Redwood National and State Parks

  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Hiking

Features

  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Hiking

Information

Website:
visit link
Region:
North Coast
Phone:
Info: 707 464-6101
Hours:
Trails: Sunrise to sunset. Visitor center: Open daily, spring through fall: 9 am-5 pm; winter: 9 am-4 pm
Dogs:
Not allowed, service animals OK
The Redwood National and State Parks complex extends from Orick in Humboldt County to Crescent City in Del Norte County. It sprawls along 50 miles of coastline and harbors more than 100,000 acres of old- and second-growth redwood trees, including the world's tallest tree, measuring 367.8 feet. Within its boundaries are three state parks—Del Norte Coast Redwoods, Jedediah Smith Redwoods, and Prairie Creek Redwoods—and other sites within the Klamath, Crescent City, and Orick areas which together constitute a World Heritage site and international biosphere reserve.

Both the California State Parks Department and National Park Service manage this vast complex, where you will find an impressive variety of landscapes to explore, from fog-shrouded beaches to ancient redwood forests. Opportunities for hiking, cycling, camping, and scenic drives will keep you busy for days. Most hiking trails are difficult or inaccessible for wheelchair riders; however, the two trails covered below, Lady Bird Johnson and Redwood Creek, are worth visiting. Other trails within the complex are described on the pages for the individual parks. Stop at any of the wheelchair-accessible visitor information centers within this park system—Prairie Creek, Kuchel, Hiouchi, Jedediah Smith, and park headquarters in Crescent City—to pick up maps and brochures.
 

Trails and Pathways

Trail:
Lady Bird Johnson Grove
Time to Complete:
45 minutes
Trailhead Location:
Opposite end of the parking lot from the restroom
Trail Length:
1-2 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Mostly gentle
Terrain:
Moderately Firm
Trail:
Redwood Creek Trail
Trailhead Location:
At wooden bridge by parking lot
Trail Length:
1-2 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Gentle
Terrain:
Moderately Firm
Trail Overview: Redwood Creek Trail travels for eight miles along an abandoned logging road on a gentle ascent from the trailhead inland to Tall Trees Grove. At least the first mile is accessible, but I turned around after that because the path became too bumpy for me to enjoy. According to the park service, 1.5 miles are accessible, but after that the rough terrain is impassable in a wheelchair.

At first you pass through a fairly dense forest of Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, and redwoods. A steep, fern-covered hillside flanks the left side of the trail; to the right it appears that Redwood Creek is not far off, though the undergrowth is too dense to be sure. Abundant moss drapes the trees and the air is laden with moisture. This damp climate is what allows redwoods to flourish in the region.

Signs at the entry warn that this is bear territory, and it was fun, albeit a little disconcerting, to look through the forest for trees that might make good bear dens. A dense green carpet of oxalis, ferns, and salmonberry blankets the forest floor, and where redwood duff covers the trail, the otherwise bumpy terrain is cushioned.

About half a mile in the canopy opens up a little, allowing some light to filter through. You soon see the cause: a huge fallen redwood. The tree fell across the path, but the park service cut it so that hikers can pass through. Try counting the rings to see if you can tell how old the tree is, but don't worry if you lose count—you can tell from its enormous size that it is old.

After you pass a second fallen tree, similarly cut, the landscape opens up, revealing a grassy prairie (bone-dry in mid-September) on one side. Here the trail was less than 24 inches wide where it was clear of debris, but I could still straddle that section and roll over the dried grasses on either side. I crossed 11 mostly accessible bridges and returned after the last bridge because of the bumpy terrain. Be cautious crossing the bridges; some had at least a two-inch lip, which when covered by duff can be an unwelcome surprise. I was struck by the blissful quiet and look forward to exploring this trail further.

More Info: Occasional cross-slopes greater than 8 percent may be an annoyance to manual wheelchair riders. The trail narrows to less than 24 inches at about .75 mile. May be impassable in wet weather

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, hard, level or slope no greater than 2%;

No access aisle at Redwood Creek Trail lot


Accessible Restroom:
Yes – Both Redwood Creek and Lady Bird Johnson trails have vault toilets by the parking lot; neither has running water.

Accessible Picnic Table:
No –; A curb blocks access at Redwood Creek and there are no tables at Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

Accessible Visitor Center:
Yes – Two miles south of Orick, Thomas Kuchel is the closest visitor center to Redwood Creek Trail and Lady Bird Johnson Grove. It is situated away from the redwoods, by the ocean, and has a bookstore and exhibits about coast redwoods and watersheds.

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