THIS ADVENTURE GUIDE COVERS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EXPLORING, ADVENTURING AND CAMPING IN REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.
This sizable national park in the far reaches of Northern California is actually a complex of one national park, Redwood National Park, and three state parks: Del Norte Coast Redwoods, Jedediah Smith Redwoods, and Prairie Creek Redwoods. All four are cooperatively managed by the National Park Service and the California State Parks system.
The combined Redwood National and State Parks (or RNSP) preserves nearly 139,000 acres of stunning natural landscapes, including old-growth forests that are home to 45% of all remaining coastal redwood old-growth forests (totally nearly 39,000 acres). Coastal redwood trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. They are also usually considered to be some of the oldest (some are more than 1,000 years old).
In addition to the redwood forests, the four parks preserve other indigenous flora and fauna, including the Chinook salmon, northern spotted owl, Steller's sea lion, and Roosevelt elk, many different cultural resources, large portions of rivers and streams, and over 35 miles of pristine Northern California coastline.
Redwood National and State Parks, or just Redwood National Park, is one of the best places (and sadly one of the last remaining places) to explore the massive and beautiful coastal redwood trees. And luckily, the park is home to numerous trails and adventures to help the adventurous traveler get out and explore them up close.
This adventure guide covers everything you need to know about Redwood National Park; including, how to get there, the best time to visit, where to stay, what to bring, what to see, and what trails to explore. So if you are planning a trip up to Northern California, then make sure to check out our in-depth Redwood National Park Guide below.
📌 HOW TO GET TO REDWOOD NP 🗺 TOP 8 THINGS TO SEE IN REDWOOD NP
🏕 WHERE TO STAY IN REDWOOD NP 🥾 TOP HIKING TRAILS IN REDWOOD NP
🎒 WHAT GEAR TO BRING TO REDWOOD NP
\\ Fast Facts About Redwood National and State Parks
YEAR ESTABLISHED: the national park was established in 1968, but it was combined with the three state parks in 1994.
LOCATION: in the Del Norte and Humboldt Counties in Northern California, USA
SIZE: 138,999 total acres
NUMBER OF ANNUAL VISITORS: 435,879 in 2021
COST TO ENTER REDWOOD NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS: free! Though you will have to pay to stay at the campgrounds (which is $35 a night).
IS REDWOOD NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS PET FRIENDLY: not really. You cannot bring dogs on any of the major hiking trails, but they are allowed on roads like Newton B. Drury Scenic Byway, especially when it is closed to cars.
BEST FOR: hiking, photography
REDWOOD NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS HISTORY
In the 1850s, old-growth redwood forests covered more than 2 million acres of the California coast. The northern portion of that area was originally inhabited by Native American groups (including the Yurok, Tolowa, and Karuk tribes) who had called the region home for thousands of years. Prior to Euro-American contact, Native Americans had adapted well to the abundant environment. This included using all resources available in a sustainable way: fallen redwoods for houses and boats, local wildlife for food, and the wide array of plants for medicine. Similarly, the local groups were spiritually connected to the forest. As one historian put it, "their lives were enmeshed in the very character and fabric of the trees."
The Native groups lived in harmony with the trees until they were eventually forced out of their land by gold seekers and timber harvesters, which started to arrive in the mid-18th century. The outsiders needed the forest's raw materials for their homes and commerce (logging followed the expansion of America, for companies were always struggling to keep up with the furious pace of progress). Soon enough, timber harvesting quickly became the top manufacturing industry in the American West.
For the most part, the felled redwoods were shipped out to both the southern region of California, where the population was quickly increasing due to the gold rush, and to rapidly growing metropolises like San Francisco. While in the beginning the logging was mostly done with hand tools, which was very tedious and took a lot of time, by the 1920s and 30s, advancements in technolo