Visiting Redwood National Park
Seasons, Fees and ReservationsThere is no entrance fee for Redwood National Park, but the adjacent state parks -- Jedediah Smith, Del Norte Coast, and Prairie Creek Redwoods -- collect fees of $35 per vehicle overnight or $8 for day-use, and $5 per hiker or biker. Fees are collected at campground entrance sites. Some spots may be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, but reservations are recommended during the peak use season of May 25 through September 3. Parks are open year-round, but individual campgrounds (Mill Creek, Gold Bluff) operate seasonally.
Coast Redwood Trees
Although there are many ecosystems to explore, the primary attraction at Redwood National Park is the old-growth coast redwood forest that made the region famous. These coniferous trees are the tallest in the world, commonly reaching heights of more than 200 feet, and have been known to grow more than 370 feet tall. The oldest known redwood is estimated to be 2,200 years old. Although they are giants, much of their water needs are satisfied by the coastal fog that rolls in daily. Visitors, too, will likely find satisfaction in the quiet solitude of the fog-blanketed redwood groves.
LodgingUntil 2010 lodging in the park was available at the Redwood National Park Hostel, a converted pioneer homestead that provided the only beds in the national and nearby state parks. The hostel is currently closed indefinitely, due to lack of funds for repairs. Campgrounds in the parks are a good alternative for folks looking to rough it a little, but there are also bed-and-breakfast inns to be found in the picturesque seaside communities around Humboldt Bay.
Visitor and Information CentersRedwood National Park is served by five visitor centers. Two main visitors centers in Crescent City and Orick are open all year, as is the Prairie Creek Visitor Center within the state park of the same name. Other visitor centers are seasonal. Rangers are on staff at all centers when open, to provide information about current conditions as well as lead educational programming. Centers regularly feature interactive exhibits about redwoods, watershed areas and other park features. Junior Ranger programs are available seasonally at select ocations.