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Old 04-30-2008, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Virginia
82 posts, read 349,611 times
Reputation: 33

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My wife and I will be visiting San Jose for a week and we want to take a trip up the coast to see the wonderful Redwood forests. We'll be there the first week in June. I thought we would drive up the coast in the morning, check out the forest, go for a hike, stay somewhere nice over night, explore some more the next day and drive back. Is this enough time to take it in?

What is the best forest/park to visit?

Should I visit Wed/Thurs or Fri/Sat, or does it matter? (thinking of crowds)

What all should I see on the drive up and back? I'd love to see it all, but don't have too much time. So, give me the best.

Where is a great place to stay?

Any help is appreciated. I'd like to make it a nice trip.

Thanks in Advance!
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:59 PM
 
14,029 posts, read 25,855,451 times
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So many parks... my family always enjoys spending a weekday at Big Basin Redwood Park hiking the trails... it is very close to San Jose and not a lot of visitors this time of year weekdays...

The vote for most crowded Redwood Park... probably because of various transportation options, is Muir Woods in Marin. I've taken visitors there that for physical reason could not do much walking or any hiking and they also enjoyed the trip...

The East Bay Regional Parks also have areas with Redwoods along Oakland Skyline Blvd and down Redwood Road...

If you up for a drive... there is nothing like going down Highway 1 to Big Sur...

My vote based on your proximity is Big Basin
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,540 posts, read 14,856,581 times
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I love several.
A state park in Mendocino called Van Damne and Jughandle. At Jughandle the Redwoods go right down to the oceans edge, and you can camp under them.

I love Calaveras Big Trees in Calaveras county. A lot of great walking paths in all the parks.

You can take a train ride thru old growth Redwoods out of Fort Bragg, the Skunk is a piece of rolling history.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:31 PM
 
799 posts, read 2,802,263 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokieed View Post
My wife and I will be visiting San Jose for a week and we want to take a trip up the coast to see the wonderful Redwood forests. We'll be there the first week in June. I thought we would drive up the coast in the morning, check out the forest, go for a hike, stay somewhere nice over night, explore some more the next day and drive back. Is this enough time to take it in?

What is the best forest/park to visit?

Should I visit Wed/Thurs or Fri/Sat, or does it matter? (thinking of crowds)

What all should I see on the drive up and back? I'd love to see it all, but don't have too much time. So, give me the best.

Where is a great place to stay?

Any help is appreciated. I'd like to make it a nice trip.

Thanks in Advance!
You could come over the hill and visit Nisene Marks park in the county of Santa Cruz in the town of Aptos.
santa cruz state parks - the forest of nisene marks
It never gets crazy crowed but there are always more people on the weekends.
It costs $6.00 to park and there are many trails to hike on and also a fairly long well graded dirt road that you can drive up.
It's less than an hour drive from San Jose to Santa Cruz if (and it's a big if) you avoid rush-hour traffic. This means that you don't want to be driving from San Jose to S.C. anytime after 2:30 - 3:00pm (do not leave San Jose after 3pm!) and you don't want to return from S.C. to San Jose in the morning rush hour.
A good and not too expensive place to stay is the Capitola Inn in Capitola which is just one town south of Santa Cruz and very easy to access.
Ask for a room on the second floor of either building #1 or #2 facing west or west-south-west. It's about $80.00 a night, isn't fancy but is well run, clean and comfortable.
I don't know how much time you actually have but, boy, if you're driving the coast, do visit Big Sur. From Santa Cruz it's a little less than 2 hours down HW 1 and, once you get through Carmel and onto the coast, it's a stunning drive.
And Big Sur is beautiful and magical ... a wonderful land of mountains, redwoods and ocean.
Here's a link for Big Sur with lodging, dining, etc., etc.
If you have the time, spending a night there would be a great thing to do.
Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, Big Sur Lodging, Accommodations, Camping
These are coastal redwoods here on the central coast so they're not the totally giant ones that you'd see in Sequoia National park for example. But they're wonderful all the same.
Happy Trails
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,477 posts, read 9,052,825 times
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I vote for Big Basin State Park - about 30 miles from San Jose. Welcome to Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Big.Basin.org
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Virginia
82 posts, read 349,611 times
Reputation: 33
Wow, thanks for all the great advice. I am very jealous of the many parks and varied excursions California has to offer. Simply amazing.

How do all these parks, Big Sur, Big Basin, and the parks near Santa Cruz, differ from the Redwood National Park up north of Eureka. Would it be worth the drive? Are the trees bigger? more "Magestic" ?
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,477 posts, read 9,052,825 times
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Redwood National Park has the tallest redwood trees, but the park is about 350 miles north of San Jose - a long drive. You won't be disappointed going to Big Basin park north of Santa Cruz. There are many large redwoods there. There is even a tree that you can stand inside of. The tree was once hollowed out by fire. Also in the area is Roaring Camp railroad which offers rides through the redwoods on a steam train Roaring Camp Railroads | Felton, California. This is next to Henry Cowell Redwood State Park Henry Cowell Redwoods SP. The redwoods are bigger in Big Basin.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,477 posts, read 9,052,825 times
Reputation: 1474
By the way, there two types of redwood trees in California. There are the coastal redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) and sierra redwoods in the central and southern Sierra Nevada Mtns (sequoia gigantea). The ones in the sierras are bigger. You can see them at Calaveras Big Trees State Park Calaveras Big Trees SP which is about a 2 or 2 1/2 hour drive east of San Jose. And then, there is always Sequoia National Park Family Vacation Destination - Wuksachi Lodge Sequoia : Sequoia National Park and the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite Nat. Park.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:41 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
5,265 posts, read 5,422,826 times
Reputation: 2945
If you are up for a road trip, it is worth it to go as far as Richardson Grove in Humboldt county at its south end. I am north of Eureka by 12 miles and I am 360 miles from Santa Cruz. It is smooth sailing from here till you hit Santa Rosa and vice versa, I go down once or twice a year to visit family and friends in the Bay area; I went to Santa Cruz in September of 2006 and 2007. I stayed at a friends house in San Jose in 06 and left on a Sunday morning and took 280 north to the Golden gate and took 101 home, it took 7 hours. In 2007 I left at 5:30 pm from Santa Cruz and took highway 1 on the coast all the way to San Francisco to the Golden Gate and 101 home; I got home at midnight and hit very little traffic, even in the "City"..... Now, I tend to set my cruise below the speed limit by 2 miles per hour and I take few breaks. I think the complete drive from Santa Cruz and the beginning of the redwoods all the way to Humboldt county, where the redwoods reach their largest size, is a beautiful drive, much of it along the Eel river and its valley. We have Redwood National Park, Humboldt Redwoods, Prairie Creek Redwoods, Grizzly Creek Redwoods, Richardson Grove, Headwaters Forest Reserve and remnant redwood groves in the hills surrounding Humboldt bay From Fortuna all the way to McKinleyville and north all the way to Oregon which is only another 90 miles from here. Prairie Creek has some of the most magnificent redwoods around and it also has elk in abundance, even right along the highway.

Here is a site for all the parks in Humboldt county.

Humboldt County Parks
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:56 PM
 
1 posts, read 18,333 times
Reputation: 13

WORLDS GREATEST TREES - YouTube

Check this video out, it really motivated me to get out there and see these trees first hand.
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