Redwood National Park
1111 Second Street
Crescent City, CA 95531707-464-6101
What's 2,000 years old and more than 300 feet tall? Visit Redwood National Park, and you'll find out. Home to some of the world's tallest old-growth coast redwoods, this beautiful site blankets 37 miles of the northern California coastline. You'll find spruce, hemlock, Douglas-fir, berry bushes, and sword ferns as well as an abundance of woodland creatures traversing mighty rivers and streams. From kayaking to camping to birdwatching, this national park offers loads of recreational activities for kids and adults alike.
Entrance fees: Admission is free.
Visitor centers: Prairie Creek Visitor Center and Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center are open year-round. Jedediah Smith Visitor Center is open from late May to late September.
Other services: Two information centers and four campgrounds
- Jedediah Smith Campground. Open year-round. Some reservations are available. 800-444-PARK.
- Elk Prairie Campground. Open year-round. Some reservations are available. 800-444-PARK.
- Gold Bluffs Beach Campground. Open year-round. Some reservations are available. 800-444-PARK.
- Mill Creek Campground. Open from late May to mid-August.
- DeMartin Redwood Youth Hostel. Open year-round. 707-482-8265.
Visiting Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park is a magnificent forest of startlingly immense proportion. Full-grown adults look like miniature toy figures next to these great trees that soar 30 stories into the sky, higher than any other living things on earth.
To put their height in perspective, the redwoods are taller than the distance from the base to the torch of the Statue of Liberty. The first branches of these trees begin 100 to 200 feet above the spongy, forest floor. They form a delicate green canopy that seems to push the blue sky even higher than it usually seems in the West.
California's mighty redwood trees, many now living in their second millennia, are the last large stands of these monumental conifers that flourished all across North America during the lush, humid period before the last ice age.
Here, near the Pacific Ocean, the gentle climate still sustains them. The mighty trees grow in dense groves in a fog belt along the coast, especially in the canyons and river valleys that open directly to the ocean.
There are many ways to explore the amazing beauty of these natural giants, from camping under their canopies to horseback riding to kayaking the park's rivers and streams. See the next section for more information on these and other recreational activities.