1111 Second Street
Crescent City, California 95531
Established: January 1,
Visitors: 418,820 (in
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The Amazing Diversity
An amazing diversity of life exists
at Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP). The ancient coast
redwood ecosystem preserved in the parks contains some of the
planet's most majestic forests. Here, banana slugs, gray whales,
Douglas-fir, black bears, and sea anemones are equally at home with
Park staff work to maintain and
restore the area's biological diversity through a wide range of
resource management and educational activities. Preserving both
natural processes and the region's species and genetic diversity
helps ensure that countless generations can experience the beauty
and complexity of an old-growth redwood forest.
This is your personal classroom whose
wonders wait to be explored.
Preserve and Protect
When western expansion met the
redwoods in the 1800s, the trees began to fall under saw and axe.
The massive redwoods offered early settlers a seemingly
inexhaustible lumber supply. However, within a hundred year span the
vast forests were reduced to a fraction of their former range. By
the early 1900s, it was apparent that the future of the old-growth
redwood forest was in doubt.
Thanks to the visionary actions of
the Save-the-Redwoods League, the redwoods received the protection
they needed. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast
Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park were
created by the State of California in the 1920s to protect some of
the finest remaining examples of coast redwoods.
Congress protected lands adjacent to
the three California state parks in 1968 with the creation of
Redwood National Park. In 1994, the California Department of Parks
and Recreation and the National Park Service agreed to jointly
manage the four-park area for maximum resource protection.
Today, visitors to RNSP will find not
only old-growth redwood groves but open prairie lands, two major
rivers, and 37 miles of pristine California coastline. RNSP is also
a testing ground for large scale forest and stream restoration of
severely impacted lands.
American Indian tribes have made
their home within the North Coast* region for thousands of years and
still maintain their cultural presence today in areas surrounding
RNSP. The parks' managers work in consultation with the tribes to
ensure that their cultural practices can continue.
We invite you to visit the rich
community of life at RNSP. Together, these parks are recognized as
both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve.
The designations reflect worldwide awareness of RNSP's resources as
irreplaceable. They must be safeguarded.
*Redwood National and State Parks
reside in the North Coast of California and Oregon. The North Coast
is a loosely defined region from about Ukiah, CA inland and Fort
Bragg, CA on the coast, extending to Josephine County in Oregon.
When travelling on Highway 101 south to north, you'll notice a
distinct change in vegetation from California oak woodlands to the
Douglas-fir/coast redwood forests and a very moist climate.
Things To Do
What lives in the redwood forest?
Did you know that Redwood National and State Parks
offers far more than just redwoods? Visit one of
the five visitor centers to find out about ranger-led
programs. Pick up an official map and look for
these place names. Suggestions are given north
Discover Howland Hill Road
and Stout Grove: a 10-mile scenic drive through
old-growth redwoods, along Mill Creek, with a
½-mile walk through a river bottom grove of
tremendous trees. Motorhomes and trailers not
Explore Enderts Beach and
Crescent Beach Overlook: Stand before
outstanding Pacific Ocean views from the
overlook; you may even see a gray whale! Walk
1-mile to Enderts Beach, an access route to
multi-colored, myriad tidepool creatures. Be
sure to check low tide times. Trailers not
Drive to Klamath River
Overlook, a prime spot for watching the gray
whale migration. Look for other marine mammals
and a host of seabirds any time of year. Hike ¼
mile down a steep trail to the lower overlook
and more dramatic views.
Get off the beaten path and
onto Coastal Drive! This 8-mile rough and tumble
road winds past expansive Pacific Ocean views
and descends into redwoods at Prairie Creek
Redwoods State Park. Look through binoculars at
the massive off shore rocks to spy thousands of
seabirds nesting. Motorhomes and trailers
prohibited on gravel section.
Travel Newton B. Drury Scenic
Parkway. Not even the Avenue of the Giants can
beat this! A 10-mile scenic drive through
ancient redwoods. Stop and walk an 1/8 of a mile
to Big Tree Wayside; you'll see why! Watch for
Roosevelt elk grazing in the prairie.
Investigate Davison Road
where Roosevelt elk hang out in the prairie.
Trillium Falls Trail covers 2½ miles through
ancestral forest and has one of the few falls in
the parks. Follow Davison Road to the gray sands
of Gold Bluffs Beach. See if you can find the
remains of the mining era. Nothing compares to
Fern Canyon with its 30-foot walls dripping wet
and full of ferns. Survey the creek for slippery
creatures. Trailers and vehicles longer than 24
Be sure to stop at Kuchel
Visitor Center one mile south of Orick. The
state-of-the-art exhibits are fabulous!
Places to Picnic