May 18 – 21, 2022, California.
I wasn’t immediately bowled over by the Redwoods. I remember learning about the Redwoods as a child and being a bit mystified by them. Giant trees! I was eager to see these goliaths.
But when I first saw them in person, from the car, they were just really big trunks. Granted they were beautiful trunks. Driving among them I got this cozy comfy feeling. Vegetation mostly disappeared, replaced by a textured, deep but warm brown. The road wove through them like a secret passage to another place. Then the tunnel of trunks ended and brought us out to another side where the disarray of shrubs and green leaves on full branches began again.
It was hard to see that these trunks were actually very tall trees until we stopped and I got out of the car, craned my neck all the way back, and looked up. Way up. This is difficult to do this while you walk, so mostly I admired the lovely trunks as I wandered among them. That was until I walked ahead of Greg, turned around, and snapped a long view of him, a miniature person in the forest.
I didn’t know there were so many places to see Redwoods. We visited Hulmbolt State Park, the Avenue of the Giants, and Redwood National Park which includes three other California State Parks, Prairie Creek Redwoods SP, Del Norte Coast Redwoods SP, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP.
Here is the path we took. (All pics are click to enlarge. Once you have them enlarged you can view them in a slide show. Also, you can hover over the pics to see captions.)
– Humbolt Redwoods State Park & The Avenue of the Giants
When we left The Lost Coast Trail on the California coast we were heading for camping reservations in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. But instead of taking the direct route there, we made a detour east. We were heading for the Avenue of the Giants (which we were told not to miss). This route led us through Humbolt Redwoods State Park. We stopped in Humbolt to hike the Big Tree Loop Trail and to see the Big Tree.
After our hike to see the Big Tree we drove on until we intersected with the Avenue of the Giants, a 30-ish mile stretch of road that passes through many Redwood groves. We turned north on the Avenue in the direction of Redwoods National Park.
– Redwood National Park & Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
On the second day of our Redwood adventure, we hiked a couple of trails, the Lady Bird Johnson Grove and the Trillium Falls Trail. First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson was a big supporter of the Redwoods and in 1967 President Richard Nixon honored her with a grove of trees in her name.
After our day of hiking, we returned to our campground at Prairie Creek to find elk lazing about in a field.
– Prairie Creek Redwood State Park
We spent a second day in Prairie Creek driving the Newton B Drury Parkway through the park on our way to our next camping destination in Del Norte Coast Redwood Park. We stopped along the highway and hiked a few trails and found some interesting trees, wildlife, and the beach.
– Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park & Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
We didn’t spend much time in Del Norte Coast Redwoods except to camp overnight and hike a short trail out of the campground in the morning. After that short hike, we were off to our last Redwoods Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park where we found a few more nice trails and really big trees.
This is the last of our posts about our travels in California this past Spring. Next we are off to Canada and Alaska. Maybe the blog will catch up with sometime.