An RVers Guide to The Redwoods
This blew my expectations and my mind. I’ve heard so much about the Redwoods but I have to admit, I thought it would be great but I wasn’t expecting it to be such a rugged, wild and diverse adventure!
Keep in mind that we travel to the best locations in this country for a living, so when we find a gem like this we get excited to share our experience. The Redwoods of Northern California should be on everyone’s bucket list.
I now understand the draw to walking among these giants. There were days I hiked all day in the forest and didn’t want it to end. We were there for around 3 weeks at the Klamath Camper Corral. We explored the area thoroughly but as with any incredible experience that wasn’t long enough.
One of the Best Bike Rides in the USA
The Last Chance Section of the Coastal Trail is the only part of Redwood National Park that allows mountain biking. Wow what a trail! Much of it is the old iconic 101 highway that due to a landslide many years ago they rebuilt the road further back on solid ground. This section has become overgrown and has become such an exotic and lush ride.
Danielle dropped me off at the beginning of the trail and I peddled off while she ran some errands in town. Once I finished the ride she was going to pick me up near Crescent City Beach however if we did it again it would be easier to get picked up at Endert’s Beach.
The entire time I never saw another person. To be able to have this experience is such a blessing! Part of the trail becomes a single lane path cutting through the forest with the occasional cliff down to the pounding ocean below. Be prepared if you’re going to take this trail, the 2nd half has some pretty intense sections heading down the mountain. This is a very exhilarating bike ride that you will never forget.
Walking to the Tour Through Tree
Across the street from our campground at the Klamath Camper Corral was the Tour Through Tree. Recently Geico did a big commercial about the gecko getting stuck in the tree. From the back of our Toy Hauler Deck, we can see this tree across the famous California 101 Highway which is also known as the Redwood Highway.
Our dually was too big to fit in the tree so we walked there from the campground. It was a neat experience and nice to get it off the bucket list.
Wilson Creek Beach
Wilson Creek Beach is a great beach to pull off and kick back for awhile. At low tide, there are countless rocks and neat tide pools that form to check out the sea life. There’s room for RVs under 30 ft to pull into the parking lot and set up for a few hours.
Whale Watching at Requa Road
The Klamath Overlook is the perfect spot to check out the Gray Whales on their migration. In the spring they have their calves so to avoid killer whales they come right up to the shoreline. It makes for excellent views from the overlook. You can enjoy the views from the parking lot but if you want a great hike to an up close and personal view, walk on down the Coastal Trail which starts at the parking lot. It’s a fun trail with excellent views of the ocean and after a little while, you’ll see a path that leads to the overlook.
You don’t have to wait long before you see the whales. It takes a little bit of focus to train your eye on what to look for but once you’ve got it, you can spot them consistently.
I made friends with some like-minded people from Denmark and ended up hanging out for a few hours exchanging travel stories and talked about geeky stuff like politics, the global economy, and capitalism. It’s so enjoyable to connect spontaneously with people from such a different culture, experiencing some of the same places we were. You can check out their Instagram account here. They’re traveling in an SUV that they’ve customized into a great travel living situation.
Trinidad State Park
This was a place I was really excited about. In fact, I was headed to a number of great spots this day and Trinidad was the first stop at sunrise. The trail heading to the beach was nice and easy. Once the beach became visible through the thick vegetation it was tough not to get excited.
Tide pooling is something we love to do, especially in new locations. On this day it happened to be low tide shortly after sunrise so I was able to enjoy relatively low tide while I was here.
Starfish trips me out every time I see them. There’s a lot of them here and it’s easy to find them at low tide. They tend to hide behind big rocks.
A Very Scenic Drive
The Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway (they should shorten the name lol) is a very chill and incredibly scenic drive through the Redwoods. There are some really neat side roads that take you to very isolated areas where you can pull off and go hiking.
The trail systems through the Redwood National Park are top notch. So many groves can be connected with well-maintained trails through lush forests. As with most National Parks that we’ve visited, there were very few people and most of the hikes I went on I had the entire hike to myself. It’s like a giant jungle gym for adults! If you’re just passing through on the 101 this is a must because they’re parallel to each other.
I did a lot of hiking on various trails throughout the park. A good resource that I found for hikes in the redwoods was this site. In fact, it’s one of the most descriptive and detailed trail site for an area that I’ve seen.
The Redwoods are so tall, they make us feel like ants as they tower over us. They can be over 2,000 years old and over 300 ft tall. That alone makes it unique, but walking along the trail through these monsters feels oddly quiet and serene. All the Coast Redwoods live within 50 miles of the Pacific Ocean.
World Class Tide Pooling
Patrick Point is the best Tide Pool location I’ve ever been to and it’s considered world class. I’m not sure what qualifies you for that title but this place is legit. I got here just before low tide. There were probably 50 or so other people on this morning. It turns out that many of the people were going to a local college and their class to them here to study sea life. It was great because they were eager to show off their knowledge and explain to me what everything was and a few details about it.
Klamath Coastal Drive
There are so many great scenic drives in the area but this one is A MUST! Take your time because the drive is short but it offers a lot of opportunities to visit a variety of beaches and hikes.
High Bluff Overlook
This place is incredible. Located on the Coast drive, it has amazing views in the picnic area and on the other side, you can walk on down to an overlook area looking north. I was really surprised to find that I had cell phone reception with my AT&T phone from the overlook. Most of the Coastal Drive I didn’t have service but I was able to work remotely with an incredible view.
WW2 Radar Station
One of the highlights of the Coastal Trail was stopping by this old farmhouse. It’s more than it seems. It was used in WW2 to act and look like a farm but was actually a spotting station for the Japanese. It’s interesting to see how well it’s been preserved. There isn’t a lot of parking here and the trail was a little tight but it’s a very short hike and well worth it.
What a perfect example of the Rugged Coast of Northern California. With the hiking trail a little wet from the morning fog/dew, the hike down to the beach was an adventure.
These rock climbers were the only other people that I saw the entire morning. It was awesome to see them climbing on the big boulders.
The waves were fantastic here but it’s a pretty dangerous place to go surfing. The river dumps into the ocean which brings a lot of food for Great White Sharks. There have been a number of shark attacks here in the past few years and people have given up surfing in the area due to the high number of attacks vs the few people who ventured out into these waters… not worth the risk.
The River Meets The Ocean
Klamath Beach is the perfect beach to explore at the end of your Coastal Drive. It’s a beautiful area with flowers and driftwood all over. I’ve actually never seen so much driftwood in one place before.
It was cool to see the light move on the beach so much with the sun coming up.
Seals and Sea Lions were swimming around. I’ve seen them at just about every beach in Klamath but I saw more here than I ever have at one time. If you look closely there are around 7 in this picture hanging out.
At one point I saw another couple. I was surprised because I had been exploring for hours and hadn’t run into a single other person. It’s the perfect spot to take a stroll along the shore.
Howland Hill Road
One of the best drives in the country is the Howland Hill Road in Jed Smith State Park. It’s definitely a bucket list experience. This road is essentially a 1 lane so you’ve got to crawl along and when you see other cars someone has to find the nearest pullout. It wasn’t hairy, just had to pay attention to what’s coming.
After taking this beautiful road to the Stout Grove, it’s time to do some hiking. This hike is top notch. It’s a perfect trail, short, flat, and absolutely stunningly beautiful.
Ella LOVES going hiking. She laughs and stares at the interesting sites before falling asleep. Being an Entrepreneur has allowed us to control our time and with hiking, to control our crowds. We’ve realized that if we want to have a hike relatively to ourselves, we just go mon-thurs. We had this hike to ourselves.
The trail is surrounded by towering redwoods and lush ferns. For a while it runs next to the Smith River.
Gold Bluff Beach
On the scenic Davison Road, there are a few isolated areas that are pure rugged beauty. Keep an eye out for Elk, they could be anywhere.
The elk roam all around. This elk came into the Gold Bluff Beach campground. I think this kid is a little too close for comfort… Elk are not something to be messing with.
Just 2 miles past Gold Bluff Beach is the end of the road where you’ll find the Fern Canyon Trail. This area is so beautiful and wild that they filmed part of “Jurassic Park – The Lost World” here. It’s like another world to walk around in this fern filled canyon. The drive is exciting as you get to cross 2 streams.
As it happens so often, I was the only person on the trail. What a unique place! The walls are towers of ferns.
For most of the hike, you’re walking on rocks or logs to somewhat stay dry. Hiking shoes are a great idea for this hike. There were a few times where I jumped as far as I could but didn’t clear the water.
I realized in the parking lot that I forgot my batteries for my Nikon DSLR. The iPhone did a great job of stepping up in a rugged situation. I had a realization because of this hike about camera gear. It was so nice not lugging around a big DSLR that I’ve decided my next camera is going to be a light mirror-less camera.
This is a gorgeous hike to a beautiful beach. Most of the hike you are walking along on a cliff overlooking the beautiful water down below. It’s an easy hike and they have bathrooms about half way from the trailhead. The watercolor was spectacular and we walked around beach-combing.
If you’re going to be in the redwoods there’s a good chance you’re going to see elk. There are so many different herds that roam around the meadows. On multiple occasions, we had to stop rather quickly because of Elk crossing the road.
Klamath Camper Corral
The Klamath Camper Corral RV Park was the perfect spot to enjoy the Redwoods. The owners really care about providing an enjoyable experience for their customers. I can’t recommend this place enough for the perfect Redwood basecamp.
- On the Klamath River
- Great ownership/mgmt
- Bigfoot has been spotted here
- It’s located off the 101 from countless day trips
The campground has a fire each evening for their travelers to come and relax, maybe share some travel stories with other campers.
One morning I walked on the 101 bridge to watch the sunrise. The fog created new changes in the light every minute which kept it really interesting. I was surprised at how fast the water was moving for being such a large river. It wouldn’t take a lot of effort to head downriver here.
Our Road Warrior is an authentic Toy Hauler since Ella has taken it over. It’s worked out well because I have my office in the Toy Hauler during the day and then when she goes down for bed at night I head to the built-in desk in the living room. Danielle has been working on making changes for it to be a full on baby room and I’ll move in full time into the built-in office space. This limits us from being able to go onto the RV Deck at night but it’s well worth it for her to have her own space to play and sleep.
Ella and Zoey have become best friends. Ella’s first word was “Puppy” and it’s still her favorite word. We’re so happy we went with another Pomeranian when we got Zoey.
- Perfect size for an RV Dog
- Very Intelligent & Trained Easily
- Great with Ella
- Big Personality
When we decided to get another dog we were RVing near Phoenix, did extensive online research and headed on over to pick her out. It was incredible, could you imagine having 50 or so smiling Pomeranians running over to you to play with you? So cute.
The deck is our favorite spot to hang out. If we want to keep the baby out of the sun we can use the awning to keep her shaded. Usually, Danielle sets it up so she can get some sun while Ella’s in the shade.
They have a great hiking trail that takes you to the Klamath River. It’s the 2nd largest river in California and loaded with fish to reel in. Be careful not to step in the bear poop. The fish are plentiful here which brings things that like to eat the fish like Bear and Great Whites where the River dumps into the Pacific Ocean.
This is a hip spot. We went here a number of times while we were staying in Klamath, CA. It has consistently good surfing and is a hot spot for longboarders. We liked this spot so much that on our way out of town to continue our journey north we pulled the 5th wheel over on the side of the road and went surfing.
When you’re RVing, you can literally write your own book on the adventures you want to experience.
The beach is wide open enough to hang out relatively by yourself.
There are a few different lighthouses in the area. This one was right in the heart of the town.
We enjoyed eating a few times at the Chart Room. Good food, good prices but the big attraction to this place is the location. Right next to the beach and the harbor on the other side. We had a great view of the sea lions while we ate.
This family pulled up their RV to hit the waves! The RV’s perfect for outdoor days when you want to still have the conveniences of home. If you work up an appetite, just go into your kitchen and grab something.
It was cool to talk to this fellow traveler who’s taking a month to go from LA to Newport, OR. She’s been surfing every day but what I found really interesting was that her dog follows her to the water and then waits on shore until she’s done surfing!
The Redwoods is a big beautiful playground for nature lovers and adventure seekers. We can’t express how truly incredible this stop on our journey was! What about you? Have you been to the Redwoods? What activities did we miss?
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Jeff Rabe Marketing Manager *Good Life RV* 515-832-5715
*From:* Shore Looks Nice [mailto:email@example.com] *Sent:* Wednesday, October 12, 2016 12:09 PM *To:* firstname.lastname@example.org *Subject:* [New post] An RVers Guide to The Redwoods
ShoreLooksNice.com posted: “This blew my expectations and my mind. I’ve heard so much about the Redwoods but I have to admit, I thought it would be great but I wasn’t expecting it to be such a rugged, wild and diverse adventure! Keep in mind that we travel to the best locations in “
Good post guys. We are headed down that way next week from Florence, Oregon. Hope to see the sun again! Regarding a small camera for hiking, I picked up a Sony A6000 and like it. My full frame Canon 6D and 24-105 lens is great but really bulky for hiking.
Thanks for the kind words! Enjoy the coast!