Looking for the best things to do in Redwood National Park and Redwoods State Parks? These are our favorites.
Coastal redwoods can reach a height of 377 ft, and on average, they are from 200-240 ft. They are the tallest living things in the world, and the best places to see them are in Redwood National Park and State Parks.
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Last Updated: May 31, 2023
- About Redwood National and State Parks
- Best Things to Do in Redwood National Park and State Parks
- Map of Top Things to Do in Redwood NP
- More Viewpoints & Drives
- Beaches in Redwood National Park
- More Things to Do in Redwood National Park
- Visitor Centers at Redwood National Park
- Best Places to Eat
- What is the Closest City to Redwood National Park?
- What’s the Best Way to Get To Redwood National Park?
- Where Should I Stay to See the Redwoods?
- What You Need to Know Before You Go / Frequently Asked Questions
- Tips for Your Visit to Redwood National Park
- How Should I Pack for a Redwood National Park Trip?
- Planning Checklist
- What’s Nearby
- More Resources
About Redwood National and State Parks
Redwood National Park and the adjoining 3 Redwood State Parks are located in northern California. They are 6 hours north of San Francisco and 6 hours south of Portland OR.
The first time we drove through, we were confused with so many parks and forests with Redwoods in the name.
Unlike other National Parks, Redwood National Park partners with 3 California Redwoods State Parks (RSP): Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Many people refer to the collective parks as Redwood National Park.
Combined, these parks cover over 130,000 acres with nearly 40,000 of them being old-growth redwood forests. That’s roughly half of the world’s old-growth redwoods!
In this post, we will cover the top things to do in all 4 parks plus a few notable activities that stretch into nearby Redwood forests and surrounding communities.
Is your Redwoods trip part of a larger trip? We think you’ll also like these posts:
- All the Best Stops on Your California Coast Road Trip
- Your Ultimate SF Bucket List – 101 Things to Do in San Francisco
- 7+ Amazing Things to Do in Sonoma County
15 Best Things to Do at the Redwood National and State Parks
1. Fern Canyon, Prairie Creek RSP
41.400661,-124.0665442, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park map
This was by far the most popular spot we visited in Redwood National Park. If you feel like you’re in a scene of Jurrasic Park while walking through Fern Canyon, that’s because you are. They filmed scenes from The Lost World here.
The roughly one-mile trail follows Home Creek through the forest. You walk through modest streams while the vertical walls are covered in a variety of ferns (there are five different kinds) and other moisture-loving plants and mosses.
You can hike as little as 0.5 miles to see the pretty parts or up to 5 miles through the whole canyon. There are other trails you can continue on that take you out of the canyon to see it from above too.
Getting to the easiest trailhead is straightforward, but you have to drive on a dirt road for about 6.5 miles. There are a few spots where you have to navigate over streams and holes, one of which looked sketchy. Our sedan was able to make it through but only after following the example of another smaller car.
Other people got out of their cars trying to suss out if they could make it. If it recently rained, the streams may be deeper and impassable. Check out driving directions here and road/trail conditions here.
Local Tip: There is an $8 fee to get in, but there isn’t always an attendant at the pay station. If no one is there, you need exact change (or a check if you still have those) to put in the envelope you fill out.
Pro Tip: Have water shoes you don’t mind getting wet or good waterproof boots. We had our favorite Danners on and stayed dry.
2. Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Redwood NP
41.3034279,-124.0203284, Redwood National Park, map
This is a popular first or last hike in the redwoods since it’s located on the southern end of the park. It’s an easy 1.5-mile loop trail and was named after Lady Bird Johnson, who promoted the protection of natural habitats as First Lady. Look out for the plaque dedicated to her.
Most of the Redwood hikes look similar, but we loved the big footbridge at the start of the hike here. There’s a patch of light that hits it through the thick canopy above.
Local Tip: The scenic drive up Bald Hills Road is narrow and windy. RVs and trailers are not recommended, and the parking area fills up quickly in the summer.
3. Tall Trees Grove, Redwood NP
41.2081242,-124.0106467, Redwood National Park, map
The Tall Trees Grove is another highly trafficked spot in Redwood National Park but also the most difficult to reach out of the major attractions.
To protect Tall Trees Grove, a permit is required to do the hike, and they limit it to 50 parties each day. In addition to that, the 4-mile hike has 1,600 feet of elevation change and the grove is only in the last section.
If you’re limited on time, I would skip this since it will take 3-6 hours. Only go if you’re in the area for longer or are particularly interested in former Tallest Trees.
The Libbey Tree, which is the only former Tallest Tree you can see is located in this grove. All other trees are kept secret to protect them.
Local Tip: Driving to the trailhead includes 7 miles on a dirt road, and the parking lot doesn’t accommodate vehicles over 21 feet.
See More: 15 Least Crowded National Parks in the US to Visit Next
4. Stourt Grove, Jedediah Smith RSP
Stout Grove was the furthest north we went. It’s a short 0.5-mile hike, but it was one of our favorite things to do in Redwood National Park. The fallen trees among the concentration of tall trees still standing made this hike more dramatic and unique.
We went around sunrise and were fortunate enough to have the trail to ourselves, but during the summer, it’s a very popular trail.
You can also pop out to check out Smith River or extend the hike by connecting other trails.
Local Tip: During the summer, visit between 4-5 PM for the best light. The sun is able to shine through a break in the canopy over Mill Creek. At other times of the year, the sun isn’t at the right angle for the light beams. I’ve also seen photos of morning light beams, but I’m not sure what time of year they took them.
Pro Tip: There are a lot of mosquitos in the summer, so have bug spray with you.
5. Klamath River Overlook, Del Norte Coast RSP
41.5544132,-124.0888776, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, map
At the divide, it looks like a large sandbar with the mouth of the Klamath River on the left and the Pacific Ocean on your right. You can follow a steep trail if you want to get a closer look.
This is also a great spot for birding and to look for marine life. You may even catch gray whiles migrating in the spring and fall. Just be sure to bring some binoculars.
Pro Tip: The view from the overlook wasn’t as nice as the one further down the road. There was a small pullout big enough for one car right above the “sandbar”.
6. Trillium Falls, Redwood NP
41.3215989,-124.0473848, Redwood National Park, map
Trillium Falls is a family-friendly hike in Redwood National Park. You hike through redwoods, maples, ferns, and half a mile in, you’ll find the small waterfall that you can see from a bridge.
You can turn around at the waterfall or do the full loop totaling 3.1 miles. If you’re quiet and lucky, you may even see the local Roosevelt elk herd.
7. Enderts Beach, Del Norte Coast RSP
We weren’t initially planning on doing this hike, but after seeing the beach from above, curiosity got the best of us. The 1.5-mile hike is easy to follow and passes under tree tunnels and wild berries. During our visit in October, there were a ton of berries that you can pick and eat.
Once you arrive at the beach, you are standing over a beautiful rock arch. During low tide, it’s a popular place to explore tidepools. Be sure to check out the tide chart before visiting.
We went right as the tide was coming in and cut it close. We were able to get through the arch but got owned by some waves when we weren’t paying attention.
I’m blaming Jacob for this one. He kept telling me he was watching the waves.
8. Crescent Beach Overlook, Del Norte Coast RSP
Crescent Beach Overlook is right next to the Enderts Beach parking lot. It’s a quick stop and a popular place to look for whales. You can also see the harbor of Crescent City when it’s not foggy or have lunch at the picnic tables when it’s not too windy.
Local Tip: There’s only parking for two vehicles at the overlook, but you can easily walk from the Enderts Beach parking lot as well.
9. California Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast RSP
As you can tell, Redwood National Park is best known for the coastal redwoods, but you shouldn’t forget about the actual coast. You can explore up to 70 miles of Coastal Trail within the parks with opportunities to tidepool, enjoy sandy beaches, and awe at the jagged coastlines.
There are several access points, and it’s mostly continuous in the parks except for a detour over the Klamath River. There are a handful of backcountry camps that you can get permits for too.
The California Coastal Trail aims to encourage non-motorized transportation and help foster appreciation and stewardship of the coast. The goal is to create an interconnected public trail system that runs over 1,230 miles from Oregon to Mexico. It is currently 70% completed and managed by the California Coastal Conservancy.
Local Tip: Get more details about the backcountry camps here.
See More: Your Ultimate California Coast Road Trip – All the Best Stops
10. Redwood Creek Overlook, Redwood NP
I wouldn’t go out of the way for this viewpoint, but if you’re in the area, it’s a nice quick stop that lets you see expansive views of thousands of old-growth redwood forests. In the distance, you can see the Pacific Ocean too.
During our visit, the shrubs grew in so it was hard for me to get a good vantage point.
Local Tip: When it’s foggy or if there are a lot of low-hanging clouds, you won’t see much so check the weather before visiting.
Pro Tip: Use a tall tripod to get out of the shrubs.
11. Kayak on the Coast with Kayak Trinidad
1148 Big Lagoon Park Rd, Trinidad, CA 95570, map
We’ve kayaked in many places, and Trinidad Harbor is easily some of the most spectacular coastal paddling we’ve done. Kayak Trinidad has a few launching points for their guided paddles and has an amazing staff that walks you through everything you need to know.
They provided wetsuits, a quick lesson on how to paddle, and then helped us launch off the coast without getting wet. Once we were on the water, they guided us around different landmarks, and we saw pelicans, sea lions, and starfish.
They have wildlife tours, and if you go during the spring (late February to mid-May) you can even see whales. The peak season for whales is late April to early May.
Local Tip: Tepona Point at Luffenholtz Beach has a great viewpoint for sunset. – Nick from Kayak Trinidad
12. See Roosevelt Elk at Elk Meadow
Head to Elk Meadow off the 101 for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Plus, there’s plenty of parking! It also leads to Trillium Falls Trail and Berry Glen Trail. The best times to see elk are during mating season in the fall or calving season in May-June. Be sure to keep your distance, they are wild animals and not as docile as they appear.
Other spots to see Roosevelt Elk:
- Elk Prairie on Newton B Drury Scenic Drive
- Gold Bluffs Beach
- Ball Hills Road
Photography Tip: Have a long lens to shoot photos. Our recent favorite is the Sigma 150-600mm.
13. Redwood Sky Walk, Sequoia Park Zoo Eureka
3414 W St, Eureka, CA 95503, map
The brand new Redwood Sky Walk opened in 2021 at Sequoia Park Zoo, the oldest zoo in California. It’s the longest skywalk in the western US and gets you up to 100 feet above the ground below.
It’s a great way to see the redwoods from a different vantage point, and there’s a mix of static and swinging bridges. On the main platforms you’re right next to the trees but avoid touching them to preserve them.
Local Tip: If you’re visiting in the afternoon, head over to the Red Panda exhibit around 4:30. They are fed around that time so are most active. It was the first time we’d seen them awake!
See More: Capilano Suspension Bridge – What You Need to Know
14. Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt RSP
The Avenue of Giants isn’t part of the official four parks, but it’s a 31.59-mile scenic highway that runs through Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
There are multiple trailheads that can be found along the avenue, access points to the Eel River, and a beautiful outdoor fireplace in the Women’s Federation Grove built by Julian Morgan.
You’ll also find one of three Drive-Thru redwood trees in the Avenue of Giants (not to be confused with the drive-through Sequoia trees). It costs $10 to get in, and in addition, they have a drive on tree and other cute photos spots.
Local Tip: Fold in your side mirrors. We saw one larger vehicle with raised tires unable to make it through but most regular-sized vehicles are good to go.
15. Trees of Mystery, Klamath
15500 US-101, Klamath, CA 95548, map
Trees of Mystery is a tourist spot that is hard to miss because of the 50 ft Paul Bunyon statue that sits outside its entrance. Besides that, there is a gondola ride, an interpretive trail, multiple sculptures, and a canopy trail.
Map of the Best Things to Do in Redwood National Park
More Viewpoints & Drives in Redwood National Park
- Bald Hills Rd – beautiful drive on the way to trailheads for Lady Bird Johnson and Tall Trees Grove
- Cal Barrel Road – 3.5 mi gravel road
- Coastal Drive – 9 mi road in Del Norte Coast RSP
- Highway 36 in Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park
- Hwy 199, Jedediah Smith RSP
- Howland Hill Road in Jedediah Smith RSP – can stop at Stout Grove or Boy Scout Tree Trail from here
- Lost Coast Scenic Drive – beautiful coastal wilderness
- Newton B Drury Scenic Pkwy – scenic alternative to US 101
- Trinidad to Patrick’s Point
Beaches in Redwood National Park
- Gold Bluffs Beach & Campground, Prairie Creek RSP – 10-miles of beautiful golden beach where you can camp and hike. Elk are often seen on the beach too.
- Sunset at Moonstone, Little River, or Clam Beach – You can also head to Moonstone Grill for overlooks of Moonstone Beach.
More Things to Do in Redwood National Park
- Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum, Crescent City
- Biking – On the first Saturday of each month between Oct and May, the Newton B. Drury Scenic Byway is a hike and bike trail.
- Birding – Roughly 280 species of birds have been seen in Redwood National and State Parks (which roughly ⅓ of the species in the US). See what species here.
- Dick Taylor Chocolate Factory Tour, Eureka – Currently closed due to covid.
- Horseback Riding
- Kayaking along Smith River
- Klamath Drive-Thru Tree
- Mendenhall Studios – where the artists live. There’s a fantastic group of glassblowers here. Did you know that Humboldt County has the most artists per capita in California?
- Moonstone Beach – Has surfing and climbing.
- Oyster Tours
- Papa & Barkley Social (21+) – An elevated cannabis experience bridging cannabis and hospitality. It combines a dispensary, day spa with massages and beauty treatments with or without cannabis products, restaurant, boutique, and lounge.
- Whale Watching – Nov to Dec and Mar to April from Klamath River Overlook, Crescent Beach Overlook, High Bluff Overlook, Gold Bluffs Beach
- Willow Creek-China Flat Museum, Willow Creek – Unofficially the Bigfoot Museum.
Visitor Centers at Redwood National Park
Hiouchi Visitor Center
Crescent City, CA 95531 (map)
Hours: Spring to Fall Daily 9AM to 5PM | Winter Daily 9AM to 4PM
Jedediah Smith Campground Visitor Center
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Campground
US Highway 199
Crescent City, CA
Hours: Mid-May to Labor Day Daily 9AM to 5PM
Crescent City Information Center
1111 2nd St
Crescent City, CA 95531 (map)
Hours: Spring to Fall Daily 9AM to 5PM | Winter 9AM to 4PM (closed Tues-Wed)
Prairie Creek Visitor Center
Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy
Orick, CA 95555 (map)
Hours: Spring to Fall Daily 9AM to 5PM | Winter Daily 9Am to 4PM
Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center
US-101 & Redwood Hwy
Orick, CA 95555 (map)
Hours: Spring to Fall Daily 9AM to 5PM | Winter Daily 9AM to 4PM
Best Places to Eat Near Redwood National Park
- Cafe Brio, Arcata – European-style bistro with casual organic bites & baked goods, plus artisanal coffees & local wines.
- Eel River Brewing, Fortuna – the oldest organic brewery in the US.
- Ferndale Meat Company, Ferndale – Built in 1903, Guy Fieri worked in this building as a teenager. He purchased the building in 2021 but is leaving the current butcher Curt Terribilini to run everything.
- Humboldt Bay Provisions, Eureka – Locally-made food and drink, which can be savored at the reclaimed redwood bar
- Humboldt Bay Social Club, Eureka – Weren’t able to get in last minute, but we hope to check it out next time.
- Lost Coast Brewery, Eureka – Barbara was the first California woman brewer.
- Los Bagels, Eureka – They make their own bagels.
- Salt Fish House, Arcata – You have to try all the oysters. Did you know Humboldt county produces over 70% of oysters eaten in California?
- Tuyas Mexican, Ferndale
- Richards Goat Tavern & Tea Room, Arcata – Afternoon tea and 20 seat cineplex.
- 707 Bar, Eureka – local dive bar
What’s the Best Way to Get to Redwood National Park
Redwood National and State Parks is located 6 hours north of San Francisco (roughly 325 miles). It starts on the south end in Orick, CA, and runs about 50 miles north to Crescent City, CA.
The closest airports are:
- Del Norte County Airport/Jack McNamara Field (CEC) in Crescent City, CA
- Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR) in Medford, OR
- Arcata-Eureka Airport (ACV) in McKinleyville CA – where we flew in.
Redwood National Park is mostly oriented along the north-south US 101 between Orick and Crescent City, CA.
Where Should I Stay to See the Redwoods?
Redwood National and State Parks don’t have any lodging inside the parks other than basic campground cabins (four in Prairies Creek and four in Jedediah Smith). You must reserve these cabins months in advance.
During our visit, we stayed in Eureka because it had all the comforts we needed as a home base. We stayed at the Inn at 2nd & C (formerly the Eagle House). It’s a beautifully renovated historic hotel that has a lot of charm and is conveniently located in Old Town next to restaurants and shops. If you’re looking for the swankiest hotel in Eureka, check out Carter House Inn.
You can also check out these spots if you’re looking for camping or RVing spots. Let us know if you have any feedback if you stay at any of them!
- Elk Creek Campground
- Gold Bluffs Beach Campground
- Jedediah Smith State Park
- Mill Creek Campground
- Patrick’s Point State Park
What is the Closest City to Redwood National Park?
You won’t find any food options inside the parks, but. you can get supplies and food at grocery stores and restaurants in these nearby communities.
- Trinidad, CA (23.6 mi)
- Klamath, CA (32.8 mi)
- McKinleyville, CA (32.1 mi)
- Arcata, CA (39.1 mi) – second-largest city in Humboldt County
- Eureka, CA (45.7 mi) – Eureka is the largest city near Redwood NP and the largest port city in Northern California. Amazing Victorian homes and buildings were built in the heyday of the logging industry.
- Crescent City, CA (53.6 mi) – Seaquake Brewery
- Ferndale (20 mi south of Eureka) – Beautiful Victorian homes and amazing small-town charm. It also has a history as a filming location for major movies.
- Lost Coast, CA – One of the best backpacking destinations in the world.
- Leggett (133 mi) – Has the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree.
What You Need to Know Before You Go / Frequently Asked Questions
HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED IN REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK?
You should spend at least 2-4 days in Redwood National Park depending on any hikes you want to do. We did everything in 2 days but felt rushed trying to pack as much in. Our goal was to do at least one hike/activity in each park. If you want to do longer hikes or go at a slower pace, I recommend 3-4 days.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK?
Redwood National Park is open year-round, and summer is the best time to visit with low rainfall and warmer temps. You’ll find most ranger-led activities between June and August. It can be foggy, though, and it’s the busiest time to visit.
Spring is best for wildflowers, and Fall is still warm but starts getting rainy. If you’re looking for solitude, winter will be the best, but it’s also cold and wet.
WHAT ARE THE HOURS AND FEES AT REDWOOD NP?
Redwood National Park is free to visit, but Jedediah Smith RSP, Del Norte Coast RSP, and Prairie Creek RSP collect day-use fees at developed campgrounds. They accept the America the Beautiful National Park Pass (be sure to get one) or California State Park Passes.
Also, you can get discounted camp prices if you have either of the two passes.
WHERE CAN I CAMP AT REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK?
There are four developed campgrounds in Redwood National Park: Jedediah Smith, Mill Creek, Elk Prairie, and Gold Bluffs Beach. Standard camping fees are $35 per night and cabins are available for $80-100 per night. Campsites book up quickly, so make reservations early.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE OFFICIAL PARK MAP AND HIKING MAP?
Download the official park map here. They have the overall park map, the northern half, and the southern half. They also include some of the major hikes, but stop by a visitor center for more detailed hiking maps.
WHICH STATE PARK IS BEST?
Each state park is unique and has spots you should see, but Prairie Creek has the most iconic or popular hikes.
WHAT SHOULD YOU NOT MISS IN REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK?
We covered the main highlights in this post. If we had even less time, we would only do Fern Canyon, Lady Bird Johnson Grove, and Endert’s Beach, in that order.
IS REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK WORTH VISITING?
Absolutely! There are a ton of must see spots in Redwood National Park including the massive trees, beautiful coastlines, and charming towns surrounding the park.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DRIVE THROUGH THE REDWOOD FOREST? (AVENUE OF GIANTS)
It takes roughly 25 minutes to drive straight through the Avenue of Giants with no stops.
CAN YOU DRIVE THROUGH REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK?
Yes! Driving is one of the best ways to see Redwood National Park. There are portions that are on dirt or gravel roads, but it’s easy to avoid if you’re uncomfortable driving on them.
ARE THERE BEARS IN THE REDWOODS?
Yes, there are American black bears in the redwoods (remember that black bears can be brown in color as well). Unlike other parks we’ve been to, there didn’t seem to be much concern with them. But you should always use the bear safe bins to dispose of your trash and have a bear food canister if you’re camping. Otherwise, you should know basic bear safety. Never run and make a lot of noise and appear as large as possible.
ARE THERE MOUNTAIN LIONS IN THE REDWOODS?
Mountain lions have been spotted in the area, but are relatively rare. Review basic mountain lion safety here.
DO I NEED RESERVATIONS FOR REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST FOR ONE VEHICLE TO ENTER REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK?
You do not need reservations to visit Redwood National Park, and there is no fee to enter. Some of the adjoining state parks have fees but honor the American the Beautiful pass or California States Park pass.
IS REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK CROWDED?
The busiest time at Redwood National Park is from May to September, but since still one of the least visited National Parks in the US, never gets as crazy as Yosemite, Zion, and Yellowstone.
The past year and a half is an exception with tons of visitors coming from the Bay area. During our visit (late October), the only busy spot was Fern Canyon.
WHERE IS THE GIANT REDWOOD YOU CAN DRIVE THROUGH?
There are three coastal redwood drive-through trees, not to be confused with Giant Sequoia drive-through trees. Shrine Drive-Thru Tree in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Chandelier Tree in Leggett’s Drive-Thru Park, and Klamath Tour-Thru Tree.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GIANT SEQUOIA AND REDWOODS?
Sometimes giant sequoias are referred to interchangeably as redwoods, although they are different species. People refer to giant sequoias as giant redwoods. If that wasn’t confusing enough, they both belong under the same subfamily of conifers, Sequoioidea. Coastal Redwoods are Sequoia Sempervirens and Giant Sequoias are Sequoiadendron Giganteum.
WHERE ELSE CAN I SEE REDWOODS?
From North to South:
- Humboldt Lagoons SP
- Harry A Merlo SRA
- Patrick’s Point SP
- Fort Humboldt SHP
- Grizzly Creek Redwoods SP
- Humboldt Redwoods SP
- John B Dewitt Redwoods SNR
- Benbow SRA
- Richardson Grove SP
- Standish-Hickey SRA
- Smithe Redwoods SNR
- Sinkyone Wilderness SP
- Admiral William Standley SRA
- Jug Handle SNR
- Russian Gulch SP
- Mendocino Woodlands SP
- Mendocino Headlands SP
- Montgomery Woods SNR
- Van Damme SP
- Navarro River RSP
- Hendy Woods SP
- Maillard Redwoods SNR
- Kruse Rhododendron SNR
- Austin Creek SRA
- Armstrong Redwoods SNR
- Bothe-Napa Valley SP
- Salt Point SP
- Fort Ross SHP
- Annadel SP
- Sonoma Coast SP
- Jack London SHP
- Calaveras Big Trees SP
- Samuel P Taylor SP
- Muir Woods National Monument
- Mount Tamalpais SP
- Portola Redwoods SP
- Castle Rock SP
- Butano SP
- Big Basin Redwoods SP
- Henry Cowell Redwoods SP
- The Forest of Nisene Marks SP
- Wilder Ranch SP
- Garrapata SP
- Andrew Molera SP
- Pfeiffer Big Sur SP
- Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
- Limekiln SP
Tips for your visit to Redwood National Park
- Pad in extra time between activities since the drive between each park can be far and sometimes there is construction on the two-lane roads.
- Check for trail and road closures here.
- Map it out. With so many parks, it can be confusing to navigate and plan. After you know what you’re interested in doing, put it all into a map so you’re not going back and forth.
- There are no hotels or restaurants in the park, but there are smaller towns nearby where you can grab food. Depending on the season, they are closed on certain days of the week. We picked up a bunch of snacks at the Target in Eureka so we wouldn’t have to worry about it.
- Watch the tides. Tides can come in quickly and in some spots will close off access to areas. Check the tide charts here. Tsunamis can also occur so know where the high ground spots are. When you’re anywhere along the coast, beware of sneaker waves. They typically come out of nowhere and come much higher than other waves. Esther got nailed by a tiny one.
- Fill up on gas. There are no stations in the park, and you don’t want to be stranded with no service.
- Cell reception can be spotty. We downloaded google maps and Alltrails app while in town to ensure we could find our way around. Sometimes large storms can knock out cell service or power in small towns too.
- Check out some sample itineraries here.
How should I pack for a Redwood National Park Trip?
What to wear hiking in the redwoods? Dress in layers since weather can vary.
- Always bring a rain jacket in case there are unexpected showers.
- Sweat-wicking layers
- Sturdy hiking shoes – depending on what hikes you do they may not be necessary, but they’re always helpful especially if you’re on your feet all day. Some areas are wet and slippery, although most of the hikes were chill and flat. Some trails require you to cross through streams or puddles, so make sure they are waterproof like ours.
- Bring Water – there is potable water at the visitor center
- Snacks and Food – there is none inside the park
- Sunglasses – we love these
- Headlamp – in case you get lost or stay out later than expected
- Sun hat is always helpful if you’re hiking exposed trails or heading to the beach.
- Camera and Binoculars – don’t forget a long lens for birding and wildlife
- Maps & guidebooks – we like Alltrails and downloading google maps ahead of time.
- Bug Spray & First Aid Kit – There are mosquitos and other biting insects. We went in late October and didn’t need it.
- Bag to pack out any trash
- Hand sanitizer & mask (most places we visited don’t require or enforce masks indoors, but it’s always good to have in case)
- Bear Spray – if you want to be extra cautious, but no one mentioned having to carry it
- America the Beautiful Pass
Want to know what to wear to the airport? These are our ideal airport outfits and in-flight essentials.
- Get comprehensive insurance for your trip.
- Download these helpful language apps.
- Find a great deal on Eureka hotels.
- Arrange a rental car for your trip.
- Get airport lounge access.
- Buy a travel charger to keep your devices charged.
- Get a new backpack for your trip.
- Buy a Redwood NP travel guide.
- Pack the appropriate shoes for your trip.
- Don’t forget your in-flight essentials.
- Oregon Caves National Monument (1.5 hrs, 60 mi)
- Samuel H Boardman State Park (68.4 mi N, 1 h 25 min, map)
- Crater Lake National Park (3.5 hrs, 140 mi)
- Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (4.25 hrs, 215 mi)
- Lassen Volcanic National Park (5 hrs, 230 mi)
- Lava Bed National Monument (6 hrs, 262 mi)
- San Francisco (313 mi S, 5 h 35 min, map)
How many US national parks have you visited? Have you been to Redwood National State Parks? Any more unmissable things to do in Redwood National Park?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.
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