Redwood National Park is sort of an odd park to navigate. The park originally started out as a handful of state parks, and then was taken over by the National Park Service and merged into one park. However, because they were all separate parks, they are still divided by stretches of towns and non-park territories. No matter which way you attempt your park visit, there will be a lot of driving involved!
The park is comprised of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, and then additional land that was added to the park designated as Redwood National Park. But on the official park website, the park is divided into North, South, and Coastal, which is how I will do it here!
We planned a full day of hikes, but discovered that the trails on the park website are listed as one-way mileage, not round-trip, so our plans sadly had to be altered. But we ended up with a really awesome selection of hikes, and I feel like we saw a cool variety of sites within the park.
After setting out from our campground in the Del Norte Coast section of the park (Mill Creek Campground), we headed to the Jedediah Smith section and started our day with the Simpson-Reed Trail, which was an easy, 1-mile loop.
This hike packed a lot of beautiful redwoods scenery into a short distance, and would be an excellent choice for anyone pressed for time.
After that, we headed to the Stout Memorial Grove. This hike was also an easy, 0.5-mile loop. The trail was crowded, but leads hikers through a grove of colossal redwoods. Also a good choice for the time-pressed visitor.
We then spent the remainder of our afternoon hiking the Boy Scout Tree Trail, which was an almost 6-mile, moderate hike. This was a very pretty trail, and takes you through hundreds of redwoods and ferns. Everything about this park feels very prehistoric, and this trail is an excellent way to get away from the crowds and really feel like you went back in time. You half expect to see a dinosaur jump out around every corner.
To get to the Boy Scout Tree, you have to take a ridiculously steep spur trail off of the main trail near the very end. It almost doesn’t even look like a trail- it looks more like something hikers created to get off the beaten path. But it is indeed a real trail, and leads to this awesomely huge double redwood.
Staying on the main trail leads you to Fern Falls. Once you get that far into the hike, it really doesn’t take that much more time to get to the falls from the Boy Scout Tree (or vice versa), so I recommend seeing both. Cause both sites are pretty darn cool.
Also hiked this day (but not pictured), is the Trestle Loop trail, which is a non-level, some steep grades, 1-mile loop. We did this hike because it was located within our campground and said there was berry picking on the trail. But honestly, the hike wasn’t very scenic compared to the other hikes, it was fairly strenuous in some parts, and there were hardly any berries. So this trail can probably be skipped. There was better berry picking elsewhere in the park.
Click here for a complete listing of trails in the North section of the park!