Per a park brochure, redwoods once covered 2 million acres of land along the California cost. They now cover 118,000 acres. Only about 5 percent of the world's old growth redwoods still exist and more than 95 percent of those are in California.
We spent most of our time in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, just north of the national park and near the tiny town of Orick, CA. A ranger at one of the visitors centers suggested some hikes for us, and we picked a 4-miler that connected Cathedral of Trees Trail and Prairie Creek Trail. Just a small handful of other people were on the trails, so it was a great day to hike. Plus, while the park gets about 100 inches of rain a year and much of the rest of the time it's foggy, today was cool but sunny.
We're getting close to the end of this leg of our trip, which started in June. As of today, I'd say the three most beautiful places we've visited are Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Glacier National Park, and Northern California's Redwood parks. All are spectacular.
|Looking toward the sky and the tops of the redwoods.|
|Redwood needles are softer than pine needles. And we learned that redwood cones are small -- about the size of olives -- which surprised me.|
|If a redwood falls across a hiking path, park staff cuts and removes the section blocking the trail...|
|...or cuts a hole in the tree big enough to walk through.|