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Damnation Creek Trail

Damnation Creek Trail

Redwood National Park

After checking out of Jedediah Smith Campground, we drove along route 101 to a trail with an awkward name. Damnation Creek Trail is in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, part of Redwood National & State Parks. It’s a well-known hike, and considered one of the best in the park. The trail descends 2.1 miles through redwood trees, and across Damnation Creek, to a coastal rocky beach. It’s both a diverse and difficult hike…

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Kayaking the Smith River

Kayaking the Smith River

Redwood National Park

Kayaking is a lot of fun…especially when it’s free. Redwood National & State Parks runs a free ranger guided kayak tour on the Smith River, with a limited number of spots available. Sign up early so you don’t miss out! Planning The Smith River is a National Wild & Scenic River, and is the largest free-flowing river system in California. It runs along the park’s northern border, past the town of Hiouchi and Jedediah Smith Campground. The route, which goes…

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Jedediah Smith Campground

Jedediah Smith Campground

Redwood National Park

After a great backpacking trip along Redwood Creek and Tall Trees Grove we drove to our home for the next two nights: Jedediah Smith Campground. The campground is located in Jedediah Smith State Park, at the northern end of Redwood National and State Parks. It’s also just outside Crescent City, which gave us the flexibility to check out some local restaurants during our stay. Glamping, anyone? We reserved our campsite the day it became available so we wouldn’t miss out….

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Backpacking Redwood Creek & Tall Trees

Backpacking Redwood Creek & Tall Trees

Redwood National Park

There are plenty of places to backpack in Redwood National & State Parks. All backcountry camping must be done at designated campsites – except for Redwood Creek, located in southern Redwood National Park. Along the creek, camping on gravel bars is allowed. We only had time to do one backpacking trip in the park, and Redwood Creek was our choice…

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James Irvine and Miner’s Ridge Trails with Fern Canyon

James Irvine and Miner’s Ridge Trails with Fern Canyon

Redwood National Park

We woke up in our campsite at Gold Bluffs Beach in Redwood National & State Parks refreshed and ready to go. Our plan was to hike to the picturesque Fern Canyon, one of the most popular spots in the park. Ferns line its walls and a stream runs through it. Part of Jurassic Park 2 was filmed there due to its primeval appearance. The trail to Fern Canyon is a 12.1 mile loop linking the James Irvine and Miner’s Ridge…

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Gold Bluffs Beach Campground

Gold Bluffs Beach Campground

Redwood National Park

When I heard about Gold Bluffs Beach Campground in Redwood National & State Parks, I immediately wanted to stay there. I pictured myself sitting on the warm sand, soaking up the sun. I had only been to Northern CA once before so…in my mind, it was a combination of camping and a beach vacation. Reserving a campsite at any campground in Redwood can be a challenge. Back in 2017 when we reserved a site for Gold Bluffs, we were online…

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Our Favorite Spots and Visiting Tips

Our Favorite Spots and Visiting Tips

Acadia National Park

Our trip to Acadia was wonderful, and we wished we had more time there.  This post serves as our reflections looking back on Acadia – our favorite spots, things that we wished we did, tips for traveling to the park, or things we didn’t like.  It can also be used as a guide to the park, with links to more detailed posts if you want to dive in.  We’ll definitely revisit Acadia someday.  But there are a lot of other…

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Beech Cliff Trail & Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Beech Cliff Trail & Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Acadia National Park

The west side of Mt. Desert Island doesn’t have as many hikes as the east side, and overall the hikes didn’t interest us as much.  The one trail that we decided to do on the west side was Beech Cliff Trail.  It interested us because, like the Beehive on the east side, this trail features some unique obstacles.  In this case, multiple iron ladders.  So we woke up in Seawall Campground on our second to last day in Maine, and headed…

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Thunder Gulch Trail

Thunder Gulch Trail

Acadia National Park

This trail wasn’t even on our radar when we arrived on Isle au Haut. Why not? Simply because it’s not on any maps, so we didn’t know about it. I did find it on a USGS topo map, but it’s not on any published park maps. The trail is maintained occasionally, but it’s off the beaten path and takes time to get to. The trail is 1.8 miles out-and-back from the trailhead, but it takes 2.4 miles along an unpaved…

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Duck Harbor Mountain Trail

Duck Harbor Mountain Trail

Acadia National Park

Duck Harbor Mountain is the most prominent feature near Duck Harbor Campground.  Rising to an elevation of around 300 feet, the mountain forms the best hike near the campground too.  There are a few loops that can be created via the Duck Harbor Mountain Trail, and we chose a 4.2 mile loop.  The loop starts near Duck Harbor Campground and ascends to the summit of Duck Harbor Mountain, then heads west along the coast, and finally returns north to complete the…

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