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Redwood National and State Parks

Home of the world’s tallest trees

Redwood National Park. Photo by Michael Schweppe
Redwood National Park. Photo by Michael Schweppe, Wikimedia Commons

Park Information

HIGHLIGHTS: Discover a region so extraordinary that it was named a World Heritage site for safeguarding 45 percent of the world’s protected ancient redwood forest. People visit from all over the globe to experience the world’s tallest trees, panoramic coastline and signature wildlife. You’ll find pristine wilderness, hundreds of miles of hiking and bicycling trails, self-guided nature trails, picnicking, camping, river swimming and horseback riding.

Redwood National and State Parks are managed by the National Park Service and California State Parks. The four-park complex includes Redwood National Park and Jedediah Smith, Del Norte and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks.

ACTIVITIES: Pristine wilderness offers visitors hundreds of miles of hiking and bicycling trails, self-guided nature trails, wildlife spotting, picnicking, camping, river swimming and horseback riding (call 707-465-7335 for horseback riding information). From the Smith River to the Pacific Ocean, the foggiest parts of the ancient redwood forests to the clear meadows filled with elk and songbirds, visitors are guaranteed a wild and truly inspiring experience at Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP).

VISITOR CENTER: There is no visitor center in Del Norte Coast Redwoods SP. The visitor center at Prairie Creek is open year round, located 50 miles north of Eureka and 25 miles south of Crescent City on Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway off of Highway 101. The Jedediah Smith Redwoods Visitor Center and Hiouchi Information Center are right across the road from each other nine miles east of Crescent City on Highway 199. The former is run by the state and the latter by the feds, but you can get the same excellent park information at either.

CAMPGROUNDS: With 145 sites, Mill Creek Campground in Del Norte RSP is open from May through September and offers views of both spring wildflowers and autumn colors. Amenities include bear-resistant lockers and restrooms with showers. The campground is about 7 miles south of Crescent City, 2 miles off Highway 101. At Jedediah Smith RSP, the campground is just west of the visitor center, with 86 sites. Prairie Creek RSP has two campgrounds. Elk Prairie Campground lies along Prairie Creek, just south of the visitor center. Gold Bluffs Beach Campground is 10 miles from Orick on Davison Road, off Highway 101. For reservations at any campground, call (800) 444-7275 or visit Gold Bluffs is the exception: This campground is first-come, first served. Backcountry camping is allowed with a permit obtained at a visitor center, 24 hours or less in advance.

TRAILS: 200 miles in the four-park complex. The Damnation Creek Trail in Del Norte RSP is steep. It starts at about 1,000 feet in elevation and dips down to sea level in one mile. But it’s well worth it. Allow 3 hours or so for the 4.4-mile round trip. You‰’ll be rewarded with old-growth redwoods, Sitka spruce, exquisite ocean views and in May and June, masses of rhododendrons in bloom. From Highway 101 in Crescent City, go south 8 miles to a signed turnout on the west at mile marker 16.

MUST-SEE UNIQUE FEATURE OR SEASONAL HIGHLIGHT: Roosevelt elk rut in the fall at Prairie Creek RSP. Picture 1,200-pound bulls bugling and crashing together with their huge antlers.

HIDDEN GEMS: More than a century ago, supplies were hauled inland from Crescent City on a road made of redwood planks. Parts of the old Crescent City Plank Road can be viewed by hikers on the Leiffer and Ellsworth trails at Jedediah Smith RSP. Driving east on Highway 199, turn north on Walker Road and proceed about half a mile to the Leiffer trailhead.

FEATURES ACCESSIBLE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: All visitor centers. Many picnic areas, Big Tree Wayside Trail. Wheelchairs for loan available at Crescent City. Beach wheelchair at Crescent City and Gold Bluffs Beach.

DOGS: On leash at all times. Not allowed on park trails, at programs, or in park buildings.


MORE INFORMATION: Visit Redwood National and State Parks; Redwood Parks Association, or call the four-park headquarters, the Crescent City Information Center, 1111 Second St., Crescent City CA, at (707) 465-7335.

Trip Ideas from Our Staff and Friends

EAT: Christine Aralia, Land Project Manager, suggests Good Harvest Cafe (external link) in Crescent City for large portions and fresh ingredients.

FAVORITE PARK ATTRACTION: See the wild Smith River with our live redwoods webcam!

DON’T MISS: Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

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