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Hiking, Beaches and Scenic Drives: 16 Activities to Do in Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is a hiker’s paradise, with miles of trails winding through the redwoods and along the coastline.

Walking through a forest of giants at Redwood National and State Parks is both inspiring and humbling.

These parks are home to an enchanting wilderness, spectacular views, and miles of magnificent beaches.

Redwood National Park is an incredible experience that you will certainly remember for years to come.

If you’re looking for something different, check out these 16 activities that will keep you busy during your visit.

Where is Redwood National Park Located?

Redwood National Park is located on California’s northwest Pacific coast, between the communities of Klamath Glen to the north and Trinidad to the south. The park is nestled on a long, narrow stretch of the northern California coast that borders Oregon.

Fascinating Facts About Redwood National Park:

  • The primary purpose of the park is to protect the endangered redwood trees.
  • The oldest known redwood tree is over 2,200 years old.
  • Redwoods are the tallest living things on earth. Some of them grow to be more than 350 feet tall!
  • The General Sherman Tree is the biggest in the world in terms of volume. It is 275 feet tall and more than 36 feet in circumference at the base.
  • The parks are home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, elk, and bald eagles.
  • The total acreage of Redwood national and state parks is 131,983 acres of land.

The Redwood National and State Parks Are a Collection of Three State Parks and One National Park

> Redwood National park, established: in October 1968.

> Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, established: in August 1923.

> Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, established: in October 1925.

> Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, established: in June 1929

> Mill Creek, incorporated: in December 2005

What’s the Best Time to Visit Redwood National Park

Any time is the best time to visit Redwood National Park! 

Spring is a great time to see new growth in the redwoods, and summer is perfect for hiking, swimming, and picnicking. 

Fall is a beautiful time to see the changing leaves, and winter is a quiet time to enjoy the peace of the forest. 

However, the best time to visit Redwood National Park is whenever you can! The most important thing is to come and experience the magic of the redwoods for yourself.

16 Fun Activities to Do in Redwood National Park 

Go Camping Beneath the Redwood Giants

redwood national park

Camping among the redwoods is an unforgettable experience. 

The towering trees provide a sense of awe and wonder, and the cool, shady forests are a stark contrast to the hot, dry plains of the rest of the state. 

Redwood National Park is one of the best places in California to camp, and there are a few things you should know before you go. 

First, be sure to bring plenty of supplies, as there are no services available in the park. 

Second, be aware of the wildlife in the area, including bears and mountain lions. 

Finally, remember that fires are not allowed in the park, so be sure to pack a stove for cooking. 

With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a safe and enjoyable camping trip among the redwoods.

Visit the Elk Prairie and Watch the Elk Herd

Redwood elk prairie

Redwood elk prairie is one of the greatest spots in California to watch elk.

The open meadow is surrounded by forests, and it is home to spectacular herds of Roosevelt elk. You can explore the meadow on foot, and you may also see other wildlife, such as deer and birds. 

The Elk Prairie, which was built in the 1930s when the park originally opened, offers a fantastic, lush small-campground vibe and a central position that you won’t find in modern campsites.

The best time to visit Elk Prairie is in the evening when the elk are most active. 

However, you should be aware that elk are wild animals, and you should not approach them. The Elk Prairie is a beautiful place to see these majestic animals in their natural habitat.

Picnic Beside the Smith River or Redwood Creek

Redwood Creek

There’s nothing quite like a picnic lunch in the great outdoors. 

And what could be better than enjoying a meal surrounded by the towering redwoods of Redwood National Park? 

Picnicking is allowed throughout Redwood National Park, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines. 

First, be sure to pack out all of your trash. This includes food wrappers, paper plates, and any fruit or vegetables that you don’t eat. 

Second, please refrain from feeding any wildlife, as this can lead to harmful consequences for both the animals and the ecosystem. 

Finally, be sure to avoid trampling sensitive vegetation by sticking to established trails and campsites. 

Don’t forget to grab a blanket and your favorite lunchtime snacks and enjoy a picnic lunch amidst the magnificent redwoods of Redwood National Park!

Take In The Scenery At the Klamath River Overlook

Klamath River Overlook

The Klamath River Overlook is a beautiful spot for a picnic, with breathtaking views of the river and surrounding mountains. 

There are several different trails to explore, all of which offer different vantage points on the river. 

The best time to visit is in the early morning or evening when the light is softer and the colors are more muted. 

Be sure to bring insect repellent, as there can be a lot of bugs near the water. 

And finally, don’t forget your camera! The views from the Klamath River Overlook are truly unforgettable.

Take a Bike Ride Through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

If you’re looking for an adventure, there’s no better place to explore than Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. 

Known for its soaring redwoods, the park is a nature lover’s paradise. 

Whether you’re hiking through the shady forest or biking along the coast, you’re sure to find plenty of excitement. 

And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife! The park is home to black bears, Roosevelt elk, and river otters, making it the perfect place to get up close and personal with some of California’s most iconic animals. 

Visit the Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum

Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum

The Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Redwood National Park. 

Situated on a rocky outcrop just offshore from the town of Crescent City, the lighthouse has been guiding ships since 1856

Today, it is a popular destination for tourists who want to learn about the history of the area and get a glimpse of the beautiful scenery. 

The museum contains exhibits on the history of the lighthouse, as well as the maritime history of the area. 

You can also take a tour of the light tower and get a first-hand look at how the light works. 

There is also a gift shop on-site, selling souvenirs and local arts and crafts. 

The Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm Admission is free for children under 16 years old, and adults can purchase tickets for $7.50.

Best Hiking Trails in Redwood National Park

James Irvine Trail

James Irvine Trail

The James Irvine Trail is a popular hiking trail in Redwood National Park.

The trailhead is located near the park entrance, and the trail winds its way through some of the most scenic parts of the park. 

The trail is approximately 3 miles long and takes hikers through a variety of different terrain, including forests, meadows, and along the coast. 

James Irvine Trail is a great option for hikers of all abilities, and it is a fantastic way to experience the Redwood National Park.

Fern Canyon Trail

Fern Canyon Trail

Hiking through Fern Canyon is like stepping into a fairytale. 

The towering redwoods provide a canopy of shade, while the ferns carpet the ground in a sea of green. Other species found in the canyon include Maidenhair ferns, Douglas fir trees, and California bay laurels.

The trail is relatively easy to follow, and there are several lookout points where you can stop to admire the view. However, the best part of hiking through Fern Canyon is simply being surrounded by the deafening silence of nature

With no cars or buildings in sight, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the United States. 

If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, Fern Canyon is the perfect place to find it.

Tall Trees Grove Trail

 Tall Trees Grove Trail

Hiking the Tall Trees Grove Trail is an adventure you won’t soon forget. 

The trail takes you through some of the tallest trees in the world, and you’ll have the chance to see some of the most incredible views. The best time to hike the trail is during the summer when the weather is warm and dry. 

However, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers of hiking in the heat, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. 

The trail is also open during the winter so be prepared for cold weather and snowy conditions. 

Regardless of when you hike, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags and get out there and explore!

Boy Scout Tree Trail

Boy Scout Tree Trail

The magnificent Boy Scout Tree Trail is more of an exhibition of the world’s greatest redwood views than a hike.

The trailhead is located at the Boy Scout Memorial, and the trail winds through some of the tallest trees in the world. The trail is about 5 miles long, and it takes about 2-3 hours to complete. 

Along the way, you will enjoy beautiful views of the redwoods and the coastline. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, and it is suitable for all levels of hikers. 

There are a few small hills along the trail, but nothing that should deter anyone from enjoying this amazing hike.

Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail

Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail

Within Redwood National Park, the Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a renowned hiking location. It is situated on the summit of a ridge, more than 1,000 feet above sea level, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

The grove is named after the former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, who was an advocate for environmental conservation. 

The trail through the grove is relatively easy, making it a great option for beginner hikers. 

However, some sections can be quite steep, so you should wear appropriate footwear. 

This stroll through ancient redwoods and Douglas fir provides an up-close view of a stunning ridge-top redwood forest, complete with its array of natural forest vegetation.

With its beautiful setting and abundance of wildlife, the Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a must-visit for any nature lover.

Beaches Near Redwood National Park

Enderts Beach

Enderts Beach

Enderts Beach is a secluded beach on the Del Norte Coast south of Crescent City. 

This beautiful beach is known for its dramatic cliffs, crashing waves, and endless opportunities for exploration. 

You can find a variety of different trails to follow, leading them down to the beach or up into the surrounding hills. Several tidepools are popular among both kids and adults. 

The best time to visit Enderts Beach is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the water is calm. However, even during the winter, this beach is worth a visit. 

With its stunning scenery and endless possibilities for adventure, Enderts Beach is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Redwood National Park.

Gold Bluffs Beach

Gold Bluffs Beach

Gold Bluffs Beach is a hidden gem on the Pacific Coast called after the famous golden-colored cliffs that surround it.

This beautiful beach is flanked by towering redwoods and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Miners passing at today’s Gold Bluffs Beach in May 1850 saw gold flakes in the sand. The prospectors gave up when removing the gold proved too difficult.

You can explore the beach on foot or kayak, and there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching. 

Stroll along the calm coastline, which is framed by huge cliffs, to search for seashells. The 10-mile coastline also gathers driftwood, which may take on fractal patterns.

In addition, Gold Bluffs Beach is just a short drive from some of the other top attractions in Redwood National Park, making it the perfect place to start your adventure.

Freshwater Lagoon Beach

Freshwater Lagoon Beach

One of the most gorgeous spots on the planet is Redwood National Park’s Freshwater Lagoon Beach.

The lagoon is nourished by a clean freshwater stream that comes down from the neighboring hills.

This Freshwater Lagoon beach is easily accessible from the coastal roadway, separated from the ocean by a narrow strip of land and Highway 101.

There are plenty of places to explore. You can swim in the lagoon, sunbathe on the beach, or stroll through the mesmerizing forests.

This magnificent lagoon is encircled by redwood trees and sand dunes. Paddlers are welcome to bring their boats and spend the afternoon on the water.

Picnic tables and BBQ grills are also available for use. The Freshwater Lagoon beach is an ideal location for unwinding and enjoying nature.

Redwood Creek Beach 

Redwood Creek Beach 

Redwood Creek Beach is one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in the world. 

Located within the Redwood National Park, it is only accessible by a short hike from the nearest parking lot. 

However, the effort is well worth it, as the beach is surrounded by towering redwoods and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean

The best time to visit the beach is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the water is calm. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, as there is very little shade at the beach. 

Overall, Redwood Creek Beach is an unforgettable place that should not be missed.

Scenic Driving to Do Around Redwoods

Bald Hills Road

Bald Hills Road

Nestled among the towering redwoods of Northern California, the Bald Hills Road is one of the most scenic drives in the state. 

The winding road follows the course of Redwood Creek and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness. 

Along the way, there are several pull-offs where visitors can get out and stretch their legs or have a picnic. Wildlife is also abundant in the area, and it’s not uncommon to see deer, elk, or even a Roosevelt elk grazing alongside the road. 

The Bald Hills Road is open year-round, but it is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves of the redwoods change color. 

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely drive or an adventurous hike, the Bald Hills Road is sure to please.

Howland Hill Road

Howland Hill Road

If you’re looking for a spectacular, picturesque drive, Then Howland Hill Road has you covered.

This winding road takes you through some of the tallest trees on earth, providing stunning views and an unforgettable experience. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on taking a drive along the Howland Hill Road:

First, be sure to plan ahead. The road is unpaved and can be rough in spots, so it’s important to have a good idea of where you’re going. There are several pull-offs along the way where you can stop and take in the view, but it’s best to know your route before you set out. 

Second, be prepared for weather conditions. The road can be slippery when wet, so it’s important to check the forecast before you go. 

Finally, keep an eye out for wildlife. The woods along the Howland Hill Road are home to many animals, including deer, elk, and bears. 

If you’re lucky, you might spot one of these furry friends during your drive!

Davison Road

Davison Road

The Davison Road near Redwood National Park is one of California’s most picturesque routes.

This seven-mile scenic stretch of road provides views of elk, beaches, and a stunning canyon. The road winds through towering redwoods, past rippling streams, and cascading waterfalls. 

It is sure to take your breath away! 

The best time to go is in the spring when the trees are in bloom and the air is filled with the scent of wildflowers

Even in the summer, however, the drive is worthwhile because you can cool off in one of the many rivers or lakes along the way.

There are also plenty of picnic spots and hiking trails if you want to make a day of it. So, what are you waiting for? Pack a lunch and hit the road!

Requa Road

Requa Road

Requa Road is a hilly, coastal drive in Del Norte County, California. The road is a tad rough, but the ride is well worth it.

The road twists through the forest, and there are several pull-offs where you can take in the scenery.

The best time to take the drive is in the late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky and the light filters through the trees. 

You might even see some deer or other wildlife along the way! 

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing drive or an adventure, the Requa Road is sure to please.

Developed Campgrounds at Redwood National Park 

Developed Campgrounds at Redwood National Park 

Gold Bluffs Beach Campground

  • Location: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Davison Road, 10 miles north of Orick, California (unpaved, no trailers).
  • Open: Typically open all year.
  • Site: 26 tent or RV sites (no hook-ups).
  • Amenities: Picnic tables, bathrooms, solar showers, wind shelters, fire pits and barbeques, trash receptacles, and food lockers
  • RV Camping: a 24-foot RV length limit, but no trailers.

Elk Prairie Campground

  • Location: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, 6 miles north of Orick, California.
  • Open: All year long.
  • Site: 75 tent or RV sites (no hookups); hiker/biker sites available.
  • Amenities: campfire center, picnic tables, hot showers, ADA accessible facilities, ADA accessible cabins, tourist center, fire pits and barbeques, food lockers, and trash receptacles.
  • RV Camping: 27-foot RV or a 24-foot trailer.

Mill Creek Campground

  • Location: Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Highway 101, 7 miles south of Crescent City, California.
  • Open: from May 18 through September 30.
  • Site:145 tent or RV sites (no hookups); hiker/biker sites available.
  • Amenities:  firepits and barbeques, hot showers, ADA accessible facilities, a dump station, picnic tables, food lockers, and trash receptacles.
  • RV Camping: A 28-foot RV or a 24-foot trailer is permitted.

Jedediah Smith Campground

  • Location: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Highway 199, 10 miles east of Crescent City, California.
  • Open: All year long.
  • Site: 86 tent or RV sites (no hookups); hiker/biker sites available.
  • Amenities: Picnic tables, hot showers, ADA bathrooms, ADA cabins, dump station, fire pits and barbeques, campfire center, food lockers, trash receptacles, and tourist center.
  • RV Camping: A 25-foot RV or a 21-foot trailer is permitted.

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