Redwood National Park

No. of days: 3days (25-27 May 2013)

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 10 + 2.5 + 10 miles

My first camping trip in California was among the massive redwood giant that personifies “generation” and “energy” around it in the Redwoods State and National park north of the beautiful town of Eureka. This hiking and camping trip was my first brave attempt towards spending three whole days with new people that I’ve never met before in my life except my new friend Mark, whom I met on my previous hike to the Pinnacles State Park. I drove to Mark’s place and parked my car there. We car-pooled and picked up two new friends on our way at Daly City BART station and then at Novato.

Mark was a local at Eureka and knew where exactly to go and what to eat. I was lucky to be in his car. To get to Eureka, one could either take the US 101N or the Avenue of the Giants. We took the latter and had I am glad we took that. The first hike/fun pitstop was at the Avenue of the giants. The four of us walked over the fallen redwoods that made up a connected network of trees paths. It was indeed fun to contemplate where each of the trees led us and within no time, we found ourselves pretty deep inside the forest. There were some really massive trees in the avenue of the giants. The drive through that place was amazing. We took a lot of photographs and then continued into the town of Eureka (More of a city than a town). We stopped there for a brief lunch and drove to the Redwoods State & national park – Elk Prairie campgrounds. At 3:05pm, we reached the entrance to the state park. Parked the car, put up the tent and the group went for a quick hike through the redwoods while Mark was kind enough to get firewood from the nearby town of Orick. The hike was amazing especially walking at the foot of the giant redwood trees. It was indeed magical. We took the Miners’ trail to the beach campgrounds on the other side of the forest. It was a nice 5.0 mile hike to the beach one way. The beach looked

magnificent with a landscape of cliffs behind us. It was as if the hiking trails lead us to an opening in the wall of nature and showed us the glory of the pacific. We spent a couple of minutes there and made our way back to the campsite. It was almost dark by the time we got there. Rain was predicted for the night and so we hurried back. Dinner was a backpacker’s food packet of lentil and rice that I had got for the first time from REI. It started drizzling so we went into the tents and called it a day. Morning of the 26th a Sunday, we got up, had breakfast and started towards Fern Canyon by car. This is the place where star trek and Jurassic Park was shot. The canyon just looked out of this world. The fern grew on the walls of the canyon and river flows at the bottom of the canyon. We hip hopped along the river into the canyon. This canyon seems to have been brought to life from the storybooks. We spent some time there and then got back to the parking lot after a short loop hike there. Then we decided to head to the Redwood Creek trailhead to do an out and back hiking depending on the amount of time we had. This was a fun hike too. There was a river that had become pretty small for the summer and bridges were laid out for hikers like us to get across. It was really beautiful. We went into the forest till 4:30 pm and then turned back. We took a break at the river side and I was excited to throw stones into the water. :-P We made our way back to the camp at 9:00pm and there was a slight drizzle but then later stopped. I took a nice hot shower. The Elk Prairie campground was very well equipped. This is the first time in my life where I have gone on a trek/hike and have been able to take a hot shower. It’s ironic that its possible to do so here in the US. Later that night we had a great fun playing Mafia and some other games around the camp fire along with some tasty food. I called it a day at 11:45pm that night. The next day we woke up at 10am. Some folks decided to hike again that day at the avenue of the giants but since we had already gone there on the way here, we decided to head back home. What followed was a long drive back to the bay area. It was a wonderful experience and a well-spent Memorial Day weekend.