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Redwood National And State Parks 2007 Trip

Day 1 of 5

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Wednesday, July 4th
Drive to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

I'd always wanted to visit Redwood National Park, as it was one of the National Parks in California that I hadn't visited yet (the others being Channel Islands, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree). However, the long drive (6 hours from the Bay Area) had always deterred me. This year, since July 4th fell on a Wednesday, I decided it would be a great time to take a 5-day vacation and make the drive up.

Our tent was barely packed away from our Yosemite trip before it was time to pack up and head out on another camping trip. We left the Bay Area at 10am, encountering (predictably) no traffic on a holiday Wednesday. We headed straight up 101, stopping for a total of about 2 hours. After about 345 miles and 6 hours of driving later, we arrived at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, where we had reserved a camping site. Sites book well in advance so be sure to book yours ahead of time. I had grabbed one of the last remaining sites 6 weeks earlier. You should definitely try to reserve a site months in advance. I will tell you that sites 1-7 and 69-76 do not have any shade; they're pretty much just a place to park an RV. Having visited the park I have a particular favorite site and if you email me I might just let you know what it is. Suffice it to say, the sites with creek access are preferable.

After all that driving, when we finally arrived at our campsite I have to say I was very impressed. Not with the site itself (which was one of only 2 remaining when I reserved it, and was one of the smallest), but the campground. It was overcast, around 6pm, and the camp was surrounded by a canopy of 100-foot tall trees. We stepped out of the car and were greeted with a humid 60-degree environment (the humidity actually made 60 degrees comfortable). It was very refreshing and peaceful. It reminded me of camping in the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park.

Prairie Creek

Each site has a picnic table, a fire ring, and a bear box. Yes, this is bear country (more on that later), so you're required to store all food and scented items in a bear box, just like in the Sierras.

Trees at the campground

We quickly set up our camp and had dinner. We then went over to the camp host and bought fire wood ($7 for a small bundle, enough for one night), and a park map ($1). We then settled down in what would be our home for the next 4 nights.

Our camp

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