Planning a Trip to the Redwood Forest

Planning a Trip to the Redwood Forest
Standing under the canopy of a giant redwood forest in California gives you a sense of timelessness because the trees are so old. The two types of redwoods are the California coastal and the giant sequoia. The oldest coastal redwood is almost 2,220 years old; one sequoia tree is 2,700 years old. Redwood forests are in more than 40 national and state parks ranging from the Santa Cruz Mountains to near the Oregon border. You'll find countless outdoor activities to keep you busy.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hiking shoes Socks Shorts T-shirt Sweater Long pants Snacks First aid kit Hat Gloves Camera Film Memory cards Plastic poncho
  • Hiking shoes
  • Socks
  • Shorts
  • T-shirt
  • Sweater
  • Long pants
  • Snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Film
  • Memory cards
  • Plastic poncho
Step 1
Choose which part of California you'd like to visit. Humboldt Redwoods State Park in the far north has more than 17,000 acres of coast redwoods and includes the largest remaining old growth forest in the world. Other parks in this area include the state parks Sinkyone Wilderness, Del Norte Coast Redwoods and Richardson Grove. Farther south are the north-central coast redwoods in the Navarro River Redwoods, Mailliard Redwoods and Sonoma Coast state parks. The central coast redwoods are at Henry W. Coe and Pfeiffer parks. The southernmost state parks include Samuel P. Taylor, Big Basin and Henry Cowell.
Step 2
Decide where you want to stay. Many state parks offer campsites ranging from primitive to developed. You can rent a magnificent house overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the Big Sur or Mendocino area, or a charming tent cabin in Big Basin. Stay at an inn, bed and breakfast or motel on the Eel River in Southern Humboldt County. This area has the Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile portion of old Highway 101. Rest your head at one of the lodges or camp in Yosemite National Park, where about 500 giant sequoias live in Mariposa Grove.
Step 3
Plan your favorite activities. The redwood forests offer hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Go fishing on the coast or at a lake in Yosemite. Take your mountain bike to ride in the Arcata forest; for a more strenuous ride, the Last Chance section of the coastal trail in Del Norte County ends with stunning ocean vistas. Go to the Petrified Forest in Calistoga to view the giant redwoods turned to stone by volcanic activity.
Step 4
Take warm clothes for the cool evenings in most of the redwood forests. Pack your hiking shoes and heavy socks. In the summer, you can wear shorts and T-shirts; you'll need a sweater, long pants and a warm jacket for winter visits. Take a small backpack with you for hikes; pack it with a bottle of water, snacks, a first aid kit, a hat, gloves, your camera, extra film or memory cards, and a plastic poncho for inclement weather.

Tips & Warnings

 
Make reservations as far ahead of time as possible, especially if you will be camping. Leave no trace of your visit behind; carry out all trash, do not pick flowers or disturb the forest habitats in any way.
 
Make reservations as far ahead of time as possible, especially if you will be camping.
 
Leave no trace of your visit behind; carry out all trash, do not pick flowers or disturb the forest habitats in any way.
 
In extremely dry climate conditions, the parks prohibit wood and charcoal grills, open campfires and open fires. Check with the parks ahead of time to find out if these restrictions apply and make other arrangements accordingly.

Article Written By Ellen Kendall

Ellen Kendall has 15 years of writing and editing experience. Her travel and insurance articles have appeared in national magazines. Her book contributions include biographies and multi-cultural and Holocaust lesson plans. She has previously served as a real estate broker and interior designer and taught ESL in Korea and at Duke.

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