Redwood National and State Parks – At a GlanceNovember 16th, 2012 | Posted by in Parks | The Places We've Been | United States
Location: Northern Coastal California
Nearest Towns: Crescent City, CA (population 7,600)
- State Parks in the 1920s
- National Park on October 2, 1968
Area: 131,983 acres, including 37 miles of coastline
Hours and Fees: Always open and free to enter! Campground fees are $35 vehicle per night, $5 per hiker/biker per night, and $8 per vehicle for day use only.
Did You Know?:
- The average age of the redwoods is 500-700 years old, though some have stood for 2,000 years.
- Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are the world’s tallest tree often measuring 200-300 feet. An especially infamous stack of bark, creatively named “Tall Tree”, measured 367.8 feet before losing its crown in the 1980 or 90s, and the Stratosphere Giant, which stands just outside of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, came in at 370 feet in 2004. For some perspective, that’s 74 of me or 62 of Ian stacked head to toe in the direction of the sky.
- Old-growth redwoods can measure 16-20 feet in diameter.
- According to the National Park Service, “96% of the original old-growth coast redwoods have been logged.” 45% of what remains exists in the Redwood National and State Parks. That means that what we saw was less than 2% of what once existed of these glorious giants.
- The Save-the-Redwoods League, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the remaining redwood forests, was founded in 1918. Through private donations and state contributions, they have purchased lands now comprising much of the Redwood National and State Parks (which they lobbied heavily for) and continue to support restoration, research, and education within them.
Definitely Don’t Miss: Howland Hill Road and Stout Grove. Though there are many things to see and do in the parks, from hiking the forests and camping the backcountry to driving the parkways and overlooking the beaches, we were most impressed by Howland Hill Road, a mostly dirt drive winding through 10-miles of old-growth redwoods. The human element disappeared for a bit as we cruised in awe along the narrow pathway. At Stout Grove we walked the mile loop through the massive wonders, and I felt, much as I did in my amazement at Yellowstone, as though we had discovered a magical fairy tale land. This time though I was half expecting to be lured into Wonderland by the White Rabbit himself.
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I think I mentioned on your FB page that I was here this summer, and driving up one of those dirt roads near the edge of the park, a car that failed to realize that bottleneck in the road tried to push through when I had the right of way and I had to swerve at the last minute to avoid a collision – the result was that the front passenger wheel of my truck (which is 4WD) slipped off the slope, putting me at a quite precarious angle. I tried to slowly back up, and the ground beneath the back wheel began to slide away. In a last ditch effort, with 2 wheels on solid dirt road, the back passenger tire halfway, and only 1 completely useless, I tried to put in all 4 and get out. More ground slipped away. At this point I realize that if the truck slips any further it may well topple over and down the hill. So I get out, manage to flag down help, who gets me a ranger. 2 hours later a tow truck arrives, and they even shake their head at my predicament. That was an expensive and frustrating afternoon.
I think you’ll like this pic I got at John Muir NM