The Northern Coast of California is unlike any other and we quickly fell in love with the rocky shores, foggy/rainy days, and towering Redwoods. The Redwood Park System is unique in the fact that it is made up of one national park (Redwood National Park) and three state parks (Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek), and is jointly managed by both the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The 4 parks combined 139,000 acres protects 45 percent of all remaining Coast Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens) old-growth forests. Needless to say, there is a LOT to see and do in the Redwoods and we’ve put together a short list of our top 5!
*Be sure to check out our “1 Day in Redwood National Park & State Parks” travel vlog for a closer look at our time in the Redwoods!
1. Stout Grove (17 West 4th Avenue, Crescent City, CA)
Located in the northernmost part of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (15 miles east of Crescent City), Stout grove is one of the most magnificent and photographed old-growth groves in the Redwood park system. The grove itself is relatively small, but the trees within the grove are some of the largest old-growth Redwoods in the world! The last 1-1.5 miles of road leading to the Stout Grove Trailhead is narrow and unpaved, but is easily passable in a 2 wheel drive car.
Distance: 0.7 mile loop
Time: 45-90 minutes
2. Lady Bird Johnson Grove (Bald Hills Rd, Orick, CA)
Just 4 miles east of the town of Orick in Redwood National Park, the Lady Bird Johnson Grove is an incredibly lush grove with some of the most breathtaking old-growth Redwoods. This hike is one of the most popular in the park, and for good reason.
Distance: 1.5 mile loop
Time: 1-2 hours
3. Fern Canyon (41.4016482, -124.0650093)
Found in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Fern Canyon is a narrow 50-foot-deep vertical walled canyon covered in… you guessed it… ferns! One look, and it’s no surprise that Hollywood took to this surrealistic canyon for scenes in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park". The incredible beauty teamed with the feature in the Jurassic Park sequel has made Fern Canyon one of the most popular hikes in all of California.
Cost: $12 per vehicle (waived for "America the Beautiful" annual pass holders)
Distance: 1.1 mile loop or out and back
Time: 1-2 hours
4. Avenue of the Giants (1 Avenue of the Giants, Phillipsville, CA)
This 31 mile stretch of road runs parallel to Highway 101 and offers an excellent alternate (and slower) route through the old-growth redwoods of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Lined with the titan trees (and some fun stops along the way), the Avenue of the Giants is easily the most scenic road in the Redwoods.
Distance: 31 miles
Time: 2-3 hours
5. Chandelier Tree/Drive-Thru Tree Park (67402 Drive Thru Tree Rd, Leggett, CA)
One of only 3 drive-thru trees left standing (and still growing) in the state of California, Chandelier Tree is an impressive 315 feet tall Redwood with a 21 foot diameter and a 6-foot wide by 6-foot-9-inch high hole cut through its base allowing cars to drive through it since 1936. Sure, it’s a bit more of a touristy attraction than the other recommendations, but where else can you drive through a tree?!
Cost: $10 per vehicle, $5 per Bike, Motorcycle or Walk-In
Time: 45-90 minutes
We hope that these tips help you plan your visit and make the most of your time in the Redwoods! If you did find it helpful, please consider heading over to our YouTube Channel and subscribing for more travel content and following us on Instagram, it would mean the world to us!