Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Redwood NP - 07/19/16 - Orick, CA

Tuesday – July 19, 2016
Redwood National Park
Orick, California


We were planning to tour the Oregon Pacific Coastline on Monday, but we delayed those plans to visit the Redwoods National Park in Orick, California. Our homebase for this visit is Shoreline RV Park in Crescent City, California. The park is located on the west side of US-101, alongside the coast of the Pacific Ocean and about 36 miles north of Redwoods National Park.

The native range of the Coast Redwood tree is from the northern California coast north to the southern Oregon Coast. The tree is closely related to the giant sequoia of central California. Redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth. The tallest tree in the park, Hyperion, stands at 379 feet tall.

Coast Redwood Facts:
Height: To nearly 380 feet
Age: To 2,000 years
Bark: To 12 inches thick
Base: To 22 feet diameter
Reproduce: By seed or sprout
Seed Size: Like a tomato seed
Cone Size: Like a large olive

In 1800 redwood forests probably covered two million acres. Seeming endless at first, the trees soon succumbed to a determined logging industry. The State of California preserved some key groves in the 1920’s. Congress created Redwood National Park in 1968 to protect the world’s tallest trees.

In 1994 the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation administratively combined Redwood National Park with the three abutting Redwood State Parks for the purpose of cooperative forest management and stabilization of forests and watersheds as a single unit. Collectively, they protect nearly 40,000 acres of ancient forest, almost half of all that remain.

Redwood-like trees grew over much of the Northern Hemisphere in the Age of the Dinosaurs. Later climate change reduced redwood habitat to a narrow, fog-bound coastal corridor. Coast redwoods reproduce by seed and by stump and basal sprouting. Seeds slightly larger than a pinhead are released from mature cones that ripen in August and September. If a redwood is felled or badly burned, a ring of new trees often sprouts from burls around the trunk’s base. These so-called "family groups" are common. Saplings use the parent tree’s root system. Redwoods have no taproot; their roots penetrate only 10 to 13 feet deep but spread out 60 to 80 feet.

From sea level to 3,200 feet in elevation in the Coast Range, a mild, moist climate assures the National Park and State Parks an abundant diversity of wildlife, including Roosevelt elk and black bears. Prairies form natural islands of grasslands, where elk are frequently seen grazing.

Hiking on the trails through these enchanted forests of towering redwood trees is a truly mystical experience.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

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