The Redwoods National Forest is one of the planet's most natural wonders, housing the largest trees we’ve ever seen, and is just North of San Francisco. If you’ve never been to this picturesque playground in nature, we recommend planning a visit. Once you do, be sure to pick up some of our Redwood themed designs, which will keep you cool and dry while you traverse the vast network of titanic trees.
The oldest tree in the park is the scene of many selfies and pictures, and has stood the test of time - being around 2,500 years old. That means it was a seedling during the Roman Empire, and a sapling during the Mayan Golden Age!
The bark on redwoods can be as thick as a foot or more, giving ample protection from wildfires, fungus and harmful pests. Some species of redwoods have been around for approximately 240 million years.
The forest is also home to THE tallest tree in the world - named Hyperion - reaching 115 meters (about 380 ft) tall, estimated to be 600-800 years old. It’s such a treasure, that it’s location is not disclosed to the public as to prevent any harm. Only a handful of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) scientists know where it is.
The National Park encapsulates several mountains across the coastline of the pacific ocean, stretching nearly 40 miles. Here, you can take long, peaceful strolls along the water and if you’re lucky, come across some of the unique lighthouse structures along the way. Visiting from November to April gives you a good chance at witnessing the gray whale migration, just be sure to bring some binoculars!
For the best advice on accessing, lodging and experiencing the coast of the Redwoods, check out Visit California’s Insider Guide.
Sightworthy Trails & Activities
While the forest is dense and vast, and there are a number of trails to choose from to get your fix of the Redwoods’ beauty, here are some that we consider noteworthy to start on:
- Tall Trees Trail - A moderately ranked loop, not for the faint of heart or those short on time, but one that’s jam packed with sights that last a lifetime.
- Boyscout Tree Trail - A well maintained road up to the trail provides easy access, but brace for a slightly difficult 5.6 mile trek between the archaic redwoods. You’ll be rewarded with a sight of the Fern Falls!
- Prairie Creek Trail - A 2.6 mile long loop trail that’s great for all skill levels. A quiet, peaceful stroll that really lets you take in the redwoods without being out of breath.
- Lady Bird Trail - A short, chill 1.3 mile trail that’s ripe with bird watching opportunities.
- Avenue of the Giants - Ideal for scenic drives and bike rides, this road is a 31 mile point-to-point drive through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
- Stout Grove - A very easy, primarily flat (32 ft elevation gain) stroll that’s just under a mile which opens up, offering hikers to take different routes to view other sights like the Smith River.
- Damnation Creek - A difficult 3.4 mile trek that’s worthy of its struggle. Beautiful sights accompany you on your downhill stretch to the coast, making for a tough yet scenic incline push back up.
Another fun activity is to check out the Shrine Drive Thru Tree, just be sure your vehicle can fit through! Be sure to also get some pics with Muir Snag, the aforementioned oldest living tree - located at the Converse Basin of the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Some of you may be familiar with the Skunk Train - the historic train that’s chugged through the Redwoods since 1855. Did you know that you can take a rail bike on its tracks and witness all of the pristine views that have gone untouched for nearly a century? Sit back, relax and experience the Redwoods in a whole new way. See more information on reserving a bike here.