Redwood National Park is arguably one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to. When planning our first big backpacking trip, California was a no brainer since Los Angeles has always been home base. Not to mention, the "speeder chase" scene from Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was filmed here, and I am a huge fan. After we spent 5 days in Yosemite, we drove 9 hours north west to the land of giants...... giant trees that is.
The Redwoods were something out of a fantasy world like Fangorn or The Forbidden Forest. When planning the trip, I thought trees, just trees so 3 days will be more than enough. We have never been so wrong. Graham and I noticed that short, easy hikes were taking us way longer than normal because we stopped every two feet to just soak it all in.
Redwood National Park is made up of several state parks, which sets it apart from other parks. During our first two nights, we camped at Gold's Bluff Beach, which was a really interesting place to camp in a forest-based park. After camping with no amenities for 5 days, a hot shower and flushable toilets were a Godsend. After long hikes, we would spend the evenings on the beach, drinking wine, listening to the waves and watching the sunset.
For nights 3 and 4, we moved to Jedediah Smith Campground, where we got to camp nestled in between giant Redwoods and lush ferns. Each night, we would lay under the trees, unable to see the stars but feeling even more connected to mother earth. Each night, we would drift off to sleep listening to Sword and Scale, which is you like mystery podcasts, I would highly recommend.
The high lite of the trip, which funny enough, we didn't recognize until much later was the sighting of an Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, which is evidently very rare. We were sitting at our campsite, "cooking" dinner when all of a sudden people started swarming out site trying to get pictures of this bird. We of course joined in because clearly something cool was happening. It wasn't until we had cell service days later that we were able to look up the bird and understand how rare it was.