Things To Do

Rangers' Trip Planning Tips

Often it seems there is too much to do and experience in the redwood parks. Our visitor center staff have these recommendations:

You have less than an hour.
You have a full day and are driving the length of the parks.
You can spend a full day in the southern half of the parks.
You can spend a full day in the northern half of the parks.
You can spend many days in the parks.


Redwood Things To Do


Get More Information For Your Redwood Vist

Be sure to check current conditions in the park - trails, facilities or roads may be temporarily closed.

Did you know that Redwood National and State Parks offers more than just redwood forests? Visit one of our five visitor centers to learn more, or you can join a free ranger-led program. How about visiting one of the park stores operated by Redwood Parks Conservancy where you can shop for wonderful redwood-related gifts and books? Or you can stay online and shop at their online store.

We recommend you use this website, or pickup an official map and look for these place names. Suggestions are given from the Crescent City area (north) to the Orick area (south).

  • Discover Howland Hill Road: A windy, 10-mile scenic drive through old-growth redwoods, along Mill Creek, with Stout Grove a ½-mile walk through a river bottom grove of tremendous trees. This road is too narrow for motorhomes, recreational vehicles, and trailers.
  • Explore Enderts Beach and Crescent Beach Overlook. Stand before outstanding Pacific Ocean views from the overlook; you may even see a gray whale! Walk 1-mile to Enderts Beach, an access route to multi-colored, myriad tidepool creatures. Be sure to check low tide times. Trailers not advised.
  • Drive to Klamath River Overlook, a prime spot for watching the gray whale migration. Look for other marine mammals and a host of seabirds any time of year. Hike ¼ mile down a steep trail to the lower overlook and more dramatic views. Motorhomes, recreational vehicles, and trailers not advised due to narrow road conditions and a very small parking lot.
  • Get off the beaten path and onto Coastal Drive. This 8-mile road winds past expansive Pacific Ocean views, the World War II Radar Station, and Highbluff Overlook. Look through binoculars at the massive off shore rocks to spy thousands of seabirds nesting. Motorhomes and trailers are prohibited on gravel section.
  • Travel Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. Not even the Avenue of the Giants can beat this! A 10-mile scenic drive through ancient redwoods. Stop and walk the 1/8 of a mile to the Big Tree wayside and you'll quickly see more than one big redwood! Best place to go if you have a motorhome, recreational vehicle, or trailer. Check out Cal Barrel Road if you have a pet with you, beautiful walk through old-growth redwoods that your furry friend can join you on.
  • Watch for Roosevelt elk and deer grazing in Elk Prairie.
  • Follow Davison Road (length limit of 24-feet and trailers are prohibited) to the gray sands of Gold Bluffs Beach. The dirt road crosses two streams before you get to the Fern Canyon parking area. Nothing compares to Fern Canyon with its 30-foot walls dripping wet and full of ferns. But be prepared for summer crowds and frequent parking problems. Even when the summer foot-bridges are installed, expect to get your feet wet. Reservations are required for Fern Canyon and Gold Bluffs Beach Day-Use Area from May 15th to September 15th. Reservations can only be made online.
  • Have a picnic lunch at the Elk Meadow Day Use Area. This also is the best place to go if you want to combine biking, walking or hikes. Many hike & bike trails pass through this location. Another spot to watch for Roosevelt elk.
  • Trillium Falls Trail is a 2½ mile loop trail through old-growth redwood forests and has one of the few (small) water falls in the parks. This trail is many of our rangers' favorite trail - and plenty of parking is at the Elk Meadow Day Use Area.

Last updated: December 10, 2023

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