Redwood National and State Parks: Key Facts and Statistics

Truly a world treasure, Redwood National and State Parks includes Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. This post presents amazing facts and statistics about this unique area, home to the tallest redwood trees in the world.

Redwood National and State Parks Facts: old-growth redwood trees along the Hiouchi Trail in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
Old-growth redwood trees along the Hiouchi Trail in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Redwood National and State Parks: Key Facts and Data

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park created on August 13, 1923
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park created on October 26, 1925
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park created on June 3, 1929
Redwood National Park created on October 2, 1968
Redwood National and State Parks, combined created in May 1994
Annual number of visitors: approximately 1.5 million
Designated a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1980
Acreage: 131,983 acres
Old-growth forest: 38,982 acres
Low point: 0 feet at the Pacific Ocean
High point: 3262 feet
Tallest redwood: Hyperion, 380 feet, secret location in Redwood National Park

The Creation of Redwood National and State Parks

Redwood National and State Parks—an unusual name for an unusual park. It’s a unique federal-state cooperation agreement between Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (founded in 1923), Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park (founded in 1925), Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (founded in 1929), and Redwood National Park (founded in 1968), which controls large sections of forest adjacent to the state parks.

In 1994 the four parks signed the historic cooperation agreement that allows them to share resources and tasks, bringing increased efficiency and a better experience for park visitors.

Redwood National and State Parks Facts and Statistics: key data about redwood trees and Redwood National Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
Redwood National and State Parks sign along Highway 101 just south of Crescent City.

Redwood National and State Parks: United Nations World Heritage Site

In 1980 Redwood National Park was designated a United Nations World Heritage Site, and the designation was extended to all of Redwood National and State Parks after the cooperation agreement of 1994. A ceremony marking the honor occurred near the trailhead of the Lost Man Creek trail in 1992.

Coast Redwood Facts

The coast redwood, with its red bark, massive girth, and soaring height, is one of the world’s most magnificent trees.

Scientific Name: Sequoia sempervirens

Sequoia sempervirens is the only living species of the genus Sequoia.

There are two related species. Sequoiadendron giganteum is the “giant sequoia” that grows in certain groves of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Metasequoia glyptostroboides, also known as the “dawn redwood,” grows in Hubei Province, China.

What Does “sempervirens” Mean?

Sempervirens is a Latin term that means “ever living,” “always alive,” or more generally “ever green.”

What Is the Current Habitat/Range of the Coast Redwood?

Coast Redwood Tree Range in California: redwood trees are abundant in Redwood National and State Parks near the Oregon border.
Redwood range in California (courtesy Wikimedia)

Coast redwoods inhabit a strip of land near (but not on) the coast and stretching a bit inland from southern Oregon (just across the California border along the Chetco River near Brookings) down to Monterey County. The inland distance from the coast is determined by several factors, the most important being overall moisture availability, including the presence of summer fog.

These trees’ geographic range is determined primarily by moisture availability. Precipitation amounts of up to one hundred inches per year are common in Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, which contain Redwood National and State Parks. The availability of summer fog is key to redwood survival: the trees absorb moisture through both leaves and bark during the long months of summer drought.

How Long Do Coast Redwoods Live?

Up to 2000 years!

And as a species, they have been in existence for 200+ million years. Fossils have been found with imprints of twigs and leaves.

Redwood National and State Parks Facts and Statistics: visitors enjoy hiking the Stout Grove Trail in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
Visitors hiking the Stout Grove Trail past old-growth redwoods in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

How Big Can a Coast Redwood Get?

The Hyperion Tree in Redwood National Park is the current record holder at 380 feet high.

Heights over 200 feet are quite common. The biggest trees grow on and near flats beside streams, where soil conditions are optimal, with size diminishing on slopes and ridges.

Diameters can be as much as 30 feet!

How Do Coast Redwoods Reproduce/Grow?

They commonly grow from seeds and can grow rapidly, up to sixty feet or more, in their first couple of decades of life. They can also reproduce asexually, including from stumps, burls (thick, woody knobs) on trunks, and from fallen trees.

Want to Explore This Area?

Then I suggest getting my book Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks from your favorite bookseller or your library. It covers 38 trails in and near the parks, plus includes information on campgrounds, whale watching, tide pools, beach walks, and much more, nearly all of it accessible from Highway 101 in Humboldt County and Del Norte County.

Other Redwood National & State Parks Posts

Here are my other posts covering Redwood National & State Parks:

Exploring Highway 101 North Redwood Coast Trails, Beaches, and More

Best Whale Watching from Northern California Trails: Where, When, and How

Explore Tide Pools in Humboldt County and Del Norte County

Coastal Trail Klamath Section to Hidden Beach

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