The Redwood National and State Parks system incorporates both California state and national parks including the Redwood National Park, the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park and the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This system of parks stretches from just north of Crescent City to the southern edge of the Redwood National Park at Trinidad. This entire area has been designated a World Heritage site which serves to protect the natural resources found here.
We drove from Bandon all the way down the 101, a very scenic route along the coast, to Klamath, California located where the Klamath River meets the ocean. We stayed in a park that was plumb in the middle of the Redwood Coastal Range and a short hike through the redwoods to a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Klamath estuary. We were given a stunning sunrise one morning, and the view out of our front window at the towering redwoods surrounding the motorhome was spectacular.
Crescent City is the biggest town along this trail of Redwoods and is the base for the area’s fishing and boat launches that are witnessed by seals, pelicans and other seabirds. The Battery Point Lighthouse was built in 1856, sits on a small island some 100 feet offshore, and is accessible only at low tide. It was high tide when we were there and the ocean, as in other western coast locales was at its strongest.
We spent most of our time here within the Coastal Redwood forest where the Coastal Redwoods, Sitka Spruce and Douglas Firs soared hundreds of feet over our heads. We stopped at The Trees of Mystery which is both an interpretive center and a trail that takes you among a variety of trees with information placards describing the history of the particular trees. A six-person gondola ride through the canopy of the redwoods takes you to Ted’s Ridge and an observation deck that offers panoramic views of the Klamath backcountry to the east and the beaches of the Pacific Ocean to the west. Very, very pretty.
At the base of the gondola you can take a trail that allows you to walk among the largest milled-redwood carvings in the world.
The whole place is a little touristy, but it does offer you a truly unique and up-close perspective of these giant trees, their history and what the Indians of centuries ago called “a place of spirits”.
And finally to give you a little perspective of the size of these giants, check out this picture.
Here are a couple of recipes for salad dressings. I found a version of the pecan vinaigrette dressing at a restaurant called the Julian Grille in Julian, California , while the Parmesan Dressing goes really well with a cold chicken salad according to my friend Sarah Johnston. Enjoy these two unusual recipes.