Redwood Parks of California’s Northern Coast

By Rachel Puryear

When you think of Northern California, you probably think of the San Francisco Bay Area region. The Bay Area may indeed be the most populous region in the northern half of the state, but there’s also a lot to see along the rural coast between the Bay Area and the California-Oregon border.

If you’re a fan of giant trees – which, if you’re a regular on this blog, you probably are – you could do a great road trip along California’s northern coast.

There’s plenty to stop and see, and you can do it over several days at a relaxed pace. Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

A shady road through a forest with lots of tall trees on each side. By Alex Wolfe.

Avenue of the Giants:

We’re not talking about where giant mythical creatures live – rather, these giants are very real! We’re talking about giant redwood trees – including one so big, that you can drive through it. Just off Highway 101, these magnificent trees are well worth visiting, and there are shady places to picnic, too (please, always remember, leave no trace).

Drive through giant Redwood tree in the Avenue of the Giants – Meyers Flat, CA.
Avenue of the Giants, California.

Prairie Creek State Park:

Prairie Creek State Park is just off Highway 101 in Orick, California, in Humboldt County. This gorgeous park offers a nice, shady, often-misty walk through giant, old-growth redwood trails. There’s also camping in the park. Enjoy the creek, the moss on the trees, the sounds of birds and other wildlife, watch elk grazing in the meadow, and get the shift in perspective that comes from feeling so tiny as you stand next to these majestic redwood trees.

Foggy mornings in the Redwoods.
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

Redwoods National Park:

Love the beach, and also heavily wooded forests? Redwoods National Park has all of that, with its coastal redwood forests. Enjoy driving through thick tree forests topped with gorgeous fog layers – the fog layers moisturize the trees, and help them grow to be huge! There are also plenty of places to stop and hike, and just relax and take in the awesome scenery along the way.

Sunrise in Redwood National Park.
Klamath River in Redwood National Park.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park:

This state park is just a few miles east of Highway 101, off of Highway 199. Don’t miss it while you’re visiting the Redwood National Park area! More great hikes within.

Person looking up at a large Sequoia in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to awesome and wild places, and to giant trees.

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