request for votes and opinions: which CA Redwoods Park?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jun 20, 2012 5:51 AM Last Post By: oliver_selwyn
May 30, 2012 7:32 AM
request for votes and opinions: which CA Redwoods Park?Hello, first of all thanks in advance for your time and suggestions!
My wife and will rent a car in Portland and drive down the Oregon coast to San Francisco and beyond early September. We will only have one day (and potentially overnight) to visit one Redwoods Park... I believe Prairie Creek, Redwoods National, or Humboldt Redwoods Park are supposed to be the "best". I appreciate your expert advice on any of the following questions ...
1. We'd like to do up to a 20 mile cycling loop (road or simple mountain biking). Which park do you find best for bicycling? And are there any bike rentals close by?
2. Which park do you find best for hiking?
3. If you could only bike or hike, which would you choose and why?
4. Do you feel it is essential to camp? (We don't have any gear)
Again, my thanks, Oliver
May 30, 2012 9:01 AM
1It's a difficult question, of course, and subjective. I will note that many of the redwood parks are on the same route, so you could possibly visit more than one.
For extensive information on redwoods hiking--including ratings of most major redwoods trails--visit the Redwoods Hikes web site: http://redwoodhikes.com/ I found the ratings to be a great guide to the best hikes.
On our trip, our favorite was Jedediah Smith State Park. The Boy Scout Trail was just awesome, really great trees and stunning groves. Nearby Stout Grove is a very short trail, but has very impressive trees.
We also enjoyed Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. There are many different trails there, some that visit huge trees and some that go through impressive, quiet stands. There is also a fern canyon. Elk are plentiful.
It is quite possible to get up early, hike the Boy Scout Trail and Stout Grove in the morning, and then do a late afternoon hike at Prairie Redwoods. This would give you a taste of two parks.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park has Avenue of the Giants, a nice drive. There are some interesting hikes, but overall I would say the terrain is not as interesting as Jedediah Smith and Prairie Creek.
I really can't recall biking trails per se, but then again I wasn't looking. In any case, hiking would be better. For one thing, bike trails in that area would likely be paved and thus really restrict where you could go. The best redwoods hiking trails go up and down quite a bit, and can be muddy--not trails where bikes would be allowed.
You could bike the driving routes, I suppose, but then you miss out on the best redwood groves, and you also lose the eerie quiet of the forest.
Finally, you can base yourself in Crescent City and stay at a hotel, a convenient base for both Jedediah Smith and Prairie Creek. Camping looks awesome. We contemplated it but were there for a full week in March, and the weather was miserable. We were out hiking all day and the hotel worked fine.
May 30, 2012 9:36 AM
May 30, 2012 10:13 AM
3I agree with everything #1 says. Redwoodhikes is a great site, and Jed Smith and Prairie Creek are my favorite parks.
Campgrounds in both parks are very nice but if you don't have gear, I wouldn't say it's "necessary" to camp. Lots of cheap motels in Crescent City, or you can splurge ($120-$200 / night) for the awesome Requa Inn near Klamath.
May 30, 2012 2:01 PM
4Many thanks MLM192, nutraxfornerves and stopthebus. Your expertise, opinions and links are much appreciated... and will result in us having a much improved vacation. If you ever need NYC info, drop me a line, I'm a long term resident.
Warm Regards, Oliver
May 30, 2012 9:05 PM
5Get an early start from Portland, Jedediah Smith/Stout Grove, Boy Scout trail, exit park thru the other entrance to Cresent City or beyond the same day. You don't need to hike the whole trail to get an idea of what the most beautiful place on earth looks like.
If it is raining you can keep heading south. Watch the weather reports.
May 31, 2012 8:08 AM
6I like Humboldt, and there are a couple of moderate mountain biking trails in the park in addition to some good walking. Note that when I say "moderate," I mean dirt singletrack steep enough uphill to have to walk sections and steep enough downhill to be fun, without excessive technicality. There are also logging/fire road rides, including one where I had the interesting experience of almost running over a black bear while panting my way uphill.
Get up-to-date information on trails from the visitor center. Mountain biking guidebooks include at least one major route which has been abandoned (which led to my longest day over when I had to climb back up and over the mountains instead of following the singletrack as described back to camp along a river).
Jun 20, 2012 5:51 AM
New York CityBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$298.99 per night
San FranciscoBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$285.00 per night
San FranciscoBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$319.00 per night