6 awesome holiday activities in the redwoods

Train rides, hikes, and snowshoeing

Two people snowshoeing in a giant sequoia grove on a sunny day.
Snowshoers enjoy the beauty of Sequoia National Park. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks offer guided snowshoeing. Photo by Max Forster, @maxforsterphotography

Redwood forests are great places to celebrate the holiday season with friends and family. Here are activities throughout the range, from the towering coast redwood forests to the snowy giant sequoia groves.

97th Annual Trek to the Nation’s Christmas Tree

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 11, 2022
Kings Canyon National Park (east of Fresno)
$85 per person
Reservations: 559-875-4575 or sangerchamber@gmail.com
Join Sanger District Chamber of Commerce on chartered buses for a quarter-mile trek to the General Grant Tree, an ancient giant sequoia officially dedicated as the Nation’s Christmas Tree on April 28, 1926, by the United States Department of the Interior. The event includes mimosa cocktails and brunch. The bus is not accessible to wheelchairs.

 

Walk/Snowshoe Among Giant Sequoias

10 a.m. Fridays through Sundays through Feb. 19, 2023
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (east of Fresno)
$25 per person, including adult snowshoes
Join Sequoia Parks Conservancy for a two-hour hike or snowshoe through the Giant Forest. If snow is lacking, the group will hike instead.

Holiday Tree Walk and Steam Train Ride

Various times. Dec. 10-11, 17-18, 2022
Felton (near Santa Cruz)
$24.95-$39.95 per person
Dogs allowed
Ride the wheelchair-accessible Redwood Forest Steam Train over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp, the railroad and the forest. Sip hot drinks while greeting Santa Claus.

 

Christmas Tree Skunk Train

Various times through Dec. 31, 2022
Willits, Mendocino County
$59.95-$94.95 per person; $10.95 per dog
Board the wheelchair-accessible Skunk Train through the coast redwoods for seasonal treats and decor on a journey to Mr. Skunk’s Giant Christmas Tree, a decorated redwood along the line, which also serves as the workshop for Santa Mr. Skunk. Back at the Willits Depot, climb aboard one of the historic Skunk motorcars to meet Santa Mr. Skunk and take a photo.

 

Guided Walks Through the Redwoods

2 p.m. most Fridays through Sundays through May 2023
Redwood National and State Parks, Humboldt and Del Norte counties
Free of charge
Join a park guide for one-hour family friendly and educational walks through the ancient coast redwoods of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

 

First-Day Hike

9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 1, 2023
George’s Picnic Area, The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park (near Santa Cruz)
Hike is free of charge; vehicle day-use fee is $8
Start off the new year with a hike through the coast redwood forest with state park interpreters. During this 3-hour, 4-mile hike, see the site of the town of Loma Prieta, remnants of a sawmill, and marine fossils deep in the forest. Bring water and snacks.

About the author

Jennifer Charney, Senior Manager of Marketing Communications, leads the production of many Save the Redwoods League publications. She brings a lifelong love of nature to her role.

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