Redwoods National & State Parks

Redwoods National & State Parks

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 41.40720°N / 124.019°W
Activities Activities: Hiking, Canyoneering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Sign the Climber's Log


Stout Grove Redwoods
Stout Grove

Covering an area spanning from the Chetco River in Southern Oregon to the Santa Lucia Mountain in Monterey, California lie the Coastal Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens).

These trees are the tallest living thing known to man, growing easily up to 200 feet, 300 feet is not uncommon either, although less common than 200 feet. The tallest known Giant Redwood was discovered in 2006 and is 379 feet tall. They can grow up to 23 feet around and their diameter is only outdistanced by their close relative; the Giant Sequoia. Though looking at the Panorama below, they are still quite impressive nonetheless.

Today only two percent of the old growth redwood forests remain, ninety-five percent of which is protected within park lands. The Redwood National and State Parks system is the crown jewel of these parks.

Redwood National and State Parks, consists of three State Parks and one National Park, that are managed together as a single contiguous unit. This park system is located near the northern extent of the redwoods natural range and cover 133,000 acres. This park truly represents the finest redwood preserve on the planet and is a designated world heritage site.

Stout Grove Redwoods Panorama

The Parks

Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park

Fern Falls
Fern Falls

This is northern most park in the system. It sits in the hills immediately east of Crescent City. Highway 199 winds its way though this park, and offers good access to many spectacular viewpoints.

Possibly the best way to access this park is Howland Hill Road. This narrow gravel road road slowly winds though the mill creek drainage from Crescent City to Hiouchi. The road offers spectacular views from beginning to end in addition to proving access to great hiking. Recommend hikes include Nickerson Ranch trail, Stout Grove and the Boy Scout Tree tail.

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Peak

Del Norte Coast SP
Del Norte Coast

As the name implies this park protects the redwoods along Del Norte county's coastline. Highway 101 crosses the park and offers numerous scenic viewpoints.

This Section of the coastline is extremely rugged, in some places cliffs plunge 600 feet directly into the sea. As a result access to the ocean is limited in this park. The most popular access point is the Damnation Creek Trail, which follows the Damnation creek drainage to a secluded beach.

The coastal trail may be the best way to experience this park. This trail follows the coastline parallel to the highway for much of the way with many road links, yet far enough away to offer a feeling of seclusion.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Fern Canyon
Fern Canyon

In many respects Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is the finest of the redwood parks. Located off the main highway, the park's main access road is the Newton B Drury scenic parkway. Elk Prairie is considered the centerpiece of the park, here a large herd of Roosevelt Elk can almost always be found going about their business.

Davidson road provides access to the southern end of the park. Notable features include the spectacular Fern Canyon and the Gold Bluffs.

A section of the coastal trail traverses this park, connecting Davidson road with the coastal drive. This section of the coast is less rugged than the section further north, but the diversity of this area makes this a very worthy destination in its own right.

Redwood National Park

Camping Near Tall Trees Grove
Redwood Creek

Redwood National Park was designated in 1968. The park was created to combine the three existing state parks with a narrow corridor of protected land and to protect the old growth in the Redwood Creek drainage. As a result, Redwood National Park consists of several sections. Due to its later designation, Redwood National Park, in many ways, lacks the pristine qualities found in the surrounding state parks. Some Logging did occur in some areas of the park.

The coastal trail begins in this park at the Enderts Beach trail head just south of Crescent City. This trail crosses three of the four parks, offering the best backcounty experience the redwoods can offer, with spectacular scenery throughout. Those not wanting to take on such a committing trip can hike the trail in sections, the Flint Ridge and Last Chance sections offer decent road links and make great day hikes.

The southern unit of the park was set aside to protect the spectacular old growth in the Redwood Creek drainage. This unit is home to the worlds tallest tree. The Redwood Creek Trail follows the creek to the tall trees grove and offers what is in my opinion, the best wilderness experience in the park. The gravel bars along Redwood Creek are also the only place where dispersed camping is permitted in the entire park system.

Getting Around in the Parks

Major Highways

US 101: Provides Access to Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park and Redwood National Parks
US 199: Provides Access to Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park


Newton B Drury scenic Parkway: Provides Access to Elk Prairie and some of the most pristine redwood forests anywhere in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Howland Hill Road: Provides Access to the mill creek watershed in Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park
Coastal Drive: Parallels a highly scenic section of coastline in redwood national park and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

Park Map

Park Map

Red Tape

No Fees are required for any of the parks unless entering the campgrounds. Standard National Park rules surely apply. Also this is a world heritage site, so treat this place with respect.


Frontcountry Campgrounds

Jedediah Smith Campground
Location: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Sites: 86
Fees: $35
Mill Creek Campground
Location: Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
Sites: 145
Fees: $35
Elk Prairie Campground
Location: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park,
Sites: 75 tent
Fees: $35
Gold Bluffs Beach Campground

Location: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Sites: 26
Fees: $35

Backcountry Camps

Little Bald Hills Camp (5 sites, horses and bikes allowed)

Location: Redwood National Park
Trailhead: Marked trailhead is on short access road off Howland Hill Road
Mileage to campground: 3.3

Nickel Creek Camp (5 sites)

Location: Redwood National Park
Trailhead: Marked north access is at the end of Enderts Beach Road off Hwy 101. Marked south access is on east side of Hwy 101 at mile marker 15.6
Mileage to campground: 0.5 from north access; 6 from south access

DeMartin Camp (10 sites)

Location: Redwood National Park
Trailhead: Marked north access is on east side of Hwy 101 at mile marker 15.6. Marked south access is at Redwood Hostel off Hwy 101.
Mileage to campground: From north access, 3.4. From south access, 3.5.

Flint Ridge (11 sites)

Location: Redwood National Park
Trailhead: Marked west access is on the Coastal Drive. Marked east access is across from the Old Douglas Memorial Bridge site at junction of Alder Camp and Klamath Beach Road.
Mileage to Campground: From west access, 0.25. From east access, 4.5

Dispersed camping is only allowed along the redwood creek gravel bar.


Contacts and Links

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
1375 Elk Valley Road
Crescent City, CA 95531

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
1375 Elk Valley Road
Crescent City, CA 95531

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
127011 Newton B. Drury Parkway
Orick, CA 95555

Redwood National Park Homepage



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