Planning Your Redwood National Park Trip
Redwood National and State Parks is one of the last places you can visit the ancient redwoods and live within a thriving ecosystem. Visiting the Redwoods is an unique experience as it consists some of the only parks that are co-managed by the State and National Park System. Redwood National Park consists of Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Like planning any trip, it takes time and research! Below are several pointers to help you easily plan the trip of your dreams!
- Decide on lodging. It is important to consider what sleeping arrangements everyone in your group is interested in. If you are interested in camping, the Redwoods offer 4 beautiful options including Jedediah Campground, Elk Prairie Campground, Mill Creek Campground and Bluffs Beach Campground. Also remember to make reservations ahead of time as campsites are booked months in advance. You can make reservations at ReserveAmerica.com and learn about each campground at https://www.nps.gov/redw/planyourvisit/developedcampgrounds.htm. We camped at both Jedediah and Bluffs Beach Campground and they were fantastic in terms of scenery and amenities. If you do intend to backcountry camp, you will need to permit, which can be obtained at https://www.nps.gov/redw/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm. The Redwoods do not have any indoor lodging apart from four cabins at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and four at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, however they are booked months in advance. For those who don't wish to camp, there are several lodging options in nearby cities, including Crescent City, Orick, Klamath, McKinleyville and Eureka. Lodging information can be found at https://www.visitredwoods.com/lodging/
- Getting there. It is important to decide how to get to the park and traveling within it. The easiest way to reach the Redwood National and State Parks is by car. From the north or south, drive into the park on U.S. Highway 101. From the northeast, plan to enter from U.S. Highway 199. You can fly to one of the adjacent cities on either a United Express Airlines flight into Crescent City Airport or a Horizon Air flight into Eureka-Arcata Airport. The closest international airports are in San Francisco and Sacramento. In addition, there are rental car locations at each airport.
- Food options. Your food options will be strongly dictated by your lodging options. If you are camping, your best option will be freeze dried camping food (be sure to check out our blog on best camping food under Gear Reviews). There are going to be plenty of dining options in surrounding cities, which can be found at https://www.visitredwoods.com/dining/. When hiking in the park, be sure to pack a lunch as there are no food options within the park.
- Packing. One cannot stress the importance of checking weather for the time of year you intend to visit the Redwoods. Pack clothing suitable for rainy conditions, regardless of the time of year and activities you intend to pursue. You need a waterproof jacket and comfortable, waterproof footwear. We both have leather Danner Mountain 600 hiking boots which not only provide high ankle support but are water proof. Temperatures in the park average 40 to 60 degrees all year, and damp, foggy and rainy conditions are almost guaranteed. Don't let the weather deter you for visiting the Redwoods, it is a truly magical place.
Important Links for Trip Planning