California is one big National Park. In total we have 9 National Parks with varying scenery, from the desert terrain of Death Valley and Joshua Tree, to the Giant Sequoias in King and Sequoia, granite rocks with waterfalls in Yosemite, volcanic rocks of Lassen, and the shores of Point Reyes and Channel Islands. Today we explored the remote corner of northwest California bordering Oregon – Redwood National Park. Owing to its distance from major cities (6 hours from San Fran), the Redwood isn’t as frequented as the others – Yosemite gets around 3-4 million a year, whereas Redwood gets only half a million in the same time period. What this means is quiet trails with lots of solitude.
Being based in Southwest Oregon allowed us the opportunity to make a day trip to the Redwoods. It’s still a 3-hour drive each way, but a lot more doable than from anywhere else. Since we couldn’t bring the dogs with us to the park, we needed to be done with our 9+ mile hike in 5 hours and be back in time to let them out.
Some facts about the redwood tree – it is the tallest living thing on earth; only 5% of the world’s old-growth redwoods exist today, and more than 95% of them are in California. Trees can reach up to over 300ft tall (one of them is taller than the Statue of Liberty), and over 2,000 years old. Unlike the giant sequoias, the largest trees by volume, redwoods can sprout from seeds, stumps, and roots.