The redwood forests are one of the most important natural treasures in the world, home to rare beauty and biodiversity found nowhere else. The coast redwoods stand in a narrow band stretching 450 miles from southern Oregon to the Big Sur coast. This strip is home to the tallest trees on Earth, some reaching higher than a 35-story building. Some of these giants were alive during the time of the Roman Empire.
We almost lost the coast redwood forest after the 1849 Gold Rush and the explosive demand for timber. Only 5 percent of the ancient forest remains today. Save the Redwoods League, founded in 1918, brought the forest back from the brink of extinction by buying and protecting ancient coast redwood groves (and giant sequoia groves in the Sierra Nevada). These purchases helped to create 66 parks and reserves for future generations to experience.
No matter what you like to do outside, an unforgettable experience awaits you, your friends and family in California’s redwood parks. Nothing compares to standing in the cathedral-like groves, next to trees whose beauty and size is almost beyond belief, witnessing golden light filtering through the canopies, and seeing fairy-tale blankets of redwood sorrel and trillium on the forest floor. Our new, free Explore Coast Redwoods eguide can help make these experiences yours.
In the guide, we feature 24 amazing parks, from Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near the Oregon border, to Wilder Ranch State Park near Santa Cruz. These places offer a wide range of activities, from hiking, bicycling, fishing, and wildlife viewing, to camping, swimming and kayaking. We also include where you can see giant ancient redwoods, where you can bring your dog, and which parks offer features accessible to wheelchair users. Some of the parks are a short ride from urban areas. Others are wild, rugged and remote. The guide will help you plan your visit to the redwood forest with tips on where and when to go, what to bring, and where to stay. When you go, expect a magical time!