Start at the Richardson Grove Visitor Center. Once an entertainment hub for the first redwood tourists, it’s now an education center and nature store. Open from mid-May to mid-September.
Two 340-foot redwoods rise up beside the center. There’s also a “bat tree,” where a colony of Yuma myotis, (an insect-eating brown bat) hangs out. Ask at the visitor center for details.
If you have an hour, get a free, one-hour pass at the visitor center, and admire the tall trees on the gentle Grove (aka “racetrack”) Nature Trail.
If you have half a day, hike the Woodland Loop and (in summer) take a dip in the South Fork of the Eel River.
If you have a full day, sample all the park’s habitats by hiking the Lookout Point/Tan Oak Springs/Durphy Creek Loop. Set up camp and (in summer) splash in the river, cook a hearty meal, and gather for an old-fashioned campfire program.