Redwood National Park is located in corner of upper northwestern corner of California of the United States. The protected area runs along the coastline of the state. The park covers an area of 30.7 square miles (79.5 sq km) along 37 miles (60 km) of the stellar coastline.
There are several state parks, including Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks, combining to further protect these towering giants. The collective area accounts for 217.2 square miles (562.5 sq km) of the protected forests.
The four parks work together to protect almost half of the remaining coastal redwoods. Sadly, almost 95% of the original grove of redwood giants has been logged. These redwood giants are related to the giant sequoia trees living in Sequoia National Park. Together, they represent the tallest and largest trees in the world.
These trees are incredibly impressive in their stature. As the tallest trees in the world, it feels like you are forever looking upward to find the tops of the trees. The tallest trees include:
- Hyperion 379.1 feet (115.5 m)
- Helios 376.3 feet (114.7 m)
- Icarus 371.2 feet (113.1 m)
Lost Monarch is the largest redwood by volume. It measures 26 feet (7.9 m) in diameter and stands 320 feet (98 m) high. It is outside the national park and located in the neighboring Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, but all part of the collective protected area.
The Douglas fir is another mammoth tree found within the grove of redwoods also reaching heights around 300 feet (91 m). Sitka spruce, bigleaf maple, red alder, and California laurel are other trees adding to the serenity of this coastal haven.
The national park is comprised of much more than just the giant redwood trees. Inside the park, you will also experience meandering rivers, oak woodlands, and picturesque jagged coastlines.
This forested coastal ecosystem is home to a variety of wildlife species of which some are endangered. Some of the popular mammalian species include beaver, black bear, black-tailed deer, bobcat, cougar, coyote, elk, and river otter.
The coastal shores provide opportunities to see harbor seals, California sea lions, and Stellar sea lions as well as dolphins and gray whales. The skies may treat you to bald eagle or the northern spotted owl.
Driving through the park gives visitors a tremendous view of these astounding trees. However, the best way to experience them is by hiking the trails which allow you to get up close and personal and really get an understanding of how big they are.
Horseback riding is permitted on particular trails, but not all. The Smith River is often used for kayaking which provides another unique perspective as you travel amongst these giants while atop the river waters.
The redwood trees of the park are the pinnacle attraction; however, this is one of the most impressive rugged coastlines in the world featuring the towering giants looking out over the cliffs.
Standing up next to one of these massive giants leaves most people speechless. It is hard to fathom some vegetation that has grown to these actual sizes. They are unfathomable.
Trails of Redwood National Park
There are almost 200 miles (320 km) of hiking trails across the four protected areas that make up the Redwood National and State Parks system. Hiking is one of the best ways to discover and explore the majestic nature of these gorgeous giant trees.
Tall Trees Grove Loop Trail: This is a 3.3-mile (5.3 km) loop trail that is rated moderate. The trail meanders through some of the taller trees of the park.
Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail: This is an easy 1.3-mile (2.09 km) loop trail through one of the most beautiful areas of the park. The easy access and easy short distance make it one of the most popular trails of the park. This also means it has the most traffic as well. It delivers hikers to the fern-blanketed forest floor, gorgeous wildflowers, and of course, the towering redwood trees.
Redwood Creek Trail: This long 15.6-mile (25.1 km) trail takes about seven hours to navigate along the Redwood Creek while being surrounded by the towering redwood giants. This moderate rated trail is for those who are more physically fit.
- Tallest trees in the world
- All Trails, Best Trails in Redwood National Park, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/california/redwood-national-park, retrieved June 2020.
- Britannica, Redwood National Park, https://www.britannica.com/place/Redwood-National-Park, retrieved June 2020.
- National Geographic, Everything to know about Redwood National and State Parks, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/national-parks/redwood-national-park/, retrieved June 2020.
- National Geographic, Complete National Parks of the United States, National Geographic Publishing, Washington DC.
- National Geographic, Guide to the National Parks of the United States, National Geographic Society, 2003.
- National Geographic, National Parks of North America, Canada-United States-Mexico, National Geographic Society, 1995.
- National Park Service, Redwood National Park, https://www.nps.gov/redw/index.htm, retrieved June 2020.
- Redwood Hikes, Redwood National Park, http://www.redwoodhikes.com/RNP/RNP.html, retrieved June 2020.
- UNESCO, Redwood National and State Parks, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/134/, retrieved June 2020.
- Visit California, Redwood National Park, https://www.visitcalifornia.com/attraction/redwood-national-park, retrieved June 2020.
- Visit Redwoods, Redwood National and State Parks, https://www.visitredwoods.com/explore-the-redwoods/redwood-national-park/, retrieved June 2020.