Our trip continued north into Redwood National and State Park. This park was really the destination for this part of the trip. We had planned a couple of different hikes and were really looking forward to getting back to nature.
We had two full days to explore the area, with our home base being Eureka California. The first day, Independence Day, we chose to do our biggest hike of the trip. The Dolason Prairie Trail starts at 2,400 feet and descends down to 200 feet over 10.4 miles round trip. At the bottom there is another trail, the Tall Trees Trail, which adds another 4 miles to the excursion.
I don’t plan these trips, I’m just along for the ride and I failed to ask the right questions – I thought we were just hiking 16.75 km (10.4 +/- miles), not realizing that trail at the bottom even existed. We ended up hiking 24 km and were not properly provisioned. We were really rationing our water and were very parched as we made our way back up the steep incline at the end of the trail. It was tough and honestly pretty torturous. The views and the hike was beautiful, but I stopped having fun about 15 km (9.5 miles) in. I have never been so happy to see a crappy rental car before in my life.
We were exhausted. This was just our first day of the planned two days of hiking in this park. I now knew the questions to ask before setting off on a hike and Mike knew better the questions I should ask and he would be more proactive on offering up information.
The second day found us at the north end of the Park where we did a couple of easy, road side trails, then a longer trail (Ossagon Trail) that leads you from the Redwoods down to the beach. The trail was very steep too, but this time, I was OVER-provisioned. I had enough water and food to feed an invading army.
The Parks are not something I ever did growing up, so these are all new experiences for me. While it may not be the most strenuous of hikes out there, they are not all a walk in the garden, but the views are unbeatable. We know we won’t always be able to hike these trails, so we are pushing ourselves to do more and more of these while we are still (relatively) young.
How frequently do you visit National or State Parks? Is this a new thing for you or has it been an integral part of your life for years? What is your favorite hike in Redwood National and State Park?
Your hike looks beautiful, but that’s too bad it wasn’t all enjoyable! I have been there too- my brother said a two hour hike, it turned into 6.5:(
So learn from your mistakes quickly. Maybe you learn too much and overdo it the second day 😉
California offers a lot in the way of beautiful hikes and interesting places – check out Death Valley when you can. It’s not too far from Redwood!