What is Redwood National and State Parks?
Redwood National and State Parks are a collection of one national park and three California state parks. Located along the Northern California coast, the parks serve to protect the California Coastal Redwoods.
The national park is known as Redwood National Park and the California state parks are made up of Jedediah Smith State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek State Park.
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Why is Redwood National and State Parks a UNESCO World Heritage site?
The Redwood Parks are a World Heritage site because they protect the oldest and tallest trees in the world. This group of trees has existed for 160 million years and was nearly logged into extinction. The last remaining of these majestic trees now reside within the borders of Redwood National and State Parks. Along with the Coastal Redwoods, the parks are also home to diverse marine and freshwater flora and fauna.
What can you expect on a visit to Redwood National and State Parks?
Expect to be struck speechless! No matter how many times you have seen photos of the Coastal Redwoods, nothing prepares you for the first time you see them in person. On average, the redwoods are 250-300 feet tall (76-91 meters) with a circumference of over 90 feet (27 meters) around.
You can experience old and new-growth forests, coast views, and tide pools while exploring Redwood National and State Parks. You can also see bears, bald eagles, sea lions, and Roosevelt Elk herds.
Even if you don’t like to hike or be out in the woods, you will be able to enjoy Redwood National and State Parks by driving one of the scenic drives that go through the parks.
Is Redwood National and State Parks worth visiting?
Redwood National and State Parks are definitely worth visiting! The redwood trees are so incredible to see, and because this is one of the only places in the world to see them, it is imperative that you take the time to visit.
Redwood National and State Parks are pretty far away from most other attractions, but don’t let that deter you from going there. You can see just a little bit of the park in one day if that is all the time you have, but to really experience more that the parks have to offer, you should plan on 3-4 days.
What sorts of travelers would enjoy Redwood National and State Parks?
Anyone will enjoy Redwood National and State Parks. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and there are so many different kinds of things to do and see. Travelers who enjoy hiking and exploring may enjoy these parks and wish to spend more time in them. Travelers who don’t love the outdoors as much will still be able to appreciate the size and age of the redwoods and may feel that one day is plenty to visit, just seeing the highlights and moving on their way.
Tips for visiting Redwood National and State Parks
When visiting the redwoods, you will want to bring shoes that will keep your feet dry and can get muddy. Also, due to the coastal fog and rain, you’ll want to bring a rain jacket. Bring a camera too: you’ll definitely want to capture images of the trees!
Any time of year is a good time to visit the parks, but if you want fewer crowds, plan on visiting in the winter. The temperatures will be cooler, but there will be fewer people.
You will want to plan your accommodations well ahead of your trip, as there aren’t many options near the parks. Bring snacks and have a full tank of gas and emergency supplies as there are many areas with no services or cell service available.
You should download the free NPS (National Park Service) app on your phone. From there you can download the information for Redwood National and State Parks, such as maps, hikes, and things to see. By doing this, it will be accessible to you even if you lose cell phone service.
Where are Redwood National and State Parks?
Redwood National and State Parks are on the Northern California coast just below the Oregon border. The parks extend about 50 miles along the coast.
The nearest towns are Crescent City, Klamath, and Arcata, California. These are all about one hour away. San Francisco, California, is 6 hours away and Medford, Oregon, is 3 hours away.
There are no public transportation options to Redwood National and State Parks so you will need to have or rent a car to explore the parks.
For more information about Redwood National and State Parks, their opening hours and fees, see their official website Redwood National and State Park.
Text and photos provided by Chantelle of Flannels or FlipFlops Travel Blog.
Have you been to Redwood National and State Parks? If so, do you have any additional information or advice about this UNESCO World Heritage site? Please add your comments below!