Hike James Irvine Trail
Park: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
This 12 mile loop is the most popular of the longer-distance hikes in the park. Youll cross creeks and pass through old-growth redwood groves as you hike out to Fern Canyon.
This is the perfect trail for those that want to visit Fern Canyon, but either cant drive Davison Road or want a longer, more challenging hike.
The trail starts and ends at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center. You take the James Irvine Trail on the way out and the Miners Ridge on the way back to complete as a loop.
This all day hike gives you the best views in the park redwoods, old-growth forests, roosevelt elk, and plenty of ferns.
Redwood National Park Backpacking
There are 7 designated backcountry camping areas across the 4 parks, plus additional opportunities for dispersed camping. Visiting these campgrounds is a great way to escape others and have a trail all to yourself.
Backcountry camping in Redwood National Park requires a free permit. These permits are issued online only. Visitors can apply for a permit anywhere from 4 weeks in advance to no later than 48 hours out.
For more information on backcountry permits in Redwood, read more here.
If you plan to request a backcountry permit, use Redwoods Backcountry Trip Planner to select a trail and camping area ahead of time.
Hike The Coastal Trail
Park: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
The Coastal Trail is the premier backpacking trail in Redwood National and State Parks.
It runs for 70 miles along the coastline passing through 3 parks: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Redwood National Park.
The trail starts at Crescent Beach Overlook in Del Norte Park and heads all the way south to Elk Meadow in Redwood National Park. But you dont have to hike the full trail to enjoy the scenery it has to offer!
To experience part of the Coastal Trail on a short day hike, consider hiking the section from Gold Bluffs Beach to Fern Canyon or the short section from Crescent Beach Overlook to Enderts Beach.
Read More: 12 Best Hikes in Redwood National Park
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Ancient Redwoods Rv Park
The Ancient Redwoods RV Park is one of the Good Sam RV parks near the Redwood National Park. Large, paved sites with grass medians are available at Ancient Redwoods, which are big-rig friendly but also accept campers of all sizes. The construction of an outdoor meeting space with grilling equipment is presently underway. This park has a convenience shop on site as well as a 1000-year-old Redwood called The Immortal Tree.
There are quite a few places that you can choose to stay when visiting the Redwood National Park. Make sure you are ready for a very relaxing time and enjoying stunning views of Redwoods stretching for miles when you book your stay. The Redwood National Park has a lot to offer, and a vacation like this is a wonderful way to spend time with your family.
Hiking In Redwood National Park In The Summer
Summer is definitely the most popular time to visit Redwood National Park, because its sunny and warm! While this is definitely a great time for hiking, you will run into more crowds. For the more forested hikes, the weather is pretty ideal because the redwood trees provide shade and protection from the heat. But, if you do one of the hikes that goes along the coast, youll be more exposed. I prefer spring or fall for hiking, but summer is summer weather is pretty idyllic!
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Things To Do In Redwood National Park 2022
There is an abundance of breathtaking things to do in in Northern Californias Redwood National & State Parks.
This park is home to the tallest trees in the world, the mighty Redwood, which can reach staggering heights of over 360ft and weigh more than 500 tons.
These parks feature magical forests, miles of spectacular beaches, stunning overlooks, and one of the largest herds of Roosevelt elk on the planet.
People travel from all over the world to experience the magic that takes place in this park every single day.
What To Pack To Visit Redwoods
With cool temperatures and little to no cell service, packing layers and safety gear is essential for any trip to Redwood National Park. Here are the items I recommend packing for your trip:
- Binoculars Theres plenty of wildlife to see in Redwood, but the most impressive is the Roosevelt Elk. Its always important to give wildlife plenty of space, so bring along a pair of binoculars to get a closer view! I have this inexpensive pair of
- Down Jacket or Fleece Warm layers like a down jacket or fleece pullover are essential. I like the Arcteryx Cerium LT Down or Patagonia Better Sweater.
- Waterproof Rain Jacket If youre visiting in the rainy months, be sure to pack a rain jacket with Gore-tex . I have the REI XeroDry GTX.
- Lightweight Hiking Shoes If you stop for a hike on the beach, youll want lightweight shoes with solid traction. I like the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 Trail Runners for short beach hikes.
- The 10 Essentials If youre heading out for one of the many hikes in the area, be sure to bring along the 10 hiking essentials that keep you safe on the trail. For more on the 10 essentials, check out my hiking gear guide.
- Roadside Assistance Kit With little cell service, youll want to be prepared for unexpected car issues. Look for a roadside kit with jumper cables and repair tools like this emergency roadside kit from AAA.
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How Redwood National Park Is Organized
Redwood National Park can be a bit confusing. Unlike other parks, it isnt just a national park. When people refer to Redwood National Park, they generally mean Redwood
National and State Parks. This joint park is a unique partnership between 3 California State Parks and 1 national park:
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
- Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
- Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
- Redwood National Park
Together, these parks protect half of the worlds old-growth redwoods with nearly 40,000 acres of an old-growth redwood forest. The national park was established in 1968, but the partnered state parks have been protecting the redwoods since the 1920s.
At the southern end of the redwood parks, youll find Redwood National Park, the largest of the 4 parks. This federal land protects 71,000 acres and is home to the worlds tallest tree named Hyperion.
To the north, youll find the 3 state parks protected by the California government. The largest of the 3, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park is half old-growth forest and half coastal trails.
Prairie Creek Redwoods is about half the size of Del Norte and is home to redwood groves where the majestic Roosevelt elk roam. The smallest and farthest north of the 3 state parks is Jedediah Smith Redwoods.
You can get your bearings on the park with this detailed Redwood National Park map.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a well-known rancher, and resident of the Big Sur region until her death. Like Redwood National Park, this state park is known for its redwoods, but with additional views of the Pacific coast. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is home to 300-foot coastal redwood trees that are almost 2,500 years old. Apart from redwoods, other trees can be found including blue gum eucalyptus, tanoak, madrone trees, and arroyo willows. You can also find abundant wildlife in Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park such as bald eagles, California Condors, sea otters, and the rare Smiths blue butterfly.
Enjoy splendid views of coastal redwood trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Follow the Ewoldsen Trail and hike past canyons of redwoods and get a glimpse of the famous California coastline. The Overlook Trail is easily accessible from the entrance of the park and lets you see the breathtaking McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that tumbles down a granite cliff into a cove and directly into the Pacific Ocean. During the rainy season, there may be areas and trails that will be closed or will be out of bounds.
Address: 52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA
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Tips For Visiting Redwood National Park
- With four parks to visit, it makes sense to buy an America the Beautiful Pass, which gets you into all federal lands for one year. You can get these online or at REI. Dont forget your permits too, as some popular areas require reservations. Permits are free and available online.
- Go on a ranger-led tour. Check out the schedule at the visitor centers for the events calendar and take part in a campfire program, nature walk, or Junior Ranger activity for more fun Redwood National Park facts.
- Plan a picnic. There are no restaurants in the park, so take all the snacks and water you will need for a day visiting Redwood National Park. The nearest cities from south to north are Arcata, Orick, Klamath, and Crescent City.
- Download maps ahead of time. Cell reception in the park is spotty, so dont rely on your phone for directions. Download maps when you have WiFi or use a map from the visitor center. Its also a good idea to download your favorite hiking appand trails ahead of time.
- Dress for fog and rain. This is a rainforest, so Redwood National Park weather is often wet. Make sure you pack a light waterproof jacket and waterproof hiking shoes.
- Fill up on gas before heading into the park. As with snacks, there are few gas stations outside the cities. Arcata in the south and Crescent City in the north are the best places to find gas.
Looking for more redwoods? Read our guide to the best redwoods near San Francisco.
Cabin Camping In The Redwoods
If youre interested in camping in the redwoods, but would prefer a cozy cabin for your stay, there are also many options to choose from!
Inside the National and State Park, there are only 8 available cabins- which offer basic accommodations. Theyre located inside Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park & Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and tend to book out months in advance.
At both locations, cabins cost $100 per night during the summer and $80 per night during the winter.
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Rv Destination Guide: Redwood National Park
An RVer’s Destination Guide to Redwood National Park
There is a destination in the United States that contains the tallest living organisms in the world. Massive trees so tall that you cant capture them in a single a photograph, and so big, that tunnels were carved in their trunks to let cars pass through. We are talking about the mighty California redwoods of Redwood National Park.
Redwood National Park is full of beauty that draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly, many of them choosing to RV there. Lets look at what accommodations Redwood has for RVers, things to see, places to go, and the best times for visiting the greatest trees on Earth.
Muir Woods National Monument
Located just about 20 kilometers away from San Francisco, Muir Woods National Monument is easily the most accessible park to see the coastal redwood trees. It is named after John Muir, a prominent naturalist, and advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States. Because of its proximity to the city, it tends to get crowded. If you prefer fewer crowds, Big Basin State Park near Santa Cruz is a must-visit.
Despite its smaller size, the park offers a variety of activities and picture-perfect scenery. There are six miles worth of hiking trails with different levels of difficulty and distance. Rangers are also available to give guided walks and impart knowledge about the forest. For a safer trip to Muir Woods National Monument, stick to the walkway with placards. It is also recommended to arrive early in the day to avoid the surge of crowds.
Address: Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
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What People Are Saying About Mad River Rapids Rv Park
I stayed here in my class A motorhome for six nights at site 18. Power was good. Water pressure was good and my pull through pad was level. I spent my days fishing. I did not use the showers, restrooms, or laundry room. I saw what appeared to be some long-term RVers but nothing that concerned me as every site was clean and orderly. This location worked well for my needs and I would not hesitate to stay here again when up in the Arcata area. While I dont have pets I saw several sites occupied by pets and their owners. Bill P., Google Review
Learn more on the locationswebsite!
- Number of RV Sites: 92 Back-In/Pull Through Sites: No/Yes Full Hookups: Yes 30/50 Amp: Yes/Yes Pool/Hot Tub: Yes/Yes Showers: Yes Pets Allowed: Yes Wi-Fi: Yes Discounts: Yes Adult Park: No Activities: No Laundry: Yes Rates Daily/Monthly: $40-$52/$550
When To Go To Redwood National Park
As with most National Parks, the crowds tend to flock to Redwood in the spring and summer seasons. June through August will see the most pleasant temperatures, but it will also see the most people. If youre okay with the cooler temperatures, and some snow, I recommend going March through May and September through early November.
Redwood National Park offers some of the most beautiful views in America, whether youre RVing or not. If youre an RVer and you havent headed to this California park yet, plan a trip as soon as possible. You wont regret it.
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Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is the home to thousands of coastal redwood trees. The park, located in Humboldt County, boasts several kinds of ferns and towering redwoods. Apart from coastal redwood trees, the park is home to coast Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, and western hemlock trees. Its appearance straight out of a Jurassic Park film has attracted millions of visitors since its establishment in 1925. The park is also famous for its Roosevelt Elks, and during mating season, you may be able to hear the echoes of their calls.
The Fern Canyon is perhaps the highlight of any visit to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Named after the ferns spreading across its 50-foot tall wall, it can be accessed through a short hike. Other short hikes include the Nature Trail, a 1-mile hike that passes through riverside vegetation and coastal redwoods trees. Take note that while this is one of the shorter trails, it is fairly steep. You can also enjoy a small but tranquil picnic among its grounds as you enjoy the view of the redwood trees. This is also one of the best camping spots in California, so dont miss the chance to spend time with nature and go camping at Prairie Creek.
Address: 127011 Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy, Orick, CA 95555, USA
Ancient Redwoods Rv Park Best Campground For Seeing Famous Sights
What does this site have to offer? Oh, nothing much just the oldest tree on the planet
Theres a reason why Ancient Redwoods RV Park was given its moniker: its very close to the Immortal Tree, a 1,000-year-old redwood that has survived all sorts of misfortune. Thats not the only old giant in the area, as there are dozens of other huge, elderly trees to check out. Its not far to the famous redwood that you can drive through, either .
Just because the park hangs out around old shrubbery doesnt mean its old as well, however. While the variety of amenities wont blow you away, everything is clean and well-maintained, and youll actually feel comfortable using the restrooms and showers. You can also use the laundry facilities if necessary.
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Why Youll Love Sounds Of The Sea Rv Park And Cabins
Sounds of the Sea RV Park and Cabins provides exceptional service and unmatched outdoor activities for you and your family, and the property is paved with large, level sites. Landscaping provides privacy, and many sites have the added feature of a grass area. Local beaches provide picturesque views and bountiful fishing for example, Patricks Point State Park is a short walk from the park where visitors hunt for agates, explore tide pools, and enjoy just watching for sea life.
Best Campgrounds In Redwood National Park
Camping in Redwood National Park is my favorite way to experience all of the serenity and natural beauty it has to offer. That said, its important to note that while all four developed campgrounds are part of the Redwood National and State Parks complex, they are all managed by the state parks meaning they must be reserved through the California State Parks reservation system.
Here are the best campgrounds in Redwood National Park:
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More To Explore Near Redwood National And State Parks
After youve done some of these best hikes in Redwood National Park, theres so much more to see nearby!
You can continue south on a road trip of the California Coast to see more amazing beaches! The remote Lost Coast is a must see if you want to explore some undeveloped coastline.
If youre heading north to the Oregon Coast, Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor is close to the border of California, and some of the best hikes include the trail to Secret Beach and the iconic Natural Bridges!