There is nothing quite like the redwood forest in scope and wonderment. There are two distinct species of redwoods, with the common names giant sequoia and coastal redwood. Each of these species grows hundreds of feet all and dozens of feet wide, and many are thousands of years old.
Where to See Redwoods
You can see redwoods in a variety of locations in California, including the following:
- Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park—This park is in a beautifully remote location in Northern California, between Crescent City and Eureka. You can hike from the forest to the ocean, and it’s a popular camping destination. Peaceful Roosevelt elk roam freely on the land.
- Redwood National Park—This forest was the Forest Moon of Endor in the Star Wars films. It is an International Biosphere Reserve, and it contains more than 35 percent of all the remaining old-growth trees. Coastal redwoods are the tallest living things on earth.
- Muir Woods National Monument—This redwood forest is just 12 miles from San Francisco. It’s easily accessible and has many hiking trails. Muir Woods can be crowded at times, and the trees aren’t as tall as those in other forests; however, it can be perfect for those visiting San Francisco.
- Yosemite National Park—This famous and enormous park is located four hours east of San Francisco. The Mariposa Grove is the largest redwood forest in Yosemite; however, it is closed until spring 2017. You can see other giant sequoias outside of Mariposa Grove.
- Big Basin Redwoods State Park—Big Basin is located in the mountains in between San Jose and Santa Cruz. It’s less crowded than Muir Woods and is California’s oldest state park. It has 80 miles of trails, many waterfalls, and borders UC Santa Cruz.
- Petrified Redwood Forest—This redwood forest was turned to stone by nature. Volcanic ash covered the trees during an ancient eruption, and the trees have slowly become petrified as a result. This park is privately owned, and it’s more of an attraction than a colorful forest.
- Sequoia National Park—This park has the biggest giant sequoia trees, with 18 of the 30 largest specimens in the world. General Sherman, the most massive tree in the world, is located in this forest. Tunnel Log is also located here and is the famous “drive-through tree.”
The redwood forest is a natural place of wonder, where the air is crisp and time appears to stand still. When you step inside the forest, you’ll feel transported into a magical wonderland like you’ve never experienced before.
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