Redwood National Parks
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National Park Redwoods
National Park Redwood Information
Inn of the Beachcomber Gold Beach Oregon
This page about the redwoods and Redwood National & State Parks is for the guests of the Inn of the Beachcomber and those of you that found it in cyber space. We are planning to offer more information on the Redwood Parks as we have time but thought we would at least offer this as a start. The Beachcomber is a 47 unit inn located on the beach in Gold Beach Oregon. We are 53 miles from the Redwood National Parks headquarters in Crescent City, California and all that the coastal redwoods have to offer. I have added some useful links at the bottom of the page for some of the Redwood State Park sights. The California state parks are: Jedediah Smith Redwoods, located on Hwy 199- head out of Crescent City towards Grants Pass Oregon, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park by Orick and the redwoods at Humboldt State Parks. The Humboldt Redwoods State Park is about an hour south of Eureka. The best site as far as info is the site which has a lot of pictures of the National Park, redwoods and the coastline. He has taken the time to provide a lot of useful info as well as his cool photography. I almost forgot there is a link to Big Basin Redwoods Park south of San Francisco as well.
Redwood National Park & State Parks
Redwood National Park Lodging, Beachfront Lodging Gold Beach
If you aren’t from around here the first thing to know about Redwood National Park, and the other Redwood Parks, either California State Redwood Parks or Redwood National Parks, the redwoods is just as simple as it’s not one area or limited to one park. The Redwoods are an eco system that spans from southern Oregon deep into California. It is state land, federal land and private lands all in the same eco system. Redwood National Park Headquarters is in Crescent City, California which in about 52 miles from here, The Inn of the Beachcomber in Gold Beach Oregon. If you were coming from the south by the time you got to Crescent City you would have seen a whole bunch of redwoods. I’m not sure of the history of how Crescent City became the center of the redwoods when the facts show it could almost be at the end. Eureka is a larger city, has a state university and is in the middle of the national park redwood complex. There aren’t really many lodging choices in the redwood park complex. No Redwood National Park Hotels, no famous redwoods lodge like Crater Lake National Park. Eureka, California is the largest city in the complex and it has no oceanfront lodging. This makes Gold Beach with its 5 beachfront properties a logical stop-off for exploring the tallest trees in the world.

redwood park headquarters building in crescent city, ca

Redwood Park HQ Crescent City

To get started on the Redwoods you have to think of them as a large eco system that exists in a humid rain forest that gets lots of its moisture from fog. Temperatures range from 40 to 60 degrees year round along the redwood coastline. The Redwoods rely on the fog that envelops the coast in the summer. Summers are usually mild with warmer temperatures inland which helps create the coastal fog. Winters are cool, not cold, with lots of precipitation. The National Park Redwood site says “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.”

redwoods in the fog

Redwoods in the Fog 1

another picture of redwoods in the fog

Redwoods in the Fog 2

That’s the big deal with the National Park and the Redwoods you could drive all the way from Josephine County Oregon to Ukiah, California, about 330 miles and see all the Redwood National & State Parks. It’s not the Grand Canyon National Park-one park. It's 330 miles if you’re from the east coast that’s like driving from New York City to Richmond Virginia. Five states and the District of Columbia or the center of the Yankee North to the stronghold of the confederate South. To make a point of the eco system, you can find redwoods down in the Santa Cruz area at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Any way, enough about the logistics of Redwood National Park, Redwood state parks and the eco systems. The trees are unreal and I wish more people could find their way to see the wonder that the redwoods are.

Here’s a little info from North to South

If you are coming to the Beachcomber from Grants Pass Oregon on Hwy 199 you go through Jedediah Smith State Park which is about an hours drive from Gold Beach. Like I said above, California's Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service cooperate in management of the Redwood National Parks and state parks.

Jedediah Smith State Park, Hwy 199 N E Crescent City
Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Weott, CA
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, South of Crescent City
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Orick

hiker next to a huge redwood trunk

Jedediah Smith State Park

The northernmost of the state parks is Jedediah Smith State Park. Founded in 1923, this park was named after explorer Jedediah Smith. The park is served by the Hiouchi Information Center; it is located on Highway 199 which runs from Crescent City, California to Cave Junction, Oregon, known as the "Redwood Highway."

hand-drawn drawing of jedediah smith

Jedediah Smith

A little info lifted from my favorite source Wikipedia about Jedediah Smith State Park “Jedediah Smith, who visited its location during an 1826 expedition. It is located in the northern part of the U.S. state of California, nine miles east of Crescent City, on U.S. Route 199. The park is one of three State Parks cooperatively managed as part of Redwood National and State Parks.[1]
This park has several hiking trails, and a day use area adjacent to the campground, next to the Smith River. Popular attractions include the Simpson Reed Discovery Trail and Stout Grove. Stout Grove near Howland Hill Road contains 'Stout Tree', the largest in the stand.
Mill Creek flows through the park and merges with the Smith River near the campground. In the warm season, a seasonal bridge is placed across Mill Creek for easier access to Mill Creek Trail and one end of Hiouchi Trail.”

Redwoods National Parks Headquarters
Redwood National Park Headquarters is really the Redwoods National & State Park headquarters as it serves as a clearing house for all the Redwood parks. It is located in 1111 Second Street Crescent City, California and is only 53 miles from the Beachcomber in Gold Beach. The first thing to do is grab a map and then go talk to the ranger, or listen to the ranger tell others about the park. It’s pretty clear that you can either treat Redwood National Park as a great scenic drive with a few stops along the way, or as a major get 'er done expedition with lots of hiking in the cool summer shade of the redwoods. Once you leave Crescent City and head up Hwy 101 you’ll start to see the redwoods pretty quickly.

Here is some "scenic paved drives" info from the Redwood National Park web site:

map of the northern redwood parks

Paved Scenic Drives
     Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway (15-30 minutes one way). Ten-mile (16-km) drive through old-growth redwood forest in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Along the way, look for access to numerous trailheads and spy the brawny Roosevelt elk. This scenic alternate to Highway 101 begins six miles north of Orick or four miles south of Klamath. No commercial vehicles permitted.

    Enderts Beach Road (5 minutes one way). This 2-mile (3-km) route offers excellent views of the ocean, whale watching opportunities, and access to tidepools and the Coastal Trail. The turnoff is two miles (3 km) south of Crescent City along Highway 101.

     Requa Road (15 minutes one way). Drive 4-miles (6-½ km) paved along the Klamath River up a steep grade to the Klamath River Overlook. Excellent whale and seabird watching. Bring your camera! Located two miles (3 km) north of the Klamath River on Highway 101.

harvesting trees in the olden days

Big Log

I bought the Beachcomber in August of 2005. In August of 2004 I stayed at the Beachcomber on a long weekend and spent a day at Redwood National Park and did this drive. Not a quick drive but we all had a great time and felt we were seeing things that most of mankind hadn’t seen. Remember to take snacks and drinks.

Paved/Unpaved Scenic Road
     Coastal Drive (1-2 hours one way). Mostly gravel 8-mile road offers magnificent views of the ocean and the Klamath River with its estuary. Whales, sea lions, and pelicans are often seen from overlooks. Offers access to the Coastal Trail, Flint Ridge section. From the north, take Highway 101 to Klamath Beach Road, then follow the Coastal Drive signs. From the south, travel Highway 101 to the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, and then drive nine miles to the Coastal Drive turnoff. Trailers and motor homes prohibited.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

beautiful scene in prairie creek redwood park

The Prairie Creek Redwoods area is 80 miles south of the Beachcomber and Gold Beach. Orick is the hub of this part of the national park redwood complex. The Prairie Creek redwoods were set aside in the early 1920’s by the Save-the-Redwoods League. Prairie Creek Redwoods area has over 280 Save-the-Redwoods League memorial groves and this makes Prairie Creek a sanctuary of old growth coast redwood. The visitor center & Elk Prairie Campground are located at the southern end of the Parkway and is a required stop to some information on the great hikes in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

beautiful waterfall in prairie creek redwood park

Some basic information on what Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park has to offer:

Campgrounds: Elk Prairie, Gold Bluffs Beach, Environmental, and three hike/bike campgroundsWildlife viewing includes Roosevelt elk, whale watching, and interesting birding (spotted owl, marbled murrelet, and 262 more animal species)

roosevelt elk standing in tall grass in prairie creek redwood park

Picnic areas in the redwoods & on the beach

Fern Canyon
Cal-Barrel Road (scenic drive; motor homes and trailers prohibited.) 75 miles of hiking trails, bicycle trails, self-guided nature trail, accessible trails for individuals with physical or visual limitations, backpackingVisitor Center with exhibits open year roundNature Store open year roundInterpretive talks & guided walks (seasonal)

Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Weott, CA
Humboldt redwoods are located 184 miles south of the Inn of the Beachcomber, Gold Beach Oregon and 50 miles south of Eureka, California. The Redwoods in Humboldt State Park are 85 miles from Fort Bragg California which has pretty good choices for lodging. Humboldt redwoods are located near the Eel River. State highway 254, Avenue of the Giants runs through the park. Humboldt Redwoods Park is home to some of the world's most majestic ancient redwood groves in all the redwood park complex. The park has over 50,000 acres, and nearly 17,000 acres of old-growth coastal redwoods. Like in The Prairie Creek Redwoods in the early 1920’s Save the Redwoods League dedicated the first Memorial Grove, Colonel Raynal C. Bolling Memorial Grove, in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Today the Humboldt Redwoods are part of the diverse coast redwood ecosystem that includes Rockefeller Forest. Rockefeller Forest is the largest remaining old-growth forest in the world.

With a ton of camp sites and over 100 miles of hiking, biking, and riding trails the redwoods in Humboldt Park offer much to do. Combine the outdoors activities the scenic 32-mile Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt Redwoods State Park is clearly a must see on the redwood coast... The park is open all year and recreational activities are available weather dependent all year. Remember if you are not from around here it can rain a lot in the winter so dress accordingly.

Redwood national park lodging

Redwood Hostel

For 22 years, the Redwood National Park Hostel (HI)—the only lodging available in Redwood National and State Parks—accommodated travelers from around the world. On January 18, 2010, however, the hostel closed its doors indefinitely due to a lack of available funding for necessary repairs to the historic former pioneer homestead.

As of January 18, 2010, there are no lodging facilities available in Redwood National and State Parks. Numerous camping opportunities are available, however. After leaving the Beachcomber I would look for lodging in Eureka or Fort Bragg as choices heading south. Most people have never really seen the California Northern Coast. The drive up from San Francisco on Hwy 101 is away from the ocean most of the way. If you are looking for a great drive and you like remote the drive through Fort Bragg through Mendocino and on to Jenner is pretty darn cool and is a great way to experience the forgotten California Northern Coast. There is not a lot of beachfront lodging in California, Eureka has none. As far as California, Fort Bragg hotels and motels are located on the beach and are fairly numerous. When I went to Fort Bragg a couple of years ago I ended up off the beach at a national chain on the highway. I will try to get some motel and Fort Bragg Hotel information organized here soon.

Good Links

Map Links

Links to Redwood State Parks

Jedediah Smith Redwood SP

Del Norte Coast Redwood SP

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Prairie Creek Redwood SP

Link to Redwood National Park

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