the oldest, most sacred parks in the entire world. Home to the oldest trees on the planet, this California park is certainly something you can’t find anywhere else. Plus, its proximity to the ocean means you can enjoy both land and marine life on your journey.

Check out these magnificent trees and experience some of the best whale watching in the world at spots like Crescent Beach Overlook, Wilson Creek, High Bluff Overlook, Gold Bluffs Beach, and the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center. While you’re watching the whales, be sure to peer into the tide pools that are home to entire communities of microorganisms, small fish, and marine plants.

On land, feast your eyes on the impressive elk, bears, deer, and mountain lions that proudly call the park their home. Don’t forget to look out for the smaller land mammals, like squirrels, shrews, beavers, and porcupines, too.

Redwood National Park’s Top Animals

  • Whales
  • Elk
  • Fish
  • Opossums
  • Squirrels
  • Shrews
  • Black-Tailed Deer
  • Otters
  • Skunks
  • Mountain Lions
  • Foxes
  • Coyotes
  • Porcupines
  • Beavers

Viewing Locations

Klamath River Overlook: Permanent residence for many gray whales
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park: Elk
Bald Hills Road: Elk
Enderts Beach: Tide pools viewing

When Should You Go?

If you are on a mission to see the whales, peak migration months for viewing gray whales are from November to December and March to April. If you want to see the elk, the calves are born in May and June, which means if you’re lucky, you can catch an entire elk family.

Overall, the park provides more amicable visiting conditions from March through November. Due to the wet environment from the Pacific Ocean, the park has a more temperate climate than those of the parks located in states like Wyoming and Montana. There is nothing like the Redwood National Park anywhere in the world!

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