Redwood National Park

National Park in Northern Redwood Coast
Image by Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

This park is the southernmost of a patchwork of state and federally administered lands under the umbrella of Redwood National & State Parks. After picking up a map at the visitor center, you’ll have a suite of choices for hiking. A few miles north along Hwy 101, a trip inland on Bald Hills Rd will take you to Lady Bird Johnson Grove, with its 1½-mile kid-friendly loop trail, or get you lost in the secluded serenity of Tall Trees Grove.

To protect the Tall Trees Grove, a limited number of cars per day are allowed access; get free permits at the visitor center in Orick. This can be a half-day trip itself, but you’re well rewarded after the challenging approach (a 6-mile rumble on an old logging road behind a locked gate, then a moderately strenuous 4½-mile round-trip hike). Another recommended hike is to Trillium Falls; either 1 mile there and back or a 2½-mile loop, accessed from Davidson Rd at Elk Meadow.

Note that during the winter, several foot bridges crossing the Redwood Creek are removed due to the high waters. If you are hiking at this time of year, be sure to check with a ranger regarding the current situation before striding out.