Redwoods National Park
edwood National Park is both the park itself, and what is referred to as Redwood National and State Parks. The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) are old-growth temperate rainforests located along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park (established 1968) and California’s Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks (dating from the 1920s), the combined RNSP contain 139,000 acres. Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) old-growth forests, totaling at least 38,982 acres. These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. In addition to the redwood forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, fauna, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams, and 37 miles of pristine coastline.
Protecting Remaining Old-Growth Redwoods & Surrounding Ecosystems
In 1850, old-growth redwood forest covered more than 2,000,000 acres of the California coast. The northern portion of that area attracted many lumbermen and others turned gold miners when a minor gold rush brought them to the region. Failing in efforts to strike it rich in gold, these men turned to harvesting the giant trees for booming development in San Francisco and other places on the West Coast. After decades of unrestricted clear-cut logging, serious conservation efforts began. By the 1920s the work of the Save-the-Redwoods League resulted in the establishment of Prairie Creek, Del Norte Coast, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks among others. Redwood National Park was created in 1968, by which time nearly 90% of the original redwood trees had been logged. The National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation administratively combined Redwood National Park with the three abutting Redwood State Parks in 1994 for the purpose of cooperative forest management and stabilization of forests and watersheds as a single unit.
The ecosystem of the RNSP preserves a number of threatened animal species such as the tidewater goby, Chinook salmon, northern spotted owl, and Steller’s sea lion. In recognition of the rare ecosystem and cultural history found in the parks, the United Nations designated them a World Heritage Site on September 5, 1980 and part of the California Coast Ranges International Biosphere Reserve on June 30, 1983.
REDWOODS HIGHLIGHTS: Discover a region so extraordinary that it was named a World Heritage site for safeguarding 45 percent of the world’s protected ancient redwood forest. People visit from all over the globe to experience the world’s tallest trees, panoramic coastline and signature wildlife. You’ll find pristine wilderness, hundreds of miles of hiking and bicycling trails, self-guided nature trails, picnicking, camping, river swimming and horseback riding.
Redwood National and State Parks are managed by the National Park Service and California State Parks. The four-park complex includes Redwood National Park and Jedediah Smith, Del Norte and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks.
ACTIVITIES: Pristine wilderness offers visitors hundreds of miles of hiking and bicycling trails, self-guided nature trails, wildlife spotting, picnicking, camping, river swimming and horseback riding (call 707-465-7335 for horseback riding information). From the Smith River to the Pacific Ocean, the foggiest parts of the ancient redwood forests to the clear meadows filled with elk and songbirds, visitors are guaranteed a wild and truly inspiring experience at Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP).
VISITOR CENTER: There is no visitor center in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. The visitor center at Prairie Creek is open year round, located 50 miles north of Eureka and 25 miles south of Crescent City on Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway off of Highway 101. The Jedediah Smith Redwoods Visitor Center and Hiouchi Information Center are right across the road from each other nine miles east of Crescent City on Highway 199. The former is run by the state and the latter by the feds, but you can get the same excellent park information at either.
TRAILS: There are over 200 miles of trails in the four-park complex. The Damnation Creek Trail in Del Norte RSP is steep. It starts at about 1,000 feet in elevation and dips down to sea level in one mile. But it’s well worth it. Allow 3 hours or so for the 4.4-mile round trip. You’ll be rewarded with old-growth redwoods, Sitka spruce, exquisite ocean views and in May and June, masses of rhododendrons in bloom. From Highway 101 in Crescent City, go south 8 miles to a signed turnout on the west at mile marker 16.
MUST-SEE UNIQUE FEATURE OR SEASONAL HIGHLIGHT: Roosevelt elk rut in the fall at Prairie Creek RSP. Picture 1,200-pound bulls bugling and crashing together with their huge antlers.
HIDDEN GEMS: More than a century ago, supplies were hauled inland from Crescent City on a road made of redwood planks. Parts of the old Crescent City Plank Road can be viewed by hikers on the Leiffer and Ellsworth trails at Jedediah Smith RSP. Driving east on Highway 199, turn north on Walker Road and proceed about half a mile to the Leiffer trailhead.
FEATURES ACCESSIBLE TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: All visitor centers. Many picnic areas, Big Tree Wayside Trail. Wheelchairs for loan available at Crescent City. Beach wheelchair at Crescent City and Gold Bluffs Beach.
DOGS: On leash at all times. Not allowed on park trails, at programs, or in park buildings.
ENTRANCE FEE: None.
MORE INFORMATION: Visit Redwood National and State Parks; Redwood Parks Association, or call the four-park headquarters, the Crescent City Information Center, 1111 Second St., Crescent City CA, at (707) 465-7335. Redwoods National Park Website
Eureka Area Outdoor Activities Guide
On foot, bicycle, motorcycle or car, so much to see and do!
Within walking distance, a short hop in your car, or a day-long driving loop with lots of stops along the way, you will find some of the most beautiful outdoor experiences in the world outside your door. Eureka, California and the Town House Motel make a great place to stay while exploring the Northern California coastal, forests, foothills and mountains by trail or winding road.
Over a dozen parks provide access to Redwood giants within an easy day drive north and south of Eureka; winding coastal roads take you to breath-taking coastal mountain and ocean views. Welcome to Eureka – are you ready for your outdoors adventure? View Eureka Outdoor Activities guide.
Hotels In Eureka California: Town House Motel
The Town House Motel - Historic Old Town Eureka, is located on the scenic Northern California Coast, home to the world’s tallest redwood trees and miles of stunning coastline. Conveniently located in downtown Eureka, the The Eureka Town House Motel is near historic Old Town, a National Historic District possessing some of the most spectacular Victorian architecture in the nation. The Morris Graves Museum of Art is a few blocks away from the Motel. Humbolt Redwoods State Park, home to the largest contiguous redwood forest in the nation, is 40 miles to the south.
Rooms feature free Wi-Fi and wired internet; wall mounted flat-screen TVs with DISH satellite service and 9 HBO channels. Rooms are equipped with refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers. Covered parking is free and dogs are welcome – and ALL calls in the 48 US contiguous states are FREE (local, 1+ and 800).Town House Motel is rated for the best value in Eureka! Guests get more for their money when compared to other hotels in Eureka. As a result, we have been a top TripAdvisor hotel for years and work very hard to earn your trust and maintain that status. Take a few moments to read our Guest Reviews and see what others have to say.