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The Redwood National and State Parks

Towering trees, rocky coastlines, marshes, and lagoons, all make up the Redwood National and State Parks. If you want to see Mother Nature at her best, this is the place to go! Read about the history of the area, what you can expect to see and do, and where to camp once you arrive!

History


For thousands of years the Redwood Forests were home to Native Americans. They made their houses from fallen Redwoods, which are so large they provided plenty of planks to build these homes. The history on Europeans moving into this area is not a pretty one. There were many massacres once gold was located and the "white man" overtook this area. There are descendants of these Native Americans who live off and on reservations still today, but many treaties were never ratified and their rights are still very murky. When Euro-Americans moved into this area, logging became the primary industry. Even more flocked to the area when the "gold rush" was on and the huge trees were prized timber due to their size and strength. By 1910 the forest was dwindling and it was time to take action to preserve it. The Save-the-Redwoods League was formed and they leapt into action after 90% of the trees were already gone. In 1968 the National Park was established and today they are working on restoring much of the area that was stripped due to logging. Today you can check out more than 48,000 acres of this forested area and see the impressively colossal trees that made this land such a hot commodity. Check out what the Redwood National and State Parks have to offer!

What Can Be Seen at the Redwoods?


There's a lot to see at the Redwood forest including animals, plants, and other beautiful natural attractions! Make sure you bring your camera because you won't want to miss the opportunity to get photos of all the breathtaking sights!

Animals


There are 66 known species of land animals that call the Redwood National and State Parks home! From rodents to giant elk, this place has a vast population. Many animals call the park home year round while others use it as part of their standard migration route. You can find mammals such as mountain beaver, flying squirrel, porcupine, coyote, fox, bear, and river otter! Head over to the ocean where you can see several kinds of whale, dolphins, sea lion, and seal! You can organize yourself a scavenger hunt with the mammal checklist the park has put together! On top of the many mammals, you will also find tons of birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.
animals in the redwood forest

Plants


The most impressive plant found in this park is the Redwood itself. It's mind-blowing to think that a seed the same size as one from a tomato can grow into the biggest, most towering tree found on the planet! These trees reach heights of 367 feet and can be up to 22 feet wide at the base. They date back to the Jurassic era so many different creatures have had the pleasure of enjoying them. With high tannin content, these trees are bitter tasting and insects tend to avoid them. This helps to keep them free of disease and then they continue to live around 600 years, some even reaching 2,000 years old. These trees also regenerate and can sprout new growth from things like a stump without the need of a seed taking root. Many other trees and plants call this area home, especially because the Redwoods make the perfect environment for growth. These trees include Douglas Fir, Sitka Spruce, Big Leaf Maple, Red Alder, and much more. Other things found growing under the Redwoods are Beach Strawberry, Beach Pea, Rhododendron, Azalea, and plenty of other plants and shrubs.
plants in the redwood forest

Water


The Redwood National and State Parks make the perfect place to enjoy the Pacific Ocean! You can find many different types of coastline here. The majority of the coastline is rocky and jagged where you can see sea lions resting on the rocks that protrude from the ocean. You'll also find sandy beaches with tide pools and Sea stacks, which are rocky islands that have formed off the coast. This is the ideal place for bird watching as almost half of the seabird population in California can be found nesting on these Sea stacks. Aside from the ocean, you will find rivers such as Klamath River, Smith River, and Redwood Creek. Throughout the area you will also be able to enjoy lagoons and wetlands where you'll see a lot of wildlife!
water in the redwood forest

Camping


Within the park system there are both developed campgrounds and backcountry camping you can take advantage of. If you plan to bring your RV, make sure to reserve something at a developed campground as all the backcountry sites are hike in only and not accessible from a vehicle. There are also other campgrounds in the area that aren't part of the park system, that offer a wonderful stay near the parks.

The Park's Developed Campgrounds


developed campground in the redwood forest


The developed campgrounds offer the traditional amenities you would expect to find at a campground such as toilets, showers, and dump stations. These are the perfect place for RVers or those looking for a more modern experience. There are four developed campgrounds to choose from in the park system and each offers different amenities. Here is a list of the campgrounds with their amenities noted as well:

Jedediah Smith



  • 86 Sites

  • Flush Toilets

  • Showers

  • Dump Station

  • 36' RV Max Length

  • No water or electrical hookups


Mill Creek



  • 145 Sites

  • Flush Toilets

  • Showers

  • Dump Station

  • 31' RV Max Length

  • No water or electrical hookups


Elk Prairie



  • 75 Sites

  • Flush Toilets

  • Showers

  • 27' RV Max Length

  • No water or electrical hookups


Gold Bluffs Beach



  • 26 Sites

  • Flush Toilets

  • Showers

  • 24' Max RV length (trailers prohibited)

  • No water or electrical hookups


The Park's Backcountry Campgrounds


backcountry_camping_in_the_redwood_forest


These sites are for those that like to rough it. Make sure to bring a tent or plan to sleep under the stars. These sites require a permit that can be obtained at Crescent Information Center, Hiouchi Information Center (seasonally), and Thomas H Kuchel Visitor Center. Most sites include food storage lockers, picnic tables, and vault toilets. The sites and specified amenities, or lack there of, are as follows:

Little Bald Hills



  • 5 Sites

  • Horses and bikes allowed

  • Bring water or a purifier


Nickel Creek



  • 5 Sites

  • Bikes allowed on specific trails

  • Bring water or purifier


DeMartin



  • 10 Sites

  • Bikes allowed on specific trails

  • Bring water


Flint Ridge



  • 8 Sites

  • Bikes allowed on specific trails

  • Bring water


Gold Bluffs Beach



  • 1 Site

  • Drinking water "normally available." Bring water just to be safe.


Elam Creek



  • 3 Sites

  • Horses allowed

  • Bring water or purifier


44 Camp



  • 4 Sites

  • Bring water or purifier


Redwood Creek



  • Dispersed camping on gravel bars

  • Bring water or purifier

  • No food locker, picnic tables, or toilets available


RV Parks in the Area


rv parks in the redwood forest


If you're looking for more amenities than what the park itself has to offer, don't fret! There are a few RV parks around this area that will give you just what you're looking for! So hitch up and head out for a more luxurious experience!

Kamp Klamath RV Park



  • Located at 1661 West Klamath Road, Klamath, CA 95548

  • Full hookups including water, sewer, electricity, & wifi

  • Showers

  • Guide Service

  • Store

  • Online reservation available


Elk County RV Resort



  • Located at 216 Idlewood Lane, Trinidad, CA 95570

  • Full hookups including water, 30 amp electric, sewer, wifi, & trash

  • Laundry facilities

  • Store

  • Online reservation available


Things to Do


You'll find tons of amazing things to do in the Redwood National and State Parks. With wildlife such as whale, elk, and other marine and birdlife, you can spend plenty of time wildlife watching and seeing these amazing creatures in their natural environment! Looking for something a little more physical? There are tons of trails at your disposal! Many of these trails are for hiking but you'll also find trails for biking and horseback riding! Take advantage of the waterways and hit the kayak! You can head out on your own or participate in a ranger-lead kayak program! Other ranger-lead programs include tide pool walks, campfire programs, nature walks, and the junior ranger program. If you just want to kick back and relax while taking in some scenery, there are also eight roads in the area that offer picturesque and scenic driving routes!
hiking in the redwood forest
Get ready to be astounded as you marvel at the great majestic trees, gorgeous foliage, and jaw-dropping wildlife that this park system has to offer. Whether you're camping or just spending a day here, you may want to extend your stay once you get inside the park! You won't believe all the Redwood National and State Parks have to offer!

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