We stayed north of the parks since we came in from Oregon. We came up 101 along the coast a couple years ago in the RV and it was a windy and sometimes scary to drive. Well worth it though.
Anyway, this time we stayed at Panther Flat Campground Northeast of the Redwood Parks. No hookups but lots of trees and bathrooms with running water and paid showers. Our favorite hiking spots this trip was Jedediah Smith State Park and Fern Canyon. Highly recommend both of these as places to drive and take long or short hikes.
Jedediah Smith State Park: The first night in we drove through the redwoods and took a little hike at Stout Grove. This is a flat and short loop off the dirt road. Rest area here too.Jedediah Smith State ParkJedediah Smith State Park: This beautiful tree was along the dirt road through the park. I couldn’t help myself I was so excited to see these trees again I kept parking and getting out to play!Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park: Here we went on a rather long hike after seeing Fern Canyon. It’s a beautiful drive down the narrow, winding dirt road and then a short drive to the parking lot to get to the beach and the canyon. This was stunning with different missed and ferns along the canyon walls. We walked and waded through the water and headed up to catch the trails through the redwoods (photo above). We spent the day hiking on a couple trails and eventually looped back to the campground about a mile and a half from the parking lot where we left the Jeep.After the hike we dropped out stuff in the Jeep and went out to the Pacific Ocean. Here is a shot from the beach of part of the area we hiked that day.Serpentine Bog: (above) Botanical garden/information near Panther Flat Campground on 199. This was awesome and worth the short stop. These plants (darlingtonia) eat insects by enticing them in and then trapping them inside. When they die they dissolve them for nutrients. Yum!Alder Camp Road and coastal drive: Another dirt road drive that was seanic and educational. The drive allows for awesome views of the Pacific where we got to watch and listen to seals (no photos because we watched through our binoculars and only had our phones for photos), and trails to hike. We decided not to do much in the way of hiking here so we wandered out to the bluff for the view below and to the WWII site above. After Pearl Harbor the military installed these pretend farm structures to hold equipment for monitoring activity off the coast. A cinder block farmhouse and barn were made to look real with dorm windows so the “enemy” wouldn’t suspect anything.High Bluff Overlook from Alder Camp RoadBack in Jedediah Smith State Park we went on a hike on the Boy Scout trail. We saw amazing fungi growing on the redwoods here!Fern Falls: The Boy Scout trail ends at this pretty water fall. We hiked up it a bit to the top where we saw this amazing pool with a tiny whirlpool in it. A lightning struck tree near the “boy scout tree.” I loved the textures and energy of this dead redwood.Base of the “Boy scout tree.” There was no sign to get here so the best directions I can give is to go to the waterfall, and on the way back look to the left for a worn trail up the hill. We discovered it because people were coming down as we were on our way to the falls. Below are a couple more shots from this hike.