I drove through this Park on my way north to Crescent City on Tuesday afternoon but wanted to study the Park map and figure out my strategy before tackling it. Wednesday I drove south and started exploring the Parks (and I say Parks plural because there are also many State Parks centered around Redwood trees in this area and, in total, they cover a much larger area than the National Park).
First up was the Newton P. Drury Scenic Parkway which runs parallel to “The 101”. It is actually within Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. There were many places to pull off the road and marvel at the tall trees around you.
Here is a two-shot panorama, top to bottom, of a very tall Redwood tree:
Like Sequoias, these can live to be thousands of years old but many can grow to be as much as 380 feet tall, almost 70 feet higher than the tallest Sequoia. And while Sequoia cones are only about the size of a large chicken egg, Redwood cones are even smaller – about the size of a large olive.
I drove further down the Parkway and stopped at the parking area for the “Corkscrew Tree”. I short walk took me past an area of ferns on the way to the tree itself:
Let me sidetrack for a moment while I’m thinking about it – later in the day, while in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park these were the ferns I saw:
As they used to say about TV’s, don’t adjust your set. And no, I didn’t switch to taking black & white photos. The road through this State Park was dirt and gravel and since it has been so long since they have had measurable rain these ferns were covered in gray dust, kicked up by the vehicles driving back and forth on the road.
There is also an area near the coast called Fern Canyon which I’ve been told by several people that I need to see. Well, snakes love to hang out near ferns and I DON’T like to hang out near snakes so I’m unsure whether or not I will attempt it.
Back to the “Corkscrew Tree”: As I approached it I saw two people sitting next to the path at the base of the tree (wearing blue & white).
I thanked them for “volunteering” to be my size reference points. The woman commented that she’d have her agent call me. (I’m pretty sure she said “agent” and not “attorney”…). They were actually a very nice couple from Carson City, Nevada who were here doing some mild hiking and were taking a snack break. Ironically they had also been in Redding on Monday (and had to detour around Hwy. 299 which was closed as a result of the wildfire that started near there Monday afternoon) and they are also staying in Crescent City!
Here is a shot looking up at the tree from where the first photo was taken:
And here are shots from two more angles, looking up, showing the twisted trunks: