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  2. Insider's Guide to Redwood National Park
  3. Shop REI Adventures
  4. 7 Best Day Hikes in Redwood National and State Parks
  5. Best Trails in Redwood National Park

  • 9 Best hikes in Redwood National Park.
  • Hikes in Redwood National Park!
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Wandering through this almost prehistoric landscape of towering giants, enormous tree trunks, ferns, and lush vegetation, you may feel like you've walked onto a movie set. It's also interesting to note that these modern-day giant redwoods, standing as high as feet, are descendants of the same type of trees that dinosaurs walked among during the Jurassic Period.


The hiking trails in the Redwood National and State Parks vary in length but are all generally quite easy, with very few, if any, technically difficult areas on most trails. Although some trails have elevation gains, they are mainly level underfoot, and fairly wide. This is fortunate, since most of your time may well be spent looking skyward.

While hiking, keep an eye out for brightly colored banana slugs and other interesting critters. They extend, in this order, from south to north along the coast. This trail runs along hillsides and ridges through an incredible display of old-growth redwoods.

Insider's Guide to Redwood National Park

Even if you don't have time to complete the entire mile hike, it's worth walking in for a mile or two and returning along the same path, just to see the giant redwoods that cover the hillsides. From the trail, you can see the forest from different levels; looking up at them from below the base or across the valleys for a more elevated perspective. It's well worth taking the time to hike the entire trail as it meanders through pure redwood forest and down to the ocean, where it connects with the Fern Canyon hike, and passes through a variety of vegetation types.

From Fern Canyon, you can turn around and hike back the way you came. The scenery will look like you are on a new trail as you travel in the opposite direction. However, if you are interested in a loop hike, you can follow the beach a little over a mile to the south and return on the Miners' Ridge Trail.

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If you only have time for one short hike and want a spectacular look at old-growth redwoods, this is your best option. Combined with either Foothill or Prairie Creek Trail, this is a 2. This fern-lined trail has very little elevation gain as it meanders through absolutely enormous trees, including the main attraction, Big Tree. This 1,year-old giant stands feet and has a diameter of But, if it wasn't sign posted, it would be difficult to pick out which of the trees in this area is the biggest, as many of them are in the same age and height category.

The occasional fallen tree, including a huge one on the Foothill Trail, gives an even truer sense of how big these trees really are. You can access this hike from a couple of spots, but the most obvious place to start is either from the Big Tree trailhead, just north of the Prairie Creek Visitor Center, or from the visitor center. Starting from Big Tree, combine the loop with the Foothill Trail, but if you are starting from the visitor center, combine it with the Prairie Creek Trail.

Unlike Cathedral Tree Trail loop, which parallels the highway for portions of the hike, this trail runs deep into the woods, far from any traffic noise. The trail has elevation gain, but the hills offer a unique perspective and provide a closer look at the canopy in some areas. A partially suspended fallen tree near the start is a popular photo spot. The largest concentration of the old redwoods is closest to the start of the hike.

7 Best Day Hikes in Redwood National and State Parks

Huge trees at the end are more dispersed. Keep in mind, this trail is more about the journey than the destination, with a variety of different environments as you progress up a ridge and then down into a valley. Some sections are almost pure redwoods, other sections are mixed forest. Near the far end of the trail is a spur that takes you to the actual Boy Scout Tree, a huge double tree, given its name by a local troop leader, who first discovered it.

If you are not up for the full hike, you can walk in as far as you like and turn back, and you will still be satisfied. The trailhead is found along Howland Hill Road, a dirt road that narrowly dodges its way around giant redwoods and is almost as interesting as the hike itself. A small roadside parking pullout area, which only accommodates about ten or twelve cars, is the location of the trailhead. Watch for other parked cars because the signposting is limited. Located in Redwood National Park, at the south end of the park system, Tall Trees Grove Trail is a unique and relatively remote hike that showcases more than just redwoods.

You'll hike through old-growth redwoods and a forest of huge, spidery-shaped maples with moss covered branches reaching out in all directions. Rhododendrons bloom here in the spring. The trail begins high and descends for 1. At the bottom, it winds for one mile through the grove of the aptly described tall trees, as well as fury maples, before returning along the same path. This is a fun and entertaining hike, with fallen trees, a tunnel bridge, and holes in the base of the trees big enough to wander in. This is one of the less traveled hikes in the park, and you may even have the trail to yourself.

Best Trails in Redwood National Park

Before trying to find the trailhead, talk to park staff. The access road is gated, and you'll need to obtain the code from staff to open the gate. Once through the gate, you travel six miles down a dirt road to the parking area. Here's a collection of some of our favorite hikes - many have easy access and offer easy to moderate walks into the woods or overlooking the coast, or longer trails if that suits you. Easy one mile loop. Mileage: 1. Description: This short walk gives access to some of the largest trees in the Prairie Creek area.

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Many cathedral trees, or a family group of trees, tower on the slopes. Walk past fallen mother trees that have become nursery logs for a vast array of trees and ferns. A great trail for children because of its gentle grade and many trailside herbs and berries. Bicycles welcome. This is a moderate trail with non-level grades. Drury Scenic Parkway.

One of the newer trails in the park, this route is more notable for its noble redwoods and proximity to the Prairie Creek elk herd than for its small waterfall and scattering of trilliums. A springtime visit, with all four features present, is perhaps the best time for this hike, but it offers enjoyment—only a half mile from Highway —year-round.

This is an all-day hike with some steep grades and switchbacks through open prairie country. Check out a historic Dolason sheep barn along the way. The trail gradually descends into the Redwood Creek drainage through old-growth and second-growth redwood forests. This trail connects with the Tall Trees Trail. Bring your own water.

Here you can combine hiking and backcountry camping. Take an eight-mile hike to Tall Trees Grove, where some of the world's tallest trees grow on the flats of Redwood Creek. This involves two creek crossings. Caution: Bridges are provided in summer only. During the rainy season, high waters make stream crossings dangerous.