NorCal Roadtrips

An Explorer's Guide to Northern California

Redwood National/ State Parks

Redwood National Park

This "park" is truly unique, a joint venture between the federal and state governments and encompassing a great deal of scenic territory. Redwood trees are the marquee attraction, but there is much more to it than that. This all started with the State of California, with the "Save the Redwoods" League militating, and succeeding, in protecting the coast redwood forests from logging. In the 1920's California created the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. In 1968 the U.S. Congress got into the act, creating Redwood National Park adjacent to the state facilities to protect even more forest. A fairly amazing feat when you think about it. The collective group is now both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve. So it's not just the redwoods anymore.

All of these parks are oriented to the hiker and camper. There are not many roads traversing the parks so its not the place to expect to drive to "destinations", hop out of the car to snap a photo and hit the road again. Our favorite place here is Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

The wild and scenic Smith River, the only remaining major river in California not obstructed by a dam, runs thru this area and Hwy. 199 is a nice drive along parts of it. Anglers know it well as one of the prime rivers to fish for salmon and steelhead anywhere in the state. The Klamath River, also nearby, has s similar reputation.

website: www.nps.gov/redw.

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