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Redwood National Park

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Travel Guide North America USA Western United States California Redwood National Park

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Introduction

The Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) are located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park (established 1968) and California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks (dating from the 1920s), the combined RNSP contain 540 km2. Located entirely within Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) old-growth forests, totaling at least 157.75 km2. These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. In addition to the redwood forests, the parks preserve other indigenous flora, fauna, grassland prairie, cultural resources, portions of rivers and other streams, and 60 kilometres of pristine coastline.

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Geography

The North Coast region, which includes RNSP and the adjacent offshore area, is the most seismically active region in the United States. As a result of frequent earthquakes, rapid uplift rates have led to landslides, actively braiding and shifting rivers, and rapid coastal erosion. Three tectonic plates (thin pieces of the Earth's crust which float above the mantle), the North American, Pacific, and Gorda, contact each other at the Mendocino triple junction. Each of these plates slide against each other as they slowly move in opposing directions. Movement may be as much as two or three inches a year. In the 1990s, at least nine magnitude 6.0-plus earthquakes jolted the North Coast, more than in any other decade within the last century. Because the Gorda plate is subducting beneath the North American plate, there is the possibility of a "great earthquake" occurring in the future.

The three large river systems within the park - the Smith River, the Klamath River, and Redwood Creek - have cut deep gorges through the forest and mountainous terrain. Though there are no natural ponds or lakes in the parks, there are lagoons and marshes, results of oceanic and tectonic processes. Also within the parks' boundaries are the estuaries at the mouths of the Klamath River and Redwood Creek. Salmon and steelhead populations were severely diminished by erosion due to past logging activities.

The park's coastline is home to rugged cliffs where salt-tolerant vegetation springs up among the beaches and rock faces that dominate this stretch of California's North Coast. Among the seastacks, brown pelicans and seals find a comfortable home; crabs and colorful anemones crowd the tidepools along the sea's edge.

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Opening Hours

Redwood National and State Parks is always open. Visitor centers and campgrounds maintain seasonal hours of operation.

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Cost

There is no entrance fee for Redwood National Park. The nearby state parks - Jedediah Smith, Del Norte Coast, & Prairie Creek Redwoods - charge entry fees of $5 per day.

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Getting There

By Plane

Crescent City Airport, Crescent City; Eureka-Arcata Airport, Arcata

By Car

From the north or south, use US Highway 101. Access additional park sites via the Bald Hills Road, Davison Road, Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, Coastal Drive, Requa Road, and Enderts Beach Road (south to north). From the northeast, use US Highway 199. From 199, take South Fork Road to Howland Hill Road.

By Bus

Redwood Coast Transit travels from Crescent City to Arcata.

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Sleep

Since the closure of the Redwood National Park Hostel in January 2010 there is no longer any lodging available on park land, but lodging options are available in the towns of Klamath and Crescent City.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 13:08 on Mar 11, 15 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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