Hidden in the upper reaches of the Pacific coast of Northern California, Redwood National Park contains some of the tallest and most ancient trees in the world. We are talking about Sequoia sempervirens – better known as coastal sequoias. They reach their phenomenal height of up to 115 meters, intertwining at the roots and creating a supportive network that allows them to stand despite storms and other weather events. There are many such moss-covered wonders growing in the national park, but this is only the beginning.
Three state parks – Prairie Creek Redwoods, Del North Coast Redwoods, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods – sprawl north and are managed jointly with federal land. Together they form an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. There is absolute silence here. You will feel like a small particle compared to 2000-year-old giants.
The Redwood extends to a wild and rocky coast, often shrouded in morning mist.
How to get here
The main starting point is San Francisco International Airport, located 530 km from Redwood. From here, a direct link will take you to the small Humboldt County Regional Airport, located 48 km south of the park.
Public transport in Redwood is quite limited. The sights of the park are scattered over 96 km, so it is more convenient to get there by your own car.
The owners of Hiouchi Motel go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your stay in the hotel’s simple and clean rooms. It offers laundry services up to washing camping equipment.
The colorful Historic Requa Inn is a wooded country house on the bluffs overlooking the mouth of the Klamath River. It offers charming, period, eco-friendly rooms.
Spacious, modern and bright, the Lost Whale Inn B&B in Trinidad is perched atop a grassy cliff, high above the crashing waves and roaring sea lions. It offers stunning views of the sea and gardens.
Head to Beachcomber Cafe for the best breakfast in the area – from a hearty bowl of organic black beans with avocado and poached egg to delicious homemade muffins.
The Trinidad Bay Eatery & Gallery may sound like a run-of-the-mill diner, but organic ingredients and a menu of favorite local dishes like red curry scallops ensure a steady flow of customers.
Moroccan rugs, chocolate brown walls, and gravity-defying floral arrangements create a rather moody Larrupin’ Cafe atmosphere that’s perfect for a date night. It serves excellent seafood and grilled meats.
Duration: 3 days
The Redwood National and State Parks are full of opportunities for tree exploration. On the third day, drive south and stop in the Victorian town of Ferndale, where every building is a landmark. Then drive to Humboldt Redwoods Park, California’s largest redwood park. It boasts three-fourths of the 100 tallest trees in the world. Finish off with a 32-mile walk in Avenue of the Giants Park.
Duration: 9 days
Once you’ve given up your obsession with redwoods in parks, head south to get onto Hwy 1. This fabulous coastal road winds its way around isolated cliffs where you can hear the surf in the distance. Stop for a day in the charming village of Mendocino before heading to Point Arena for some shopping and lighthouse climbing. Settle in at Bodega Bay and explore the endless nearby bays of the Sonoma Coast State Beach. Hang out at the exuberant and poetic Point Race and end the trip with a few days stay in hilly beatnik San Francisco.
When to go
June and July are the driest months in Redwood. This is the perfect time for hiking and enjoying nature.
The weather in August and September is also warm and pleasant.
Other months are colder and rainier, and therefore fewer tourists come to Redwood.
From December to April you can see gray whales migrating off the coast.
Pack waterproof gear to be prepared for rain any time of the year.