Trip Report: Redwood National and State Parks, California– Outdoor Camping and Hiking News

I like trees. To me, they are sensible, old pals who stand tall, shading the ground below and digging their roots deep to get a firm grasp on the earth. Watching leaves age from small buds in the spring to vibrantly-colored extensive hands in the fall always leaves me in wonder.

My moms and dads are of the wanderlust sort, and several years ago when they were in their twenties, they invested a great deal of time out west. Of the numerous photographs from their adventures, one that always stuck to me was a photo of my dad leaning up versus an enormous tree. A tree so enormous, in fact, that my moms and dads would have needed to hold hands with a minimum of ten other individuals if they wished to provide it a big hug. “That’s a redwood, Carrie,” my dad told me.

The picture has actually given that been lost, thanks to glue that just does not want to hold to thirty-year-old image albums. My memory, nevertheless, is still pretty spot-on and I always remembered that image.

The apple does not fall far from the tree. I, too, am of the wanderlust sort, and when I chose to make my first trip west, the one and only location I understood I would be stopping was the redwood forest.

I awakened on the 28th of August in Lassen Volcanic National Park with my heart set on camping in the redwoods that night. Since of my interest, I meandered my method to the coast on Highway 299, dropping in Shasta, then hitting the 101 north of Eureka in McKinleyville, where I touched the Pacific Ocean for the first time in my life.

I never ever stopped to think that it was the start of Labor Day Weekend. When I finally reached the redwoods, all the campgrounds were full. Huge disappointment! I headed back to a campground I spotted on Highway 101 called the Big Lagoon.

No surprise, the Big Lagoon Camping site is next to a big lagoon, and some quite cool trees that look like this– >

I hate to admit it, however I can’t keep in mind how much I spent for the site … but it was quite cheap. No fancy facilities here, simply the port-o-jon unique, but camping isn’t about fancy bathrooms. I liked that it was small– just a couple of sites plopped best next to water. I dropped off to sleep listening to the waves of the Pacific.

I woke up early, broke camp, and headed directly to the redwoods. When I got to the first campground at 10am, the sign stated it was already complete. I picked not to believe it, and drove the eight mile drive down Beach Road to Gold Bluffs Beach Camping Site. As luck would have it, the sign hadn’t been changed from the night prior to. There were a couple of areas left, and I was able to protect a great little piece of heaven.

As it turns out, this wasn’t the very first time they didn’t alter the indications. Frequent Gold Bluffs campers do what they call the “Gold Bluff Shuffle,” in which those who didn’t get the beach area the night before relocation in prior to brand-new campers learn more about this secret gem of a campground. A lot of areas are secured by 11am. I revealed up in the middle of everything, and discovered myself a site throughout the little camp-street from the beach. Not too shabby. At $35 a night, Gold Bluffs Beach was on the pricier side, but provided nice. new showers and restrooms to assist eliminate that four-day camping stank.

The best part of this camping area, the part that makes it the number one camping area in the United States for me, is the location. This pleasant little park sits right between the ocean and acres of redwood groves. I found my trees!

After setting up camp, I raised my pack and triggered to trek the jungles. The Miner’s Ridge Path, which I followed from Gold Bluffs, led me along Squashan Creek. Off the bat, I stepped into forest.

There really is nothing quite so surprisingly-intimidating as the redwoods. Mountains, yes. Oceans, naturally. Trees? I didn’t know trees could hold that kind of court. I was astonished and shocked. Enormous giants touching the sky.

The Murrelet State Wilderness provides a wide variety of hiking routes, ranging from the simple, short treks delighted in by younger households to the more difficult, lengthy routes for the passionate hiker. I fell somewhere in between, having just half a day left, at a six-mile circle. I followed the Miner’s Ridge Path deep into the forest to the Clintonia Trail, then wove my way to the James Irvine Trail.

Due to the fact that I had the professional recommendations of my campground host, I had tossed my water shoes in my knapsack. By the time I reached Fern Canyon, I understood why. When following the James Irvine Path to the Pacific, a hiker has two choices: the dry path or the damp path. By following the rest of the James Irvine Path, one can dryly make it to the ocean, no concerns asked. By falling into Fern Canyon, which is what I chose to do, there is no chance to keep one’s feet out of the water.

The landscapes was certainly worth the moist trek, which, thanks to a hot day and heavy walking, felt quite revitalizing. While walking through a 3-5 inch fast-paced stream, I was surrounded by moss-covered walls reaching nearly 50 feet high. Unfortunately, it was at this time my camera passed away, and I only have a few shots of Fern Canyon, but hopefully, you understand.

Completion of Fern Canyon opened up to the beach, following the stream to the ocean about a mile north of Gold Bluffs Beach. I stripped off my shoes and followed the shore back to my website. I could not have requested a more best Thursday afternoon!

Another unique note for anybody wanting to visit Redwood National and State Parks: make certain to stop to see the Huge Tree. This humungous beast is 68 feet in area and over 1,500 years old. I stopped and had someone take a photo of me. Like daddy, like daughter.

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