The Redwood trees are something Californians personally get to boast about. These trees are considered prehistoric and are the tallest trees on planet Earth. They are native to northern California and only to northern California -it’s not only the population that doesn’t want to leave the Golden Coast apparently it’s the flora as well. The Redwood National and State Parks are visited by many to marvel at the trees’ magnificence and surrounding lush wildlife. The parks are located along California’s northern coast all located within Del Norte and Humboldt counties. I spent a three day weekend camping at Elk Prairie Campground (in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State park) where the Elk lackadaisically graze on the open prairies—fitting. Read about our three day trip up the coast and how we enjoyed our time in the Redwoods.
Prep and Pack
My boyfriend and I booked flights and reserved a site at Elk Prairie Creek campground three months before our trip. Campsites are often times booked far in advance and all of our camping supplies were packed into two checked-in suitcases. Disclaimer; some may consider the items we packed soley for glamping.
- Two person tent
- Air mattress
- Battery powered pump (to blow up the air mattress)
- Two sleeping bags (that were vacuum packed to condense space)
- Small stove (proper name: Backpacking Single Burner Stove)
- Cooking utensils (small spatula, tongs, skewers, utensils) and skillet
- First Aid Kit
- Toiletries and towels
- Styrofoam cooler (to keep all our food in)
- Food for 3 meals a day: steaks, pork chops, sandwich meat, veggie platter, fruit, breakfast items, turkey dogs, hot dog buns, s’more stuff, trail mix, almonds, juices, water bottles etc
- Ice (for cooler)
- Lighter Fluid
- Small propane tank
LAX to SFO
Elk Prairie Creek Camp Ground
Prairie Creek Trail to Big Tree
James Irvine Trail
The James Irvine Trail is a 8.8 mile out and back trail located near Orick, California that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking. The trail leads to a gorgeous fern valley that has a creek running through it in the warmer months. If you follow the valley it will eventually lead to the beach where you can also walk to get back onto the trail. Just as we were exiting the valley we spotted a pair of Elk grazing near by. They were truly magnificent. I would suggest bringing plenty of water, trail mix and a pair of good hiking shoes for the uneven terrain.
Being that we were so far north along the California coast we decided to go a little further and visit Oregon. There, we took pictures at the state line and toured the visitor center that was just a little ways from the Welcome sign. At the visitor center we learned about the nearby beaches and decided to visit Lone Ranch Beach where a fresh water stream runs into the ocean in the small city of Brookings, Oregon. There we played in the tide pools and finished our and grabbed dinner at a local restaurant where salmon is always suggested.