Where to See the Redwoods Near San Francisco (Within a 2-Hour Drive)

where to see the redwood near San Francisco

The best places to see the redwoods near San Francisco, from a local who grew up hiking through them. 

Walking through a hushed coastal redwood forest in California is perhaps one of the most magical experiences you can have.

It’s damp, quiet, and peaceful, and you’re surrounded by some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world. 

The California redwoods are special to me for several reasons, but most notably they’re special because they give me a strong feeling of being home

I grew up in Santa Cruz, where weekends were either spent at the beach or hiking through the redwoods at Big Basin or Henry Cowell State Park. 

Having grown up on the northern Central Coast of California, redwood trees were a constant in my life from a young age.    

The first tattoo I got was of a California redwood tree.

I got it done after spending two years abroad, right after my grandma passed away, and the day before I flew back to California.

I got it because redwood trees have always been a symbol of home to me. 

This is all to say that I love the California redwood forests and I’ve been to a lot of them throughout the state.

Now that I’m based in San Francisco, which isn’t too far from Santa Cruz, I’m once again surrounded by beautiful redwood forests that are perfect for a day trip from the city. 

Because of this, I wanted to share my favorite places to see the redwoods near San Francisco so you can experience a little bit of that redwood tree magic as well. 

These are also some of my favorite day trips from San Francisco.

If you have an extra day in the city, don’t miss out on visiting one of these California redwood tree parks that are within a two-hour drive from the city. 

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

where to see the redwoods near san francisco

Tips for Visiting the California Redwoods 

  • Bring layers – Redwood forests tend to have microclimates and stay at a cooler temperature. Regardless of the temperature outside, plan for a cool and sometimes foggy hike and bring layers (and a waterproof jacket). 
  • Wear waterproof shoes – It’s also good to wear waterproof hiking shoes on a redwood hike because trails tend to be damp and even mushy at times. 
  • Stop by the local visitor center before your hike – Although most visitor centers are currently closed, when they open again, this is always a good thing to do before you start your hike through the redwoods. At the visitor center, you can pick up maps and chat with a local ranger about current trail conditions and recommendations. This is especially important if you’re visiting after a winter storm when redwood trees are more likely to fall and potentially block trails. 
  • Don’t expect cell service – Many of the redwood forests in California have little to no cell reception. Expect to be off the grid once you arrive. Use physical maps (or download offline Google Maps ahead of time) and plan your route before you arrive. 
  • Bring cash – Most of these redwood parks charge a day use parking fee and the entrance kiosks are not always staffed by rangers 24/7. Instead, you’re usually expected to fill out a parking permit on your own and put your payment in a box near the entrance for the ranger to collect when he drives through. Make sure you have smaller bills (and a pen to fill out a permit) to pay for parking once you arrive at the park. 
  • If you want to camp, make reservations ahead of time – California state parks are often busy and that’s especially the case with many of these coastal redwood parks. Reserve your campsite as far ahead of time as possible to secure a spot, some of these book up months in advance in the summer. 


What to Pack for a Trip to the Redwoods 


Related: Best Gifts for Hikers 


How Far are the Redwoods from San Francisco?

There are various redwood forests near San Francisco, but the closest ones are Muir Woods in Marin and Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park in Oakland.

Both are about a 30-minute drive from the city.

There are also a few spots to see redwoods in San Francisco, but these aren’t going to be as impressive as the redwood forests you’ll find just outside the city. 


What is the Best Time of the Year to Visit the Redwood Forest?

Because coastal redwoods grow in temperate climates, they can be visited at any time of the year.

With that said, since redwood forests tend to be on the cooler side, it’ll be a warmer hike if you visit them in the spring, summer, and fall. 

The winter is probably the worst time to visit the redwood forests in California because trails are damper and there’s a risk of winter storms. 

what is the best time of the year to visit the redwood forest

Are Redwoods Only in California?

Old-growth coastal redwood trees are native to California and the West Coast of the US.

This means the only places you’ll find native and natural redwood forests are in California, Oregon, and Washington. 

You might come across other redwood forests in countries that have similar climates to California (e.g. South Africa and Australia), but these are California redwood trees that have been planted.

And they won’t be old-growth redwood forests like what you’ll find in California.

If you want to see redwoods in their native habitat, California is definitely the best place to see them. 


What is the Difference Between Redwoods and Giant Sequoias?

Redwoods and sequoias are both behemoth trees that live for a long time, so what’s the main difference between them?

Aren’t they both just huge trees?

Not quite. 

The main difference is that giant sequoias are the largest trees in the world (by volume) with thick trunks and redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and tend to be more slender.

So they’re both big trees, just in different ways. 

Another big difference between the two is that redwoods tend to grow along the coast and giant sequoias are more likely to be found in higher elevations, such as the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. 

The tallest tree in the world is Hyperion in Redwood National Park at 379 feet tall, and the largest tree in the world is General Sherman in Sequoia National Park at 52,500 cubic feet in volume. 

best redwood hikes near san francisco


Where to See Redwoods in San Francisco 

Although these spots aren’t going to be as impressive as the redwood forests outside of San Francisco, they’re a good alternative if you’re short on time and want to see a redwood tree up close. 


Transamerica Redwood Park 

You probably wouldn’t expect to find a redwood park in the middle of the Financial District in San Francisco, but alas, the Transamerica Redwood Park is that redwood oasis in the city.  

Designed in 1969, the park is a half-acre hideaway that’s a popular lunch spot for people who work in the Financial District. 

It’s a quiet area full of benches and a fountain dedicated to Mark Twain, who once lived and wrote at this site.

The redwoods at the park were transplanted from the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 60 miles south of the city.  

If you don’t have time for a redwood adventure outside of San Francisco, you can’t get much more convenient than the Transamerica Redwood Park nestled amongst the skyscrapers of downtown San Francisco.  


Heroes Grove in Golden Gate Park 

As the largest green space in the city with various San Francisco attractions, Golden Gate Park should already be on your list of places to visit in San Francisco.

And even more so because the park is home to its own redwood grove, called the Heroes Grove

The Heroes Grove was established over a century ago and is overlooked by most tourists, but it’s a peaceful area dedicated to local residents who gave their lives during World War I and II. 

At the center of the grove, you’ll find Gold Star Mothers Rock, a rock with an inscription that lists the names of all those who were lost during World War I.  

It’s an easy grove to miss, but the best way to find it is via JFK Drive, near the de Young Museum. 


Wayburn Redwood Grove in the Presidio 

A short walk from the Presidio Transit Center, you’ll find another San Francisco redwood grove – Wayburn Redwood Grove

The grove was dedicated to Ed Wayburn, a strong advocate for the preservation of wild open spaces in America, in 2006 on his 100th birthday.

If you’re looking for an easy hike in San Francisco, the Wayburn Redwood Grove is conveniently located along one of the best hikes in the Presidio – the Presidio Promenade Trail.

This is an ideal trail to walk to learn more about the military history of the Presidio and get a dose of newborn redwood trees while you’re at it. 


Where to See Redwoods Near San Francisco 

Muir Woods National Monument 

Distance from San Francisco: 30 minutes

Price: Entrance fee – $15/person, parking – $8.50, shuttle – $3.25/person  

Muir Woods Hikes - best place to see the redwoods near san francisco

By far the most popular place to see the redwoods near San Francisco, Muir Woods National Monument is the closest place to the city to fully immerse yourself in a redwood forest. 

However, the downside with it being so close to the city is that it’s always crowded.

In fact, Muir Woods is the most popular redwood park in the world and welcomes over a million visitors every year. 

This won’t be the best place to visit if you’re looking for a solo and quiet walk amongst the towering redwoods.

Especially in recent years, Muir Woods has basically become the Disneyland of redwood parks in California. 

With that said, if you’ve never been to Muir Woods, it’s worth visiting at least once.

And if you get there as soon as the park opens, you can avoid most of the crowds and still enjoy a somewhat quiet redwood forest. 

There are various easy trails that wind through the park.

If you’re looking for a quick hike, the Bohemian Grove Trail (2 miles) is a good place to start. 

Otherwise, other favorites that are a little longer include The Ben Johnson Trail (3.4 miles) and The Sun Trail (4.7 miles).  


How to get to Muir Woods National Monument

Because Muir Woods is such a popular place to see the redwoods, it takes some extra planning to visit the park. 

If you’re driving there, you’ll need to book a timed parking permit ahead of time.

These book up fast, especially in the summer, so you’ll want to book one online at least a week ahead of time. 

Otherwise, Marin Transit operates a Muir Woods Shuttle that leaves from various pickup points in the North Bay.

There’s the Route 66 Muir Woods Shuttle that picks up from Pohono Park & Ride or the Route 66F Muir Woods Shuttle that picks up from the Sausalito Ferry and Marin City Hub.

Reservations are required for the Muir Woods Shuttle and they also book up fast, especially on weekends and during the summer. 

The last option for getting to Muir Woods is to hop on a Muir Woods Tour with a local tour company.

However, this is the more expensive option and you usually only get 60-90 minutes at the park.

If you’re looking for convenience and you’re fine with just spending an hour or so at the park, this could be a good choice. 

Otherwise, I’d go with one of the first two options to get to Muir Woods. 

One thing to note is cell service is nonexistent in the park, so plan accordingly and don’t expect to be able to call a Lyft to get back to the city. 


Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park 

Distance from San Francisco: 30 minutes 

Price: Day use parking – $5, pets – $2/dog

redwood regional park - closest redwoods to san francisco

Another redwood park that’s not too far from San Francisco (and much less busy than Muir Woods) is Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park is located in the East Bay, in Oakland to be exact, and is part of the East Bay Regional Parks District. 

The park used to be the site of a huge logging operation in the 1880s, but it’s now where you’ll find the largest group of natural coastal redwoods in the East Bay.

At Redwood Regional Park, it’s easier to experience a hushed walk through the redwoods and even some empty trails, especially if you go early in the day. 

The 1,830-acre park features various trails, but a good one to start with to be fully immersed in the redwoods is The French Trail Loop (6 miles).

To get to the French Trail, start at the Stream Trail that begins at the Canyon Meadow Staging Area.

From there, you’ll eventually reach the French Trail and then the Chown Trail before making your way back to the Stream Trail and the staging area for a full loop. 

If you want a longer hike, there are several side trails on the loop that you can add on to your hike as well for a full day amongst the redwoods. 

Local tip: It’s best to avoid the free parking on Skyline Boulevard and Redwood Road due to regular car break-ins. Instead, go for one of the paid parking areas, such as Roberts or Canyon Meadow. 


Samuel P. Taylor State Park 

Distance from San Francisco: 1 hour

Price: Day use parking – $8, standard campsites – $35/night

Samuel P. Taylor State Park - giant redwoods in california

A little further on from San Francisco, you’ll find Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County – a lush gorge filled with hundreds of acres of redwood trees and easy to moderate hikes.  

At the park, you can stroll through old-growth redwoods along Lagunitas Creek and take in one of the best views in Marin at the top of Barnabe Peak. 

For an easy redwood hike, start with the 3-mile South Creek Trail that takes you along Lagunitas Creek, or the 2.7-mile Pioneer Tree Loop Trail that takes you to a grove of old-growth redwoods.

For a longer hike and to learn more about Samuel P. Taylor and the paper mill he built in the area in the 1800s, you can follow the 6-mile Cross Marin Trail.

However, the Cross Marin Trail won’t get you as immersed in the redwoods as the South Creek Trail or the Pioneer Loop Trail will. 

If you’re looking for a more difficult hike that includes a mix of redwoods and good views, take the 7-mile Devil’s Gulch Trail to the top of Barnabe Peak.

This park is an underrated spot that is only made more attractive by the fact that it’s only an hour’s drive from San Francisco and conveniently nestled in the suburbs of Marin. 

Because of its location, the park is not overly remote or too far from non-camping accommodation and delicious food options. 


Butano State Park 

Distance from San Francisco: 1.25 hours

Price: Day use parking – $10, camping – $35/night 

Established in 1957 to protect the redwoods from being cut down from local logging operations, Butano State Park is just over an hour from San Francisco and another good place to walk through the redwoods. 

At the park, you can expect to find old-growth redwood trees nestled in a peaceful canyon, as well as 40 miles of hiking trails, dozens of campsites, creeks, wetlands, and diverse wildlife. 

The best short trail to start out on is the 3-mile Little Butano Creek Trail that takes you to the heart of the redwoods. 

If you have more time, the 5-mile Jackson Flats Loop and the 9.5-mile Canyon Loop both give you a good amount of redwood forest walks and scenic views. 


Portola Redwoods State Park 

Distance from San Francisco: 1.25 hours

Price: Day use parking – $10, camping – $35/night

Portola redwoods state park - redwood hikes

Just a couple miles north of the popular Big Basin State Park, Portola Redwoods is an overlooked park just south of San Francisco. 

Walking through this lush state park, you wouldn’t guess that San Jose and the huge tech companies of Silicon Valley are just a short drive away

This is an ideal park to visit if you’re looking for a less busy and more secluded redwood experience in California that’s still conveniently located near San Francisco. 

With only 18 miles of hiking trails, Portola Redwoods State Park is a manageable park to hike through if you only have a day or two to spend in the California redwoods.

And with over 50 campsites, there are plenty of options for pitching a tent at the park

You can expect trails to mostly consist of shady redwood forests, creeks, huckleberries, ferns, and even waterfalls. 

If you’re short on time, start with the 0.6-mile Old Tree Trail and the 0.75-mile Sequoia Nature Trail, which are both a good introduction to the Portola redwoods and the natural history of the area. 

For a good waterfall hike, tackle the 1.5-mile Iverson Trail to Tiptoe Falls.

If you’re looking for a serious all-day hike, the 11.9-mile hike to Peters Creek Grove is one of the best hikes in the Bay Area and where you’ll find some of the most remote redwoods in California. 


Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park 

Distance from San Francisco: 1.25 hours

Price: Day use parking – $10, camping – $35/night  

santa cruz to do - Henry Cowell redwood trees near san francisco

Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is one of the most popular state parks in California that features redwood trees. 

And redwood trees aren’t all you’ll find at Henry Cowell.

The park is also home to Roaring Camp Railroad, which lets you ride through the redwoods on a historic 1880s steam train.

It’s a great thing to do with kids, but, honestly, I love hopping on a Roaring Camp train ride an adult as well.

There’s no other place in California where you can surround yourself with redwoods via an open-air train ride and it’s a very cool experience to have. 

With its scenic nature and 40-acre grove of old-growth redwood trees, this is the park that inspired some of California’s first redwood preservation efforts and was admired by the likes John C. Fremont and President Theodore Roosevelt. 

You could easily spend the whole weekend exploring the thousands of acres that make up this park.

With 30 miles of hiking trails, over 100 campsites, a popular swimming hole called the Garden of Eden, and redwood trees that you can walk inside, there’s a lot of nature to appreciate at Henry Cowell.  

While you’re at the park, don’t miss the 0.8-mile Redwood Grove Loop Trail for a good introduction to the history of the area and to step inside the popular Fremont Tree. 

If you have more time, the 4-mile Cathedral Redwoods Trail is a good hike to be surrounded by a circle of redwoods and to take a detour to Cable Car Beach. 

And the 5-mile Observation Deck Trail features expansive views and thick forests of second-growth redwoods, ponderosa pines, and the Santa Cruz sandhills. 


Big Basin Redwoods State Park 

Distance from San Francisco: 1.5 hours

Price: Day use parking – $10, camping – $35/night 

big basin redwoods state park - redwood park near san francisco

Not too far from Henry Cowell, you’ll find Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Established in 1902, this is the oldest state park in California and located in the thick redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

Big Basin is a popular park, but a little less touristy than Henry Cowell since it doesn’t have the historic railroad or walk-in trees. 

At the park, you’ll find redwood trees that are anywhere from 1,000 to 1,800 years old, ocean views, waterfalls, and a fascinating history as California’s oldest state park.  

One of Big Basin’s most well-known claims to fame is that it’s where you’ll find the “largest continuous strand of ancient coast redwoods south of San Francisco.”

And with over 80 miles of trails, there are a lot of options for hiking at Big Basin.

One of the most popular Big Basin Hike is the 4-mile Skyline to the Sea Trail.

The full Skyline to Sea Trail is actually much longer, stretching far outside the park for a multi-day 25-mile hike that takes you through old-growth redwoods, Waddell Creek, the beach, and a freshwater marsh.

If you’re up for the challenge, this is one of the best multi-day backpacking routes on the California coast. 

However, if you want to keep it to a day hike, the section that’s within Big Basin is around 4 miles and still offers plenty of redwoods and natural beauty. 

Another trail that shouldn’t be missed is the 0.6-mile Redwood Loop Trail, which is a good introduction to the park and features some of the largest trees at Big Basin. 

If you’re looking for a more strenuous hike, the 10.5-mile Berry Creek Falls Trail features large coast redwoods, four waterfalls, and a 2,150-foot elevation change. 

Read my full guide to Big Basin Redwoods State Park here


Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve 

Distance from San Francisco: 1.5 hours 

Price: Day use parking – $10

armstrong redwoods state park - best redwoods near san francisco

Located north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is where you’ll find 800 acres of California redwoods. 

The park has been preserved since the 1870s when a lumberman by the name of Colonel James Armstrong saved the area from logging and set it aside as his natural park and botanical garden. 

Although it has been open to the public since 1917, it was officially made into a state park in 1936. 

Once you get to the park, start with the 1.5-mile Pioneer Nature Trail to learn more about redwood trees and to appreciate the main features of the park.

A few other hikes that are full of redwood trees and hushed forests are the Pool Ridge Trail (3.9 miles), East Ridge Trail (5.4 miles), and the Gilliam Creek Trail (4.2 miles). 

Before you leave, don’t miss Colonel Armstrong, the oldest tree in the park at 1,400 years old, and Parson Jones, the tallest tree in the park at 310 feet. 

One last thing to note is that there’s no camping offered at the park.

If you’re looking to camp in the area, head to the local Bullfrog Pond Campground that’s just outside the park. 


BONUS: Calistoga’s Petrified Forest 

Distance from San Francisco: 1.5 hours

Price: Admission fee – $12 

calistoga petrified forest - san francisco redwoods

If you’re looking for a different type of redwood tree experience, make a visit to Calistoga’s Petrified Forest in Sonoma County. 

You won’t find living redwoods here, instead, you’ll get to see petrified redwood trees that are over three million years old.

The Petrified Forest won’t be quite as magical as walking through a living old-growth redwood forest, but it’s a unique experience to have just outside of San Francisco. 

The redwood trees at the Petrified Forest date back to the Pliocene Epoch when a violent volcanic explosion from the now extinct Mt. St. Helena petrified acres of prehistoric redwood forests. 

The park is family-owned and features easy trails that take you around what remains of the petrified redwood forest.

To get the full experience and learn more about this history of these petrified trees, it’s best to go on a guided tour.

They run Wednesday through Sunday at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.

Guided tours last for about an hour to an hour and a half, otherwise, you can do a self-guided tour that takes around 40 minutes. 


More Places to See the Redwoods Near San Francisco (More Than Two Hours Away) 

Hendy Woods State Park 

Distance from San Francisco: 2.5 hours 

Price: Day use parking -$10, camping – $40-$45/night

Just over a couple hours from San Francisco in the midst of the Anderson Valley wine region, you’ll find Hendy Woods State Park.

The park is probably best known for being the home of Hendy Hermit – a Russian immigrant who lived in the area for over 18 years. 

Similar to the Portola Redwoods, Hendy Woods is another uncrowded park that is an ideal spot to see the redwoods in a secluded atmosphere.

Because of its more inland location, it also tends to be on the warmer and less foggy side compared to most coastal redwood parks. 

Hendy Woods is a small park compared to the rest of the parks on this list.

With that said, it’s the perfect place to visit if you’re short on time or want to combine a trip to the redwoods with a day of wine tasting.

At the park, you’ll find five miles of trails that feature old-growth redwoods that are more than 1,000 years old and 300 feet tall. 

To start with, I’d recommend walking around the 0.6-mile Discovery Trail that takes you to one of the park’s best features – the old-growth redwood trees at Big Hendy Grove.

Other popular trails at the park include the 1.6-mile Upper Loop Trail and the 2.7-mile Hermit Huts and Little Hendy Trail.

Besides hiking through the redwoods, another popular activity at the park is swimming under the Greenwood Road Bridge, especially in the summer. 


Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park 

Distance from San Francisco: 2.75 hours 

Price: Day use parking -$10, camping – $35/night

pfeiffer big sur state park - redwoods near santa cruz

Big Sur is not only one of the most beautiful coastal destinations in California, but it’s also another scenic spot to see the California redwoods on the Central Coast.

You can expect to find tons of natural attractions throughout the state parks in Big Sur, as well as a lot of good hiking trails, especially at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

One of the best trails for redwoods at the park is the 3-mile Buzzard’s Roost Loop.

Along it, you’ll follow the Big Sur River, climb through a redwood forest, and end up at a sunny viewpoint that gives you expansive views of the ocean, the Santa Lucia Mountains, and Sycamore Canyon. 

Although Big Sur is one of California’s most popular destinations, its hiking trails aren’t overly crowded.

Most tourists stick to the main sights of Bixby Canyon Bridge and McWay Falls and don’t venture too far on the hiking trails.

This means that the longer you hike, the fewer people you’ll come across.

With this said, you should aim for longer hikes in the park if you want a more secluded redwood experience. 


Humboldt Redwoods State Park 

Distance from San Francisco: 4 hours 

Price: Day use parking – $10, camping – $35

avenue of the giants in humboldt redwoods state park - best redwoods in california

If you’re up for the drive from San Francisco, one of the best places to see the redwoods in California is Humboldt Redwoods State Park

The park spans over 55,000 acres, which is twice the size of San Francisco!

The damp weather and cooler temperatures on this part of the California coast are perfect for coastal redwoods.

About 1/3 of the park (77,000 acres) is made up of old-growth redwood tree and there are over 100 miles of hiking trails. 

Since the early 1900s, there have been continuous conservation efforts focused on saving on the redwoods in this area. 

This is where you’ll find some of the densest redwood forests in the state, as well as some of the best redwood-lined drives. 

If you’re interested in seeing redwoods from the comfort of your car, this is the park where you’ll find California’s most famous redwood drive – the Avenue of the Giants

The Avenue of the Giants is a 32-mile drive through the redwoods and offers various stops along the route for getting out and stretching your legs next to these auburn giants. 

A few stops that shouldn’t be missed along the drive include Founder’s Grove and the fallen Dyerville Giant, Williams Grove, Flatiron Tree, and Gould Grove.  

Make sure to pick up an auto tour brochure at the Humboldt Redwoods Visitor Center so you don’t miss the best features of Avenue of the Giants drive. 

Although the Avenue of the Giants is the main attraction at the park, if you have the time, it’s worthwhile to spend some time hiking the many trails at the park as well.

One hiking trail that shouldn’t be missed is the 0.6-mile Rockefeller Loop Trail, which takes you to the largest contiguous old-growth redwood forest in the world. 

If you want a longer hike, you can add onto this trail with the 7.5-mile Bull Creek Loop Trail

Other popular hikes in Humboldt Redwoods State Park include the 1.7-mile Drury-Chaney Loop, 2.2-mile Johnson Prairie Trail, and the 10.5-mile Johnson Camp Trail. 


Redwoods National and State Parks 

Distance from San Francisco: 5.5 hours 

Price: Redwoods National Park has free admission, but Jedediah Smith, Del Norte Coast, and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks are $10 each for day use parking. Camping is $35/night. 

jedediah smith redwoods at redwoods national park

Another popular place to see the redwoods in Northern California, Redwoods National and State Parks is where you’ll find the tallest redwood trees in the state. 

Because it’s at least a five-hour drive to get here from San Francisco, this is a great spot for a weekend trip from the city

Redwoods National and State Parks is a group of parks that are along 40 miles of rugged California coastline, just south of the Oregon Border

These parks include Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

And if you’re looking for scenic redwood drives, this is another good area to see the redwoods from your car.

A few redwood drives around the parks include Howland Hill Road, Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, Cal-Barrel Road, and Davison Road

In terms of hiking through the redwoods, if you’re short on time, don’t miss the 0.5-mile Trillium Falls Trail, the 1.5-mile Lady Bird Johnson Loop Trail, and the 1-mile Simpson-Reed Trail

If you’re looking for a longer hike, the 2.5-mile Prairie Creek Foothill Trail Loop and the 4-mile Tall Trees Grove Hike are good for a half-day adventure in the redwoods. 

Note: If you want to hike to Tall Trees Grove, you’ll need a day hiking permit. You can apply for one here, just make sure you reserve it 48 hours before your visit. 

And lastly, if you have a whole day, the 12-mile James Irvine Trail to Fern Canyon Loop is one of the most beautiful trails in the area and will give you a diverse look at the natural beauty of the parks.

If you’re able to make the drive up here, Redwoods National and State Parks is one of the best places to see old-growth California redwoods near San Francisco.  



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Mimi McFadden
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