An Introduction to the North Coast Redwoods, Part II

Trillum, Jedediah Smith State Park

(Part one of this “introduction” can be found here.)

Heading North from Redwood National Park, Highway 101 passes through the town of Klamath and continues towards Del Norte Redwoods State Park. Del Norte primarily serves campers, but the challenging Damnation Creek Trail provides a beautiful 2.5 hike to a small beach cove.

Continuing north past Del Norte Redwoods you descend towards Crescent City, California, at the south end of town (and you’ll want a map or directions) you can head east and connect with Howland Hill Road which will take you to Jedediah Smith State Park. Because Jed Smith isn’t right on Highway 101, and because Howland Hill is unpaved, this area receives less traffic than the Redwood NP/Prairie Creek Redwoods SP area to the South, making for a more relaxing and meditative photographic experience, particularly in spring or fall. (more…)

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An Introduction to the North Coast Redwoods, Part I

Trillium Falls, Redwood National Park
Trillium Falls, Redwood National Park

The coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) of California’s north coast include the tallest trees on Earth, with several examples of individual trees over 370 feet tall and provide amazing photographic and sometimes challenging photographic opportunities. This weekend I’ll be travelling to the California’s north coast (roughly betwen the towns of Trinidad, California and Crescent City, California) ┬áto visit the constellation of four parks (Redwood National Park, Prarie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte State Park, and Jedediah Smith State Park) that to my mind represent some of the finest redwoods photography opportunities available. In this article, I hope to give you a taste of those incredible areas and add a few words about the opportunities and challenges they present.

Starting from the south, Redwood National Park is the most natural place to begin our virtual tour, the National Park Service maintains a visitor center there (actually just south of Orick, CA) and in Crescent City which can provide excellent information and maps of both this park and the three state parks as well. A trip along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway (which runs through Redwood NP and Prairie Creek SP) makes an excellent first introduction to the redwood environment, as the road wanders through enormous columns of tree creating a vast virtual room, carpeted with fern and trillium. The strangely-named Cal-Barrel Road (a quick turn off the parkway) offers an excellent introductory location to start your explorations. (more…)

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