From the pages of I RVing: Fall 2023

Redwood National and state parks American Vista

BENEATH THE SHADOWS OF GIANTS It is normal to feel one’s very smallness. Indeed, amid the Redwood National and State Parks, it is easy to imagine the trees being guardians of a sacred place—as the native Yurok did or as the towering ents that sprung from the fantastical imagination of Tolkien.

This land of legendary trees has enormous power to enchant. Covered in evergreen peaks surpassing 300 feet and full of mystic fogs, every moment presents a natural spectacle that awes and captivates. Up its lumbrous middle, U.S. Route 101 runs south to north like a long, paved trunk. And for the adventurous RVer, hundreds of miles of trails branch out into its inexpressible, evergreen, Autumn stillness.

An Evergreen Path Through Fog and Fern

Damnation Creek Trail in Del Norte Coast Redwood State Park leads you through dense dens of ferns. Western light combs through pillared trees and pierces the afternoon fog along the elevated 3.4-mile, out-and-back trek. It’s open year-round, but its stunning coastal conclusion is currently closed due to bridge repairs.

Nearest Parking Lot Coordinate 41° 38’ 54” N 124° 06’ 49” W

Out of the Canopy to the Coast

Breaking free from the redwoods, take the two-mile Coastal Trail and Yurok Loop in Redwood National Park. You’ll trade living towers for open sky, silent old-growth forests for driftwood, and crashing waves. Just don’t forget your camera.

Nearest Parking Lot Coordinate 41° 35’ 40” N 124° 05’ 57” W

A Creek Walled in Living Green

The Fern Canyon Loop Trail is one of those miracles of nature that stays with you your whole life. But prepare to get your feet wet, because the creek itself is your trail as you enter the frond-covered walls of Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwood State Park.

Nearest Parking Lot Coordinate 41° 24’ 02” N 124° 03’ 56” W

Enjoy an evergreen Autumn under nature’s lofty skyscrapers along the California coast

There are not many places on this planet where you can drive your vehicle through a tree. But one of them—the Tour-Thru Tree—is in the Redwood National and State Parks. (And yes, you might have to unhitch to pull off that little maneuver.) But driving through a living tree that’s over 800 years old is only the beginning of the wonders you’ll see in this 139,000-acre park complex (one federal and three state).

From the southernmost entrance at Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center in Orick, you’re a half-hour drive away up U.S. Route 101 and Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway to the only full hookup in the area: Klamath River RV Park. But don’t be in a hurry to get there. Detours abound that put you on hiking trails beneath tree-sized limbs filled with white-tailed kites, flying squirrels, and the copper-colored rufous hummingbird. Bears roam these parts. Otters play in these rivers and sea lions loll across the beaches—all just waiting to be seen.


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