NorCal Roadtrip🚘 4th Stop: Redwood National/State Park and Fern Canyon

What an exciting day. This was the one place I was mainly looking forward to. Redwood National/State Park is about 60 miles long which can be overwhelming since we didn’t know where to start. We decided to check out a visitor center to get information and advice from a park ranger. Zelda and Link got a booklet to complete to get a junior ranger badge.

I only had 2 things I really wanted to check out which were the big beautiful Redwood trees and Fern Canyon. Anything else would be a bonus. It was a gloomy day with light drizzle so on our way to Fern Canyon we had to drive thru 2 fords. I knew our car can handle it but I was worried for the Tesla behind us. Despite how high the water level was, the driver took the risk and drove thru the ford.

Once we reached the parking lot, we saw a pack of Elks just relaxing close by. We’re advised not to approach them since it’s mating season and they can get aggressive.

The walk to Fern Canyon was short and peaceful. I think in total we only saw 5 people while we explored and stayed a bit. Despite the light drizzle, the place is beautiful. I didn’t mind the gloomy weather at all. Our shoes did get wet since the water level was ankle deep but we didn’t care. I recalled that scenes from the movie Jurassic Park 2 was film there. I thought a dinosaur or something was going to pop out of no where. I would sometimes stop and just listen. This place was on my bucket list and it didn’t disappoint. I would like to come back.

Apparently it’s hard to find a banana slug and on our way back to the car, we happened to see one. We ran into a family that said they’ve been there for 3 days looking out for one. Their kids were happy to see it.

We drove to the next visitors center to get a couple of souvenirs since I didn’t get any on the last one. Zelda also completed her booklet to get a Junior ranger badge. She was questioned by a park ranger and once she answered all her questions, she was given a badge. Zelda was very proud.

We took a lunch break and then we picked a short trail that the kids would find enjoyable to see the beautiful Redwood trees. The drizzle became full on rain but thanks to the trees, they provided shelter. The end of our trial led us to the Big Tree, estimated age, 1500 years old. It’s amazing how big these trees can get. It got me feeling so small being next to it and it feels surreal knowing how long the tree has been there. Nature is truly something.

We got on our car and drove north on Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy. The park ranger recommended it since you get to see Redwood trees along the way until you reach the 101 freeway.

As we leave the woods, we’re approaching the Oregon state line. Our plan originally was to stay on the 101, pass the state line, and spend the night at Gold Beach. We changed our minds because of the snowstorm advisory warning. We still had about 3 days before we turn back and drive home but we have never been caught in a snowstorm. I haven’t even driven in snow before so I was getting worried. From the 101 freeway we changed direction and drove to the 199 freeway. We made a pit stop right before we reached the state line and as I slowed down the car, I realized it was snowing. A sense of fear and wonder held me for a bit. As my husband ran to the bathroom, I stepped outside and admired the view of snow covered pine trees around me. I felt I was on a level of Donkey Kong country.

There were no other cars on the highway so I took my time driving until we reached Grants Pass, Oregon. We checked in to our hotel room and called it a night. The events of the day were amazing and left an impression. Tomorrow we start making the drive home but not before trying out a landmark in Oregon.

I do want to point out that we went around April which is off season. We didn’t encounter much of a crowd, if any at all. We didn’t have to make reservations or buy a pass to go to Fern Canyon. The parking lot isn’t big so I understand why a pass is required during peak season. The road leading up to Fern Canyon is narrow as well so a pass is required to avoid congestion of cars coming and going. Keep that in mind in case you want to make a trip to Fern Canyon around Summer.

Their big foot side is funny to see.

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