4 Amazing Redwood Destinations Close to Sacramento

By Kelly Conroy

Kelly Rathburn Conroy
Kelly Conroy

California’s redwoods are internationally famous and, lucky us, it only takes a quick road trip to access some of the most incredible trees in the country. Whether you’re looking for some inner peace or just need a break from the summer heat, a redwood grove is always a good choice.

Here are four options for nearby redwood getaways:

1) Muir Woods National Monument


Level: Any; Day Trip

Location: Off Highway 1 near Stinson Beach. Plan for a two hour drive. Here’s a map and directions.

Pro Tips:

  • Arrive first thing in the morning or later in the evening to find parking or, avoid the parking madness and take the Muir Woods Shuttle
  • There’s an easy walking path through grove with a self guided tour

Fun Fact: In 1945, the UN gathered in this grove for a special memorial honoring Franklin Roosevelt.


2) Calaveras Big Trees State Park

2016-08-16_0001Level: Any; Camping or Day Trip

Location: Just outside of Arnold and about two hours southeast from Sacramento. Here’s a map and directions.

Pro Tips:

Fun Fact: The trees you’ll see here are Giant Sequoias, which are similar but technically a separate species from the redwoods along the California coast.


3) Portola Redwoods State Park


Level: Moderate; Camping

Location: South Bay Area about 3 hours from Sacramento. Here’s a map and directions.

Pro Tips:

  • This state park is a bit more rugged, so plan accordingly with lots of water, gas, and anything else you’ll need for the duration of your stay
  • Reserve a campsite. Early spring or early fall are often less crowded and still provide great camping weather

Fun Facts: Learn how and why to be Crumb Clean during your stay to protect wildlife like bears and marled murrelets.


4) Redwood National & State Parks

Tiptoe Falls_Portola Redwoods SP

Level: Any; Weekend road trip

Location: Near the Oregon border. Here’s a map for reference.

Pro Tips:

  • Drive the 31 mile scenic “Avenue of the Giants” to get a glimpse at the whole area and find hiking along the way
  • Make it a real vacation by visiting the other incredible nearby attractions including Crater Lake and Lassen Volcanic National Park

Fun Facts: Interested in plate tectonics? This park is one of the most seismically active areas in the country.

Avenue of Giants

Regardless of which grove you choose, remember to embrace the silence, the lack of cell service, the constant cool weather, and the perspective you’ll gain from standing under one of the largest living things in the world.

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