Saturday, March 19, 2011

Camping in the West 3 – Redwoods

World’s largest living tree – Monarch of the North Coast – Living link to the Age of Dinosaurs, Redwoods grow from seeds the size of a tomato seed yet can weigh 500 tons and stand taller than the Statue of Liberty. California Redwoods are a combination of national and 3 state parks: Jedediah Smith, Del Norte Coast and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks. Further south on 101, Avenue of the Giants surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park, offers by far the most outstanding display of these giant trees in the entire 500 mile redwood belt. A variant of these coastal Redwoods are Giant Sequoias grown only on the western slope of Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges. 
 On the way to California from Crater lake, we stopped by Rogue Gorge just off  hwy 62 which offers an interesting display of pothole formations.  By the time we reached Jedediah Smith state park, the visitor center was closed. Not sure of campsite availability and unable to plan the trip further, we chose to drive to Crescent city and stay at a private RV camp park for the night. We drove on the shore to catch Sunset but it was too windy to even get out of the car!!

Next day, We enjoyed morning walk on the beach, got the maps at the crescent city Information center and drove through Crescent beach and Klamath river overlooks. I was told we can find sea lions and whales from here, but wasn’t lucky enough.
At Klamath tour thru tree, it felt amazing to drive through a Redwood tree (only three drive-thru trees remain in California). We initially thought these were natural, but then didn’t like the fact that they were formed from forest fires or actually cut so. Next we drove through “Newton B Drury Scenic Pkwy” in Prairie Creek Redwoods State park and hiked to Trillium falls. It was a misadventure because we got lost (first time ever in our hiking history) and there were no actual falls and no spot of Elk.
Evening, we walked in Lady Bird Johnson Grove when finally I started to admire the giant redwoods, with tall beautiful plants and flowers. Walking in the Grove between the sky touching giants left us awe inspired. We felt they have lot to say having witnessed so many changes for eons from extinction of dinosaurs to dawn of humans, surviving the forest fires and other calamities, yet stand proud reaching for skies. A wonder by themselves, these magnificent redwoods along the coastline preserve the prairies and also serve as home for a variety of wildlife species as Murrelets and Elks. At night we stayed at a campground at Myers Flat campsite right by Eel river and were quite surprised to find access to web in the woods. 
Can you find me?
Next morning we took the south entrance to the Avenue of the Giants and drove through this world-famous 31-mile scenic drive. It was simply wonderful to walk around experiencing the peace in the cool hush of these ancient old growth forests and more beautiful are the foggy mornings with warm sunrays piercing through the tree tops to reach the cool forest grounds. 
We stopped at the Founders grove, Rockefeller forest, etc, taking pictures and admiring the nature. By afternoon we got onto the hwy 101 through North entrance and started driving back towards WA with Redwood bark and leaves as souvenirs.


  1. Beautiful Travel blog with lots of amazing pictures.

    I am sure you will have fun camping in Alaska.

  2. What a beautiful trip -- I'm so glad you enjoyed yourselves!