It’s rare to have one of Northern California’s biggest attractions all to yourself. Unless you’re in on a secret. Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park is a little-known gem where skyscraping reds (the tallest living trees in the world!) fly under the radar. At just 1 square mile and containing only 5 miles of trails, Grizzly’s ironically small size and location off the beaten path provide near total seclusion, not to mention relaxing riverside camping!
A short stroll along the tranquil riverfront leads to its intersection with Grizzly Creek, a popular swimming spot on warm days. Before cooling your heels, go on a hike through the park’s crown jewel: Cheatham Grove. Soaring redwoods carpeted in an unusually lush layer of vibrant green ferns landed it a role as the Moon of Endor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Role-play at your leisure on a 0.7-mile trail that weaves through sabers of light as they pierce down through the canopy.
CAMP: Settle in along the turquoise waters of the Van Duzen River at one of 26 rustic sites, which include picnic tables and firepits as well as showers.
Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park info and map. From Hwy. 101, drive 11 miles east on CA-36 to reach Cheatham Grove. The campground and visitor center are 4 miles farther east. Camping $35/night. Reserve a site. Day-use and parking fee $8/vehicle, except in free small parking lot available at Cheatham Grove. Dogs allowed in campground, but not on trails.