A Weekend of Adventure in Redwood National and State Parks

Hiking through a beautiful green forest to camp on the beach is hard to beat.

By: Michael Fricke + Save to a List

If you are like me you are always thinking about your next adventure, or even your next 10 adventures. Right now I'm planning my spring and summer of 2018. If you are looking for something awesome to do in spring or summer there are few better places than the redwood coast. When looking to the future it is also good to take a look back. Here I will tell you about my spring 2017 trip to Redwood National and State Parks. This trip took place in April 2017.

I drove in coming west on the 199 highway. It was a six hour drive from where I was coming from so I finally reached the Hiouchi Visitor Center at 3:45 P.M. much later than I usually like to start a weekend trip but at least I'm there.  I picked up a backpacking permit to park my car at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center and camp at Gold Bluffs Beach Campground that night. The ranger thought I was a bit late to start a hike in but I wanted to only pay $5 for camping as opposed to $35 so I was determined to hike in. Regular car camping fees are $35, but there is one site that is for backpackers/bicyclists that is $5 per person. From the Hiouchi Visitor Center I drove down the 101 south to the Prairie Creek Visitor Center. From there at about 5:00 PM I set out on the 4.5 mile hike to Gold Bluffs Beach. Although I set out later than I wanted, this is what made the trip really magical. Everyone knows hiking through the forest in the hour before sunset is the best. Most hikers had already gone home for the day and I felt like I had the Redwoods all to myself. It was beautiful.

It was my goal to make it to the beach by sunset, but with my late start and me stopping to take pictures of this amazing forest in the golden hour, I didn't quiet make it. I set up camp with the little light left after the sun went over the horizon and called it a night.

Day 2:

I was the only person who had slept in the hike/bike group site that night. It was nice to see the beach with full light as I had arrived in the last light of the day. I took a short walk around the campground and out to the beach before packing up and heading out.

The main reason I wanted to come to this park was Fern Canyon. So I headed down the road from the campground towards Fern Canyon. It did not disappoint. It is absolutely beautiful.

I really don't think my photos do it justice. So green. It is in my top five favorite places I've ever been. After experiencing this amazing canyon it was time to head back to my car. I hiked the 4.5 miles back to the Prairie Creek Visitor Center, but I was so stoked on the redwoods and wanted a little more. I drove down to Trillium Falls, a 2.7 mile loop featuring a small waterfall, to fill the remaining time I had before I needed to head home. I was well worth it.

With that it was time to head home. I highly recommend these activities and wish everyone an excellent 2018. I hope it is a great year full of new adventures. If you want to keep up with my 2018 adventures you can follow my Instagram.

Head to Visit Redwoods for more great travel and lodging recommendations!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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