I never had any idea where the borders are of Redwoods National and State parks. I imagine the whole region between Trinidad and Oregon Border with redwoods forests to be a national park.
On night two days before the long Memorial Day weekend, I planned the trip to the North. And one of the days was intended to be spent hiking among redwoods. I was checking the online resources and searching the trail for something interesting. On one of the trails, I stopped my attention: there were no giant trees on the photos. Then I saw another nearby trail: old barns, grass-covered hills, and vistas of the remote ranges. No woods at all. How could it be a Redwoods National Park?!
I googled. On the park’s site page, I saw the shot of the same hills covered with purple flowers. This shot made the decision.
The Bald Hills Road starts north of the Orick and runs as the eastern border of the park. It’s one f the scenic drives of it. And it extremely beautiful during springtime.
Lady Bird Johnson Grove
One of the first stops on the road is Lady Bird Johnson Grove. The very popular spot with old-grown redwoods, Douglas-fir, and tanoak. The trail is one of the easiest in the park and even partially paved.
The trail is short – that’s why it’s okay. The path is at 1200 feet above sea level. The higher elevation groves tend to be less impressive. So if you have more time stop by nearby Tall Trees Grove. The forest is home of the Libbey Tree, the only one of the former Tallest Trees that you can actually see. The only limitation is trail requires a permit. The limited number of cars per day are allowed access, and permits must be obtained at one of the visitor centers.
Redwood Creek Overlook
The parking lot has a restroom and few picnic tables to be a right place for the lunch stop. I found the views of the creek were partially obstructed with overgrown tanoak and other bushes. Though the information display gives a great deal of how massive was the logging here, and how the land looked just 30-40 years ago.
I saw the images with lupins before the visit. But I never expect that in real life it would be such an impressive sight. As soon as we drove out from the redwoods to the prairie, the colors of the wildflowers popped.
The aroma was strong and so pleasant! Oh, I wish you could sense it through the photos!
Actually, Bald Hill Hikes
There are two main prairie trail options in Bald Hills Rd region. One is the longer (and extremely scenic) ) Dolason Prairie trail that goes from the top of the ridge over the hills down to the redwoods covered the bottom of the canyon.
And the shorter – completely woodless, Lyon Ranch trail.
The trail goes through the former cattle ranch. The path is a dirt road that leads to “Home Place” – the original Lyons house. Today it’s only a barn and two bunkhouses.