Monday, June 5, 2017

Redwood National and State Parks


  Redwood National Park was established in 1968 to save some of the remaining old growth stands of redwoods that were in jeopardy. The new park joined with Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks, which had been in existence since the1920s, to form a more contiguous forest. The parks are managed jointly by the National Park Service and the California Dept. of Parks.  There isn’t a charge to visit the national park sections but the state parks have a daily fee. All of the campgrounds are in the state parks which honor senior and access passes for half price camping fees.

   US 101 is the main road through the parks. The terrain is much more rugged than in Humboldt Redwoods State Park and most of the roads that branch off west to the coast or east into the mountains are not recommended for motorhomes or trailers so we stayed on 101 except for taking the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway which parallels 101. The scenic parkway is wide, level and easily navigated with any RV.



  The campgrounds, picnic areas, and visitor centers are all accessible to some extent. We stopped at the Kuchel Visitor Center to get a park map, watch a short video, and check out the exhibits. All of this is accessible. A boardwalk leads to the beach but deep sand and storm tossed logs are a barrier to getting close to the water.  We did not stay at the campgrounds or stop at the other visitor centers.



  Few of the trails are accessible. The trail at Big Tree Wayside is marked as accessible. It is but it’s very short so after viewing the tree go across the parkway and walk/roll along the very accessible trails on that side of the road.


  We thought the trees in Humboldt Redwoods State Park were more impressive than the ones we were seeing in this area but a short trail in Jedediah Smith State Park is touted as one of the best old growth walks so we decided that we needed to see a bit more of the park. It was well worth the trip! Wheelchair users will need assistance on the first section which is paved but very steep. The rest of the loop is hard packed dirt, level and wide.The dirt road in is very narrow, one lane with turn outs and many potholes. The parking area/turn around loop is small. Do not attempt the road in anything larger than a 25’ RV. Howland Hill Road is not recommended for RVs so take US 199 to Hiouchi and cross the bridge to Douglas Park Road to cut down on the time spent on dirt roads.





Park   41.28642, -124.09033



  1. That is outrageous country, just unbelievably beautiful. Jed Smith Redwoods has long been a favorite of mine.

    1. Yes it is really beautiful! We're on the Oregon coast now and we camped overnight in a turn out with a spectacular view of the rocks and ocean. :-)

    2. That sounds pretty good, too! :-)

  2. Beautiful photos. Can't go wrong in redwood country, can you? Thanks for sharing.

    1. And it's impossible to not be in awe every time you see the trees!