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Tallest Trees in the World: Redwood National & State Parks

A handy guide to the best redwood hikes in Redwood National and State Parks.

Hiking Easy, Moderate

James Irvine Trail
Photo: Justin Kern


The towering coast redwoods of California capture the imagination of everyone who visits them. Walking among the giant trunks hundreds of feet below the vaulted canopy is a surreal experience that seems to transport your spirit to a magical realm filled with awe and wonder.

The most majestic of these rainforest giants are protected by an amalgamation of national and state parks in Northern California. While many tourists simply say they're going to visit "Redwood National Park," many of the best redwood hikes are actually located in nearby state parks, such as Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. This guidebook provides a handy list of the top hikes and redwood groves in this patchwork quilt of parks.

To begin, the Tall Trees Grove is arguably the best hike in Redwood National Park itself, and the tallest tree in the world—the Hyperion tree, measuring 379.7 feet tall—is located nearby. For an easier hike in Redwood National Park, head to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

Some sources argue that the very best redwood hike in the world is the lengthy James Irvine Trail, which finishes at Fern Canyon, made famous by Jurassic Park.

The Stout Redwood Grove may be a ways from the heart of Redwood National Park, but it is acclaimed as "the world's most scenic stand of redwoods." And if you manage to travel that far north, be sure to check out the mellow hike through the Simpson-Reed Redwood Grove as well.

It's tough to get your fill of these majestic trees, so instead of limiting yourself to just one or two hikes, why not book a week in Northern California and try them all?!

Sources: FamousRedwoods.com LiveScience.com NPS.gov PlanetWare.com

Routes included

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