In this day and age, it’s all too easy to get caught up in technology and our fast-paced way of life. Americans are working more than ever. And when it’s time to unwind, it’s convenient to turn on the television or play around on our smart devices.
There are benefits to immersing ourselves more in nature. Studies show that nature not only makes us less anxious and depressed, but it also enhances our senses and creativity, as well as our communities.
If you’re overdue to get out into nature, why not visit the Redwoods in California? Redwood National Park is home to the world’s largest trees, and every inch of its 139,000 acres has something unique and rewarding to offer its visitors.
Still not convinced? Check out these 7 reasons why you should visit the Redwood forest!
1. Visit the Redwoods
The biggest draw to the Redwood National and State Parks are, of course… the redwood trees!
Redwood trees are the tallest trees in the world. A redwood can grow to be as tall as 300 feet high and 30 feet in diameter. And they’re only found in northern California and parts of Oregon.
The redwoods belong to a subfamily of trees known as the Sequoioideae. They’re one of the oldest living trees known to man. They can typically live up to 800 years or more.
In fact, some redwoods have lived up to 2,000 years! The redwoods in northern California have been around longer than humans. It’s believed that redwoods have been on earth for over 200 million years – almost as old as the dinosaurs.
Looking to find the largest orchard of redwoods in the entire park? It’s well worth visiting Redwood Mountain Grove. Here you’ll experience 10 miles of hiking and pay witness to some of the largest trees on record.
2. See the World’s Tallest Tree
Redwood National Park is home to Hyperion, the tallest living tree on the planet. It’s a redwood that’s measured at 380 feet tall, which is taller than the Statue of Liberty and Big Ben.
The redwood trees need a moist environment to thrive. With all the trees and plants, the air throughout the park is some of the freshest you’ll ever encounter.
You can find Hyperion in a remote part of Redwood National Forest. The exact location is not publicly known. But if you’re curious to see this natural giant for yourself, you can make it your mission to discover it!
3. Experience Trillium Falls
What’s an outdoors trip to a national park without some waterfalls?
Hiking along Trillium Falls Trail is one of the best things to do in Redwood National Park. The trail begins right off Highway 101 and eventually descends along a small bridge. There you’ll be able to view the falls, but if you continue hiking, you can see them up close and personal.
The Trillium Falls is certainly on the smaller end of the scale. But their mossy surroundings and the moist atmosphere make for an ethereal hike.
4. Drive Along Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway
In the northern part of Redwood National Forest is Prairie Creek Park. The Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway is a 10-mile stretch of road that spans across this small park. And it’s one of the more scenic drives you can experience in all Redwood.
Roosevelt elk roam this area and it’s easy to spot them from your car. Along the way, feel free to park and go for a hike.
5. Hike Fern Canyon
Imagine a 1-mile stretch of wilderness that’s dense with green and dripping with ferns. Sounds picturesque, right? When visiting the Redwoods, hiking Fern Canyon is a must, and it’s actually someplace you can easily access from Newtown B. Drury Scenic Parkway.
Fern Canyon isn’t just a canyon made up of green, 50-foot high prehistoric ferns. It’s a World Heritage site that’s known for its unusual and distinctive ecosystem.
The canyon itself runs along a creek that ebbs and flows with the rocky bottom. Be sure to pack sturdy, waterproof boots or water shoes for the hike.
6. Experience the Moon of Endor
So, you can’t exactly visit the forested moon of Endor (because there is no such thing). But did you know that George Lucas filmed much of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi in Redwood?
The scenes where Luke and Leia battle the Imperials on aerial speeder bikes were actually filmed in Cheatham Grove. While you won’t encounter any Ewoks here, you may recognize certain trees from the film. You may even encounter some elk or other unfamiliar wildlife.
There are also plenty of trails to hike along as you experience what the moon of Endor would’ve felt like.
7. Stay at Gold Bluffs Beach Campground
Staying overnight at Redwood’s Gold Bluffs Beach is unlike any other camping experience. It’s a secluded and open stretch of beach with big pockets of prairie grass and tall cliffs.
Chances are, you won’t be in close proximity to other campers. But because the Gold Bluffs is so well-known, it’s also not hard to meet fellow travelers a few yards away.
What’s the best part of staying at Gold Bluffs Beach? You can fall asleep listening to the ocean waves! Even if you’re traveling with an infant, it’s possible to set up a cozy camp that the entire family can relax at.
Are You Ready to Immerse Yourself in Redwood National Park?
There is no shortage of natural and beautiful places to visit on our planet. Redwood National Park is one of the most special for all 7 of these reasons – and so many more.
Are you ready to visit the Redwoods in northern California? If so, knowing what type of experience you’re seeking is of the essence.
Are you the type of person who is more comfortable staying indoors at night? Or, are you looking to completely immerse yourself in nature by camping?
Your budget will have a lot to do with your choice of lodging accommodations at Redwood. Ultimately, camping may be more cost-effective than lodging in a cabin or motel.
There is never a reason why you can’t experience nature – even when money is tight. Check out these 10 must-know tips and learn more about how to travel on a budget!