Explore The Giant Redwoods in California’s Redwood National Park | The Bucket List Series

The Bucket List Series: A series of short, inspirational travel articles focusing on single bucket list experiences from all over the globe. The goal; to bring you the very best things that our fabulous planet has to offer.

Exploring The Giant Redwoods in California’s Redwood National & State Parks

California has many areas where you can look up and admire giant redwood trees. But you’ll need to visit the Redwood National & State Park to be completely absorbed in a redwood experience that transports you away from your regular 9-5 routine. You’ll find yourself fully immersed by walking across the giant redwoods, through canopy tree trails, driving up a tree, driving through a tree, checking out redwood souvenirs and more!

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Giant Redwoods | Canva
Explore The Giant Redwoods in California’s Redwood National Park | The Bucket List Series 16
Giant Redwoods | Canva

Is Redwood National Park Worth Visiting?

Yes, it sure is! If you’ve got a bucket list goal of visiting some of the US National Parks, the Redwood National & State Parks needs to be on the list because it is like no other experience! When you are surrounded by groves of redwood trees, you’ll be in an oasis of serenity. You might have seen redwood trees before but this is definitely different. You’re in the depths of the forests and just looking around will give you a relaxed smile. 

Being surrounded by these giant redwood trees makes you feel so small and that all your problems just don’t seem that big anymore. During your visit, take a lot of deep breaths while hiking the trails; not just to destress but the smell of redwoods feels fresh. Start your day earlier to avoid crowds and feel the silence amongst the tall huge trees. You’ll enjoy waking up to foggy mornings with misty trees and sun peeking through the fog and trees. 

Why Should This Park Be On Your Bucket List

If you want to see hundreds and hundreds of redwood trees and groves, this is the place to be! If you visit in the summer, you’ll forget it’s summer because of 60 Fahrenheit (about 15°C) foggy weather. Plus compared to other parks, this national park is free! The only fee you’ll have to pay is when you visit Fern Canyon and/or Gold Bluffs Beach. It’s only $8, which is far less than the experience you’ll get there! Or if you have the National Park Anual Pass, called America the Beautiful Pass, it’s free!

What To Do At Redwood National And State Parks

First, it’s best to spend at least 3 days to get the best of what this park has to offer. But if you’ve only got a day and want to experience the highlights, here it is:

      • Observe Roosevelt Elk at Elk Prairie Campgrounds in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
      • Explore the 50-feet high canyons filled with California native ferns at Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
      • Walk amongst the fog and redwood trees at the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Loop Trail in Redwood National Park

There are also things to do nearby. Learn about mysterious and unique trees at Trees of Mystery, a paid attraction located in Klamath, CA. Also drive through the 32-mile highway, Avenue of the Giants. Apart from this scenic drive, there are some pretty cool stops along the way like drive-through trees and treehouses. 

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Roosevelt Elk | Bae Area & Beyond
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Canopy Walk | Bae Area & Beyond

How To Get To Redwood National & State Parks

Redwood National & State Park is located in Northern California and across two cities: Orick and Crescent City. The park is accessible via car, public transport and flight. If you’re driving from San Francisco or Oakland, it’ll take around 5.5 hours to get there. If you’re driving from San Jose, it’ll take around 6 hours. There’s also the option of public transit via Redwood Coast Transit. Or if you prefer to fly in, the three nearest airports are:

      1. Arcata-Eureka Airport, located in McKinleyville, CA
      2. Del Norte County Regional Airport, located in Crescent City, CA
      3. Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, located in Medford, OR

What You Need to Know Before Visiting Redwood National Park

Visiting parks that are filled with nature and wildlife are always exciting. But please keep in mind that you’re an observer in their home and it’s best to leave the place as it was found. Here are a couple of things to consider when exploring the redwood forests: 

      1. Walk only on the trails that have been designed for the park. Do not wander on unknown trails or make your own trails. By staying on the trail, you’ll help to protect the forest and its wildlife. 
      2. The park has Roosevelt Elk and you might spot one near the roads. Drive cautiously especially at night so make sure you don’t hit any. Do not go near the elk or any other wildlife.
      3. Drive carefully in the fog and make sure to have the headlights on. 
      4. Cell phone network access is poor in most areas of the park. So make sure to carry the official Redwood National and State Parks map by the National Park Service and also download offline maps on Google Maps. Both maps will help you navigate through the whole park, whether on foot or by car. 
      5. Because of the limited network access or cell coverage, have an emergency plan just in case and notify your families/friends where you’re going or plan to go each day.

Misty redwood trees, foggy weather and magical forests; if these three things give you goosebumps, then add the Redwoods National and State Parks to your bucket list. It’s an experience that you’ll find nowhere else in the world and a certainly recommend adding it to your United States bucket list!

About the Author

Rasika is based in San Jose, California and owner of the travel blog Bae Area and Beyond. Her blog covers all areas within the state of California where she aims to encourage her readers to fall in love with the Golden State, just like she did.

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Becki from Meet Me In Departures

Adventure travel blogger with a big addiction to the World. An ex-rat-racer who was fed up with sleep-work-eat-repeat materialistic mentality that plagues modern living. I love anything to do with off-beat travel, abandoned places, temples & ruins, street art, wildlife in its natural habitat, adventure sport.....basically anything but the 9-5!

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