We love trees! It should come as no surprise. We plant 10 trees for each item purchased in our store. When most people vacation in California, they head to Southern California’s beaches and amusement parks like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and Legoland. But, if you’re a nature loving enthusiast, you should head to Northern California on your next vacation! There you will find some of the most interesting trees in the world.
The landscape and climate of Northern California is very different from Southern California. While Southern California is hot, sunny high and low desert that sees little rainfall, Northern California is a wooded, mountainous region that usually has warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Fog is also common in Northern California.
Northern California has numerous state and regional parks and protected areas. But, none are quite so spectacular as the Redwood State and National Parks. The Coastal Redwoods, or Sequoia sempervirens, are some of the largest trees in the world. You simply have got to see them up close and personal to truly appreciate how magnificent they are!
The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP), contain and protect almost half of the total number of Coastal Redwoods that still remain in Northern California. Commercial logging during the mid to late 1800s decimated the almost 2,100,000 acres of trees that once stood here. Approximately 480,000 acres are still standing today.
Coastal Redwoods, which I consider to be one of the world’s most unique trees, can grow up to 379 feet tall. That’s as tall as a 35 story building! Their trunks can reach a circumference of 29 feet at their base and they can live 1800 years or more. This makes the RNSP one of the oldest of the old-growth forests left in the world. Close study of a section of trunk that is on display in Muir Woods found that the tree was approximately 1,021 years old when it was cut down.
Founded in 1918 to help preserve what remained of the old-growth Coastal Redwood forest, the Save the Redwoods League created the Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Prairie Creek State Park just to name a few. The Redwood National Park was established in 1968. But by that time, almost 90% of the old-growth Redwood forest had been cut down.
Redwood National and State Parks have numerous campsites and hiking trails that allow you to stay and explore this magical area. There are also drive-through tours that will take you among the trees. If you really want to get off the grid, you can hike to some backcountry campsites and really immerse yourself in nature.
Be sure to plan before you go. Visit the RNSP website for information about the parks and any alerts there might be at the time of your trip.