Tall trees meet the sea at Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. Just south of Crescent City, Mill Creek Campground is the perfect basecamp for exploring this remote, 8-mile-long swath of coastline, as well as three other parks that make up the Redwood National and State Parks group. With up to 100 inches of rain a year, these North Coast parks grow the tallest trees in the world. They also protect 45 percent of Earth’s last remaining old-growth redwood forests.

In two short, steep miles, Del Norte’s Damnation Creek Trail traverses fern-festooned redwoods and spruce forests. The trail comes to a dead-end near the coast due to a bridge that is currently dismantled.  There is no coastal access.. A scenic stretch of California’s 1,200-mile-long Coastal Trail runs the length of the park as well, a treat for bicyclists as well as hikers.

On weekends, visitors can explore the area’s past—and future—at Mill Creek Day Use Area on the east side of the park, where scientists are developing restoration science to heal the wounds of mid-20th century logging.

If you have an hour, enjoy a picnic lunch beside your car at Wilson Beach. Swimming is unsafe, but you can walk beside the glistening water, gaze at the sea stacks along the coast, watch pelicans and cormorants fishing in the surf.

If you have half a day, hike from the redwoods to the sea on the Damnation Creek Trail.

If you have a full day, hike Damnation Creek Trail in the morning and explore a stretch of the Coastal Trail in the afternoon. Watch the sunset at Crescent City Overlook before or after a fish dinner in Crescent City. Take an evening walk at Crescent Beach Overlook. On summer weekends, enjoy a campfire program at the campground.

Insider's Guide to Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park