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(Last Updated On: January 6, 2022)

The Redwood National and State Parks are home to the tallest trees in the world. The tallest tree reaching over 350 feet tall. That’s taller than the Statue of Liberty. There are so many activities and views to see in the Redwoods, whether you have an hour or a week. Having lived in the middle of these giants in Humboldt County for over a year now, I’m excited to share my favorite Redwood destinations!

15 Best Redwood Destinations. The Redwood National and State Parks are home to the tallest trees in the world. Check out the best spots in this complete guide.

Land Acknowledgement: Tolowa Dee-ni’, Yurok, Chilula, Wiyot, Sinkyonne, Karuk Lands. Find what Native Land you are visiting by using the app Native Land! I encourage you to read the history and culture of the Indigenous people who’s land you are visiting!

All photos in collaboration with Johnathon DeSoto.

Where are the Redwood National and State Parks?

The Redwood National and State Parks are spread out along an area roughly 50 miles long. The Northernmost point being Crescent City, California (just south of the Oregon State border) and the Southernmost point being Orick, California. But I’m going to include some Redwoods areas that are worth stopping at that go even further south than that!

Click to open this map!
  • From San Francisco: ~ 6 hours
  • Portland, Oregon: ~ 6 hours

15 Destinations in the Redwood National and State Parks

I will be listing these North to South! I will indicate whether the destination is a driving or hiking activity.

Remember to practice Leave No Trace Principles when hiking and driving through these protected forests. Pack out your trash, pick up trash left by others, and stay on the trail.

1. Drive Highway 199 into Jedediah Smith State Park

Paved road winding through towering redwood trees in Jedediah Smith state park. 15 Redwood Destinations Ultimate Guide.

Highway 199 is one of the most scenic drives through Redwood National and State Parks in my opinion. The road winds and twists around these giants with plenty of pull off’s and trails that make for easy, quick stop offs.

This gorgeous section of highway goes on for roughly a 10-15 minute drive winding through the Redwood trees. It is a paved highway with high traffic, so be careful when stopping at any pull-offs.

Photo Tip: This is where I’ve seen the BEST light beams coming through the Redwood trees just before sunset.

2. Simpson-Reed Trail

Simpson Reed Trail as part of the Redwoods National and State Parks ultimate guide.

Simpson Reed Trail is located just off of Highway 199 mentioned above. It is the first trailhead you will encounter coming from Crescent City, California in Jedediah Smith State Park. This easy-rated hike has towering redwoods close to the trail and holds some of the tallest redwoods in the world! Bring a wide lens for these photos!

  • .9 mile loop
  • 52 feet elevation gain
  • Heavily Trafficked
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • No dogs allowed
  • Small Parking lot

3. Stout Grove Trail

Stout Memorial Grove is a trail that I keep going back to every time I’m in this area! I’ve been on this trail well over 6 times and I know I’ll go back again. The hike is an easy loop trail with incredibly scenic views of Redwoods. When the light hits just right in here, it is absolute magic.

  • .7 mile loop
  • 32 feet elevation gain
  • Heavily Trafficked
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • No dogs allowed

4. Boy Scout Tree Trail

Just down the road from Stout Grove trail is Boy Scout Tree Trail. This is one of the more famous trails to visit that visitor centers and blogs will always be sure to list.

  • 6 mile Out and Back Trail
  • 875 feet elevation gain
  • Heavily Trafficked
  • No Dogs

5. Drive Howland Hill Road

Point B to point C

Get up close and personal on this 10 mile dirt road winding through the Redwood trees! It gets better – if you’re already visiting Stout Grove or Boy Scout Tree trail, you’re already on this road and can take it back into Crescent city for a scenic alternative!

  • 10 mile dirt road
  • Suitable for all vehicles

6. Damnation Creek Hiking Trail

Foggy Redwoods Trail in Crescent City California

Okay…so it’s really hard to pick a favorite trail because they are all so incredible for different reasons, but time and time again, this trail has been the most beautiful to me.

  • 3.4 miles round trip
  • rated as Difficult
  • 1,200 feet elevation gain
  • No dogs

Note: While this trail is rated as difficult, I usually only go about a mile in or so if I’m short on time. The photo above was taken from maybe .5 miles into this hike! The entire hike actually takes you out to the coast.

7. Drive Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway

Big Tree in Redwoods State Park
Terrible iPhone photo I took of Big Wayside Tree on Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway

This is a 10 mile drive through an old growth Redwood forest in Prairie Creek State Park in the Redwood National and State Parks. It’s a scenic alternative that runs parallel to Highway 101, so it’s perfect for those of you on a time crunch!

There are also fun, short scenic viewpoints that require a short walk. My favorite was visiting the Big Tree Wayside. Big Tree Wayside is a MASSIVE Redwood tree estimated to be over 1,500 years old measuring over 300 feet tall and 68 feet around.

Note: Prairie Creek Visitor Center is just down the road if you need a stop off or any information for your trip!

8. Trillium Falls Trail | Redwood National and State Parks

Bridge going through Redwood Forest in Redwood State and National Parks

A hidden bridge in the middle of a stunning Redwood forest!? Y’all don’t want to miss Trillium Falls on this Redwoods list. The waterfall is nothing to write home about, but the trail to get there sure is.

  • 2.6 mile loop trail
  • 400 feet elevation gain
  • heavily trafficked
  • no dogs allowed

Note: the next two trails I’m going to mention are in the same area!

9. James Irvine Trail

15 Best Redwood Destinations. The Redwood National and State Parks are home to the tallest trees in the world. Check out the best spots in this complete guide.

James Irvine Trail is one of the longer hikes on this list! But you can combine it with Fern Canyon (the next hike on this list). If you’re looking for more exercise and solitude, this is the hike for you.

  • 11 mile loop
  • 1,768 elevation gain
  • No dogs allowed
  • Moderately Trafficked

Tip: Don’t have the time or ability to hike the whole loop? It’s still breathtaking to go just a mile or two in and turn around!

10. Fern Canyon Trail

Fern Canyon

Fern Canyon is such a neat place to visit! It was featured in the second Jurassic Park film ‘The Lost World’ and there are over a DOZEN fern species in Fern Canyon dating back 325 million years!!! I use a plant identifying app called PictureThis to name plant species!

  • 1 mile loop or out and back
  • no dogs allowed

11. Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail in Redwood National and State Parks

15 Best Redwood Destinations. The Redwood National and State Parks are home to the tallest trees in the world. Check out the best spots in this complete guide. Woman walking down wooden bridge in the Redwood trees.

This one mile loop trail offers so much in the Redwoods. The trail features a bridge that crosses over the road into the forest and also has a self-guided walking tour available. Wildflowers are known to be abundant on this hike.

  • 1 mile loop trail
  • 75 feet elevation gain
  • No dogs
  • Heavily Trafficked

12. Tall Trees Grove Trail | Redwood National and State Parks

Tall Trees Grove Trail has been on my list for YEARS. This is actually one that is still on my list. It does require a permit that is FREE and easy to obtain! This hike runs down to the river and everyone that visits says it is pure magic.

  • requires permit that can be obtained up to 48 hours ahead of time.
  • 50 parties allowed per day
  • no dogs allowed
  • 4 mile trail, 1600 feet elevation gain
  • Allow half a day to complete this drive and hike

13. Sequoia Park in Eureka, CA

Not part of the Redwood National and State Parks, but my most visited trails due to the proximity to where I live haha. This park is a 6 minute drive for me and has become one of my favorite places to visit to clear my mind or take out my camera.

  • wander through 67 acres of redwood magic
  • dogs allowed
  • Picnic sites and restrooms available

14. Founders Grove Trail

Founder's Grove Redwoods trail. Woman walking down a trail surrounded by Redwoods. Redwood National and State Park Ultimate Guide.

This gorgeous grove is just off of the Avenue of the Giants and is a great short stop to see stretch your legs and neck looking at some of the tallest Redwoods in the WORLD! Definitely one of my favorite spots to take people that have never seen Redwoods before!

  • .5 mile loop trail
  • Self guided tour available by donation
  • No Dogs

15. Avenue of the Giants Scenic Highway

Road winding through the Redwoods forest with two women running down the road.
Photo by Blaine Scinta

The Avenue of the Giants highway has been called the “Finest Forest Drive in the World”. It is a 31 mile scenic highway in Northern California that runs adjacent to the 101 highway. I highly recommend taking this scenic byway if you have the time, because on this drive are some of the most incredible Redwood Trees I have seen!


Check out the details for the very new Sky Walk through the Redwood Trees at Sequoia Park Zoo in my blog post:

Best Time of Year to Visit the Redwood National and State Parks

Honestly – ANY time. I’ve been in every season and have never had a bad time. Even on rainy days, the tree canopy actually makes hiking in the forest a better option.

Average Temperatures:

  • Winter: 50° / 35° F
  • Spring: 58° / 37° F
  • Summer: 81° / 65°
  • Autumn: 71° / 56°

Summer, particularly July, is the MOST busy time of year in the Redwoods. I’d recommend planning your trip off season in Spring or Fall.

Where to Stay when visiting Redwood National and State Parks

Since the area highlighted above stretches almost 150 miles, this isn’t a simple answer! Ultimately where you end up staying will depend on what Redwood destinations you plan to visit. I’ll list some of my favorite places to stay.

Treehouse Near Jedediah Smith Redwoods

Full view of rustic treehouse sitting in the forest in northern California

Jedediah Smith Redwoods Campground

This campground is near the Northernmost part of this itinerary. Availability at this campground has been changing in flux with the pandemic, but if this campground is open – you’ll be able to enjoy a magical night camping in the redwoods. Check Availability

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park Elk Prairie Campground

This camping is located near the middle of this itinerary with close access to Fern Canyon, James Irvine Trail, Trillium Falls and Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

Crescent City Cabin

Crescent City sits just 10 miles outside of Jedediah Smith State Park (the North part of this itinerary) and has MANY hotel and Airbnb options.Book a Cute Cabin

If you’re a first time Airbnb user, use my link to sign up and get up to $65 off your first booking! *This is not sponsored. I would receive a small credit towards my next stay with Airbnb.

Airstream near Redwood National and State Parks

This airstream is tucked away in the redwoods and would be a unique place to stay!

Fashion Tip!

I personally LOVE wearing orange in my Redwood photos. I have an orange casual jacket and orange rain jacket that I switch out.

Here’s some inspo with this affilate link!

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15 Best Redwood Destinations. The Redwood National and State Parks are home to the tallest trees in the world. Check out the best spots in this complete guide.

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  7. Miles on August 25, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    Very excited to be visiting here next week. Thank you for the guide, very insightful!

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