On the steep mountain slopes of California's northern coast, the world's tallest trees thrive in the abundant rainfall and frequent ocean mists. Reaching to heights of 370 feet (comparable to a 37 story skyscraper), the treetops are all but lost to view from the forest floor, where ferns, flowers, shrubs and smaller trees thrive in the moist shadows. Along with the forest, the park includes miles of the Pacific Coast, and many meadows, rivers and streams.
Timber is an important part of northern California's industry and economy and has been since the 1800s. But even in the very early 1900s, a movement began to preserve these irreplaceable ancient forests. Following the creation of three state parks for this purpose, Redwood National Park was established on October 2, 1968. In 1978 its borders were expanded and the three state parks are included within its boundaries.
The park stretches some fifty miles in a thin strip along the coast. U. S. Highway 101 travels the long way through the park. Other drives branch off the highway, including Endert's Beach Road, Requa Road, the Coastal Drive, Drury Scenic Parkway, Davison Road and the Bald Hills Road. Many hiking trails are available, including the Coastal Trail, which runs most of the length of the park.