Tall trees, lush surroundings, and a never-ending path. Sounds imaginary, right? What if we say that such a place exists in reality and it’s none other than Redwood National Park in California. Home to the Earth’s tallest trees, prairies, oak woodlands, and wild streams, it is a biosphere reserve in itself. The park runs along 37 miles of the Pacific coastline and takes you into the wilderness of staggering heights and magical woods.
With the pandemic setting its grip loose, travelers have already started backpacking. If you are also planning to hike, go traversing the redwoods. With three parks combined – Jedediah Smith, Del Norte Coast, and Prairie Creek, this place is all about scenic beauty and mesmerizing experiences. For instance, Hyperion (the world’s tallest tree) gives away chills and stands tall at a majestic height and width, towering over visitors who come to marvel at the glory of this unique flora species.
Visitors within the park are allowed to walk, hike and bicycle. While the park is open for visitors year-round, it is advised to plan your trip around spring or summer. Plan for a few hours or days; Redwood National Park opens gates for something new.
With so much to see and do, you must go prepared with a handy to-do list. Meanwhile, for those wanting to walk with their pet, worry not! Dogs are welcomed in the Redwoods (selected areas). Let’s check out the things to do in the park and safety net for your pets.
1. Walk through the Stout Grove
Stout Grove features a small grove of redwoods, almost 300ft tall, tops the checklist for its surreal beauty and incredibly heightened trees. With the history of being the park’s first grove, this 0.7 miles of trail (roundtrip) is most famous among the hikers. The trail begins from the parking lot and gradually descends into the redwoods. Each moment here is a wonder in itself, and photographs are unable to justify the natural beauty this place has to offer. Soak in the scenic panorama as you walk along the trail paths and explore something new with each step.
2. The Lady Bird Johnson Trail
If you love adoring nature on foot, this trail is the one. Strolling among the giant trees of Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a self-guided 1.3 miles walk. Relatively flat, this trail works great for people of all ages. The redwoods here are immensely tall, and you won’t believe us saying that these were burned out at one time. Schedule your visit nearly two hours prior to the sunset to capture golden beams of sunlight striking through the grove. Stay calm and just stare at those giants.
3. Exploring Fern Canyon
The moment you start hiking here, this place will look familiar. And why not! This location was actually a shooting set for one of the Jurassic Park movies. With the ocean near, this trail hosts luscious canyons and beautiful waterfalls. Ditching the easy one-mile walk, you can walk further and experience nature at its best.
Water alert! Further, you go, the more the chances of you getting soaked.
4. Camping in the woods and coastline
Don’t forget that Redwood National Park runs along a coastline. The Park has officially stationed four campgrounds – Jedediah Smith, Elk Prairie, Gold Bluffs Beach, and Mill Creek. From wild forests to intimate sites to beach camping, each site is equipped with deluxe facilities. A leased pet can also accompany its owner here. For a more adventurous experience, opt for backcountry camping with brushed-up preparations.
5. Drive through Avenue of the Giants
If you are not an active stroller, say driving and go all zip, zap, zoom, this route is just the place for you. A magnificent 31.5 miles drive through Humboldt State Park, Avenue of the Giants is home to ancient redwoods. The scenic beauty of this ride is truly a sight to behold. Go for a morning drive, stop at historical points, take small trails and be ready to be smitten by nature.
6. Sunset at Redwood Creek Overlook
Ever seen the sun take a dip in the ocean? That’s what sunset at Redwood Creek Overlook looks like. 1000ft above sea level, this place is heavenly and a perfect spot to end your day. Set up a camp at the Gold Bluffs Beach and get comfortable as you watch the golden marvel of the beautiful sunset the site has to offer. Don’t be baffled if you see a cloud inversion; it’s actually a cherry on the cake.
7. Strolling the Bald Hills
If you seek an open space to soak in some sun, Bald hills offer an experience slightly remote yet picturesque. Quieter than the woods, these hills give away stunning vistas of the park and forest. Relax and capture some amazing clicks of the surroundings. Also, the sunset here is no less mesmerizing than the creek.
8. Relaxing at Crescent Beach Overlook
Another no-miss spot for a breathtaking sunset episode is Crescent Beach Overlook. Drive along Highway 101 in the Redwoods to reach your favorite spot. Relax, feel those waves kiss your feet, and bless your eyes with a beautiful sunset. A quaint and panoramic experience promised.
9. Spotting wildlife at Elk Meadow
The Roosevelt Elk is, unfortunately, one of the most endangered species in the animal kingdom. With immense efforts, the population is slowly and steadily making a comeback and growing good in numbers. The best time to spot an elk is dusk or dawn.
Planning to snap a few pictures? Maintain your distance or rather carry a zoom lens to capture from the far. Safety first! Also, Elk Meadow has one of the finest tracks to ride a bicycle along with the Redwoods.
Can your pet accompany you through the Redwood National Park?
As a public guideline, pets in the Redwood National Park are not allowed. But there is an exception enjoyed by dogs. If you want to stroll around with your fur-babies, follow the rules of BARK and keep your pet leased at all times. Cal Barrel Road (Prairie Creek Redwoods) or Walker road (Jedediah Smith Redwoods) are the only two gravel roads to walk them along. Besides, you can take them to beaches, developed campgrounds, sunset points, and parking lots.
Also Read: 9 ESSENTIALS FOR A PAWFECT TRAVEL WITH PETS
The entry of pets on any park trails or ranger-led programs is strictly prohibited. Why? Because any acquaintance with wild animals within the forest can easily compromise the pet’s and owner’s safety. You must keep the domestic life and wildlife separate and respect the normality of both worlds.