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Free Traveling Guides » States » California » Northern California

» National Parks List

Redwood National and State Parks, California

redwood forest

Thirty miles (50 km) north of Arcata, the small town of Orick marks the southern limit, and busiest section of the Redwood National and State Parks preserve. The Tall Trees Grove here is home to America's most famous natural treasures, the tallest trees on earth, the coast redwoods. A mighty 367 footer (112 m) is the highlight of the park, amongst other attractions.

Many visitors to the park hike to it on the 8.5 mile (13.7 km) trail from the information center, from which you can obtain the needed free permit to drive and camp the back roads leading to the Grove. Of the three state parks within the Redwood National Park Area, Prairie Creek is the most varied and popular, and while bear and elk roam in plain sight, you can also be taken around by the rangers for a tour of the wilderness.

Other highlights of the park include the meadows of Elk Prairie, in front of the ranger station, where herds of Roosevelt Elk, massive beasts weighing up to 400 pounds (180 kg), are seen wandering freely. Spectacular coastal views can be had from from trails in the Klamath area, especially the Klamath Overlook, on Requa Road about three-quarters of a mile (1.2 km) down to the sea.

You can drive through, jump over, or walk under all the sculpted Trees of Mystery, except the impressive Cathedral Tree. The latter is a collection of nine trees, which have grown from one root structure to form a spooky structure. The park headquarters are in Crescent City. There are campgrounds everywhere. Information about these sites can be picked up anywhere in the park.

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