Redwood National and State Parks are a string of protected forests, beaches and grasslands along Northern California’s coast. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park has trails through dense old-growth woods. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is home to Fern Canyon, with its high, plant-covered walls. Roosevelt elk frequent nearby Elk Prairie. Giant redwood clusters include Redwood National Park’s Lady Bird Johnson Grove.
An #OurGreenPlanet co-production with The Listening Planet, in association with The Moondance Foundation.
On a dead still November morning in the Sierra Nevada, two researchers walk through a graveyard of giants. Below their feet: a layer of ash and coal. Above their heads: a charnel house of endangered trees.
This is Alder Creek Grove, a once idyllic environment for a majestic and massive specimen: the giant sequoia. It is now a blackened monument to a massive wildfire—and humankind’s far-reaching impact on the environment. But these two researchers have come to do more than pay their respects.
Linnea Hardlund and Alexis Bernal, both of the University of California, Berkeley, are studying the effects of record-breaking fires such as the one that destroyed large swaths of Alder Creek Grove in the hopes that their findings will inform forest management that might preserve giant sequoias for future generations.
So far, those findings are grim: mortality in Alder Creek Grove is near 100 percent. Of the mighty trees that stood watch for thousands of years, only charred skeletons remain. About a century of aggressive fire suppression and a warming, drier climate have created a perfect environment for unprecedented fire.
On August 19, 2020, it came to the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The SQF Complex was two fires—the Castle and Shotgun fires—that burned for more than four months, affecting nearly 175,000 acres. And a preliminary report on the Castle Fire estimated that 10 to 14 percent of all living giant sequoias were destroyed.
Hardlund, who is also at the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League, and Bernal fear that, without scientifically informed intervention, such fires will continue to return to the Sierra Nevada—leaving the once proud guardians of the forest a memory and another casualty of our ecological failure.
Driving through the best stretch of road in Redwood National Park in Northern California USA. Known for having the world’s largest (not tallest) coast redwood, which measures 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameter and 340 feet (100 m) tall. Just a couple miles east of Crescent City, this unpaved stretch of Howland Hill Road offers motorists an intimate encounter with the towering old-growth redwoods in Jedediah Smith State Park. Numerous pull-outs and trailheads along the way, including the Boy Scout Tree Trail and Stout Grove. – Redwood National Park Brochure
There is no other forest in the world then this one with it largest tree in the world. The redwoods are the tallest, among the oldest,and one of the most massive tree species on Earth.I am so grateful for the work of the Save the Redwoods League, that was founded in 1918 to preserve remaining old-growth nearly 90% of the original redwood trees had been logged. It was our biggest challenge to capture the true beauty and greatness of these giants this is definitely a park you need to see with your own eyes we have visited many different national park but this one is so magical I truly believe it should be on one of the wonders of the world list.No wonder Jurassic Park and one of the Star wars was filmed here this forest feel so ancient when we saw fern canyon I could easily imagine the dinosaur passing us when we walked in the canyon.
Rising on the west side of Napa Valley, the Mayacamas Mountains are best known for producing costly cabernets for wineries like Mayacamas and Mount Veeder. But they’re gorgeous, too, as this sprawling state park proves. For a beautiful, medium-challenging hike, follow the Redwood, Ritchey Canyon, South Fork and Coyote Peak trails on a 5-mile loop that leads through coast redwoods and up Coyote Peak to Instagram-worthy views. Then sit and snack on the sandwiches you got at Sunshine Foods in nearby St. Helena.
“With its wind-washed cottages and water towers, the town of Mendocino looks like it was built by a seafaring crowd rather than a tree-felling one, even though forestry was once big business here. After it faded by the 1950s, artists came in and now Mendocino pumps out pottery, paintings, glassware, jewelry and woodwork.”
NORTHERN California’s coastal stretches have long lured roadtrippers, even before John Steinbeck, his wife, Elaine, and their peripatetic poodle rumbled down the Paciﬁc Coast in 1960. In “Travels With Charley,” Steinbeck famously enthused about ogling the “ambassadors from another time,” referring to the region’s ancient redwoods. Last summer, as wildﬁres raged uncomfortably close to those redwood forests, four-wheeled vacationers steered clear. By the year’s end, ﬁres burned more than half a million acres in Northern California alone, but largely spared the coastal woods and villages. Now that the smoke is clear and driving-vacation season is shifting into high gear, we’ve designed a detailed three-night itinerary. You set out from San Francisco, snake through Mendocino County and then on to Humboldt County, with the landscape growing wilder with each mile.