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Redwood National and State Parks

1111 Second Street
Crescent City, California 95531

Visitor Information
(707) 464-6101

Area: 133,000 acres
Established: January 1, 1968
Visitors: 418,820 (in 2010)

View Larger Map 

The Amazing Diversity

An amazing diversity of life exists at Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP). The ancient coast redwood ecosystem preserved in the parks contains some of the planet's most majestic forests. Here, banana slugs, gray whales, Douglas-fir, black bears, and sea anemones are equally at home with redwoods.

Park staff work to maintain and restore the area's biological diversity through a wide range of resource management and educational activities. Preserving both natural processes and the region's species and genetic diversity helps ensure that countless generations can experience the beauty and complexity of an old-growth redwood forest.

This is your personal classroom whose wonders wait to be explored.

Preserve and Protect

When western expansion met the redwoods in the 1800s, the trees began to fall under saw and axe. The massive redwoods offered early settlers a seemingly inexhaustible lumber supply. However, within a hundred year span the vast forests were reduced to a fraction of their former range. By the early 1900s, it was apparent that the future of the old-growth redwood forest was in doubt.

Thanks to the visionary actions of the Save-the-Redwoods League, the redwoods received the protection they needed. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park were created by the State of California in the 1920s to protect some of the finest remaining examples of coast redwoods.

Working Together

Congress protected lands adjacent to the three California state parks in 1968 with the creation of Redwood National Park. In 1994, the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service agreed to jointly manage the four-park area for maximum resource protection.Redwood National and State Parks - BEST Places to Picnic

Today, visitors to RNSP will find not only old-growth redwood groves but open prairie lands, two major rivers, and 37 miles of pristine California coastline. RNSP is also a testing ground for large scale forest and stream restoration of severely impacted lands.

American Indian tribes have made their home within the North Coast* region for thousands of years and still maintain their cultural presence today in areas surrounding RNSP. The parks' managers work in consultation with the tribes to ensure that their cultural practices can continue.

We invite you to visit the rich community of life at RNSP. Together, these parks are recognized as both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve. The designations reflect worldwide awareness of RNSP's resources as irreplaceable. They must be safeguarded.

*Redwood National and State Parks reside in the North Coast of California and Oregon. The North Coast is a loosely defined region from about Ukiah, CA inland and Fort Bragg, CA on the coast, extending to Josephine County in Oregon. When travelling on Highway 101 south to north, you'll notice a distinct change in vegetation from California oak woodlands to the Douglas-fir/coast redwood forests and a very moist climate.

Things To Do

What lives in the redwood forest?  Did you know that Redwood National and State Parks offers far more than just redwoods?  Visit one of the five visitor centers to find out about ranger-led programs.  Pick up an official map and look for these place names.  Suggestions are given north to south.

  • Discover Howland Hill Road and Stout Grove: a 10-mile scenic drive through old-growth redwoods, along Mill Creek, with a -mile walk through a river bottom grove of tremendous trees. Motorhomes and trailers not advised.

  • Explore Enderts Beach and Crescent Beach Overlook: Stand before outstanding Pacific Ocean views from the overlook; you may even see a gray whale! Walk 1-mile to Enderts Beach, an access route to multi-colored, myriad tidepool creatures. Be sure to check low tide times. Trailers not advised.

  • Drive to Klamath River Overlook, a prime spot for watching the gray whale migration. Look for other marine mammals and a host of seabirds any time of year. Hike mile down a steep trail to the lower overlook and more dramatic views.

  • Get off the beaten path and onto Coastal Drive! This 8-mile rough and tumble road winds past expansive Pacific Ocean views and descends into redwoods at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Look through binoculars at the massive off shore rocks to spy thousands of seabirds nesting. Motorhomes and trailers prohibited on gravel section.

  • Travel Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. Not even the Avenue of the Giants can beat this! A 10-mile scenic drive through ancient redwoods. Stop and walk an 1/8 of a mile to Big Tree Wayside; you'll see why! Watch for Roosevelt elk grazing in the prairie.

  • Investigate Davison Road where Roosevelt elk hang out in the prairie. Trillium Falls Trail covers 2 miles through ancestral forest and has one of the few falls in the parks. Follow Davison Road to the gray sands of Gold Bluffs Beach. See if you can find the remains of the mining era. Nothing compares to Fern Canyon with its 30-foot walls dripping wet and full of ferns. Survey the creek for slippery creatures. Trailers and vehicles longer than 24 feet prohibited.

  • Be sure to stop at Kuchel Visitor Center one mile south of Orick. The state-of-the-art exhibits are fabulous!

Places to Picnic

  • Dolason Prairie

  • Elk Meadow/p>

  • Elk Prairie

  • Gold Bluffs Beach

  • Crescent Beach

  • Crescent Beach Overlook

  • High Bluff Overlook

  • Hiouchi Information Center

  • Klamath River Overlook

  • Kuchel Visitor Center

  • Lady Bird Johnson Grove

  • Lagoon Creek

  • Lost Man Creek

  • Prairie Creek Visitor Center

  • Redwood Creek

  • Redwood Creek Overlook

  • Redwood Creek Trail

  • Stone Lagoon

  • Wilson Creek

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