Over Memorial Weekend back in May, Clay and I took a road trip up north to visit Redwood National Park, our third national park of the year. This park pretty much borders the Pacific coast and actually includes two state parks, Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Here are some highlights of the trip:
1) Wild Flowers: We were amazed to see so many colorful wild flowers growing everywhere! At Lady Bird Johnson Grove, a 1.5 hour loop hike, we saw Redwood Sorrel growing along the paths of the trail. Over on Bald Hills Road, we were given many scenic views of a large green prairie full of daisies in bloom. I guess we were lucky to go during the springtime!
2) Roosevelt Elk: We experienced several Roosevelt Elk sightings whether it was on the rolling hills of the prairie, at Gold Bluffs Beach, or crossing the main road of the park. They were always grouped together in herds. I especially liked seeing the male elk with their giant antlers, as well as hearing the funny squeaky noises they made. It was neat to learn that even though in 1925, there were only as few as 15 elk left in the park, Redwood National Park has been working to protect their critical habitats, which has allowed the elk population to rebound since then.
3) Ferns: We also saw a ton of ferns, including fiver-fingered ferns, dark green sword ferns, and lady ferns. Pretty much every hiking trail would allow hikers to see lush ferns along the paths. One of our favorite parts of the trip was definitely going to Fern Canyon. The drive there was was like none other - it seriously felt like we were driving through scenes in Jurassic Park. Fun fact that we found out later: The Lost World: Jurassic Park actually filmed some scenes over at Fern Canyon! Walking through the canyon was absolutely breathtaking. So many ferns covering both sides of the walls, giants logs everywhere, and a small little running on the grounds of the canyon.
Anyway, here is a complete list of all the places we visited from the south end of the park to the north end up to Crescent City (we pretty much just followed the park brochure, stopping at spots we were interested in hiking/seeing): Kuchel Visitor Center, Lady Bird Johnson Grove (1 mile loop), Redwood Creek Overlook, Bald Hills Road, Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Elk Prairie, High Bluff Overlook, Klamath River, Klamath River Overlook, Crescent Beach Overlook, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Howland Hill Road, Stout Grove Loop Trail (0.5 mile), Fern Canyon, Gold Bluffs Beach, Prairie Creek Trail, Big Tree, Cathedral Trail, and Corkscrew Tree. On the way back home, we stopped by Humboldt State Park and Avenue of the Giants.
I'll leave you with a minute-long video that Clay made using his phone - love it when he makes videos! :)
Just capturing as I go.