Redwood National and State Parks
An amazing diversity of life exists at Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP). The ancient coast redwood ecosystem preserved in the parks contains some of the planet's most majestic forests. Here, banana slugs, gray whales, Douglas-fir, black bears, and sea anemones are equally at home with redwoods.
Park staff work to maintain and restore the area's biological diversity through a wide range of resource management and educational activities. Preserving both natural processes and the region's species and genetic diversity helps ensure that countless generations can experience the beauty and complexity of an old-growth redwood forest.
This is your personal classroom whose wonders wait to be explored.
• Discover Howland Hill Road and Stout Grove: a 10-mile scenic drive through old-growth redwoods, along Mill Creek, with a ½-mile walk through a river bottom grove of tremendous trees. Motorhomes and trailers not advised.
• Explore Enderts Beach and Crescent Beach Overlook: Stand before outstanding Pacific Ocean views from the overlook; you may even see a gray whale! Walk 1-mile to Enderts Beach, an access route to multi-colored, myriad tidepool creatures. Be sure to check low tide times. Trailers not advised
• Drive to Klamath River Overlook, a prime spot for watching the gray whale migration. Look for other marine mammals and a host of seabirds any time of year. Hike ¼ mile down a steep trail to the lower overlook and more dramatic views.
• Get off the beaten path and onto Coastal Drive! This 8-mile rough and tumble road winds past expansive Pacific Ocean views and descends into redwoods at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Look through binoculars at the massive off shore rocks to spy thousands of seabirds nesting. Motorhomes and trailers prohibited on gravel section.
• Travel Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. Not even the Avenue of the Giants can beat this! A 10-mile scenic drive through ancient redwoods. Stop and walk an 1/8 of a mile to Big Tree Wayside; you'll see why! Watch for Roosevelt elk grazing in the prairie.
• Investigate Davison Road where Roosevelt elk hang out in the prairie. Trillium Falls Trail covers 2½ miles through ancestral forest and has one of the few falls in the parks. Follow Davison Road to the gray sands of Gold Bluffs Beach. See if you can find the remains of the mining era. Nothing compares to Fern Canyon with its 30-foot walls dripping wet and full of ferns. Survey the creek for slippery creatures. Trailers and vehicles longer than 24 feet prohibited.
• Be sure to stop at Kuchel Visitor Center one mile south of Orick. The state-of-the-art exhibits are fabulous!