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California

Hiking the Redwoods in Northern California

Program No. 21404RJ
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Northern California as you hike beneath redwoods with local naturalists, learning about these centuries-old trees and their coastal ecosystems.
Length
6 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
1,849

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 21 - May 26, 2023
Starting at
1,849
Jun 4 - Jun 9, 2023
Starting at
1,849
Jun 11 - Jun 16, 2023
Starting at
1,849
Jul 9 - Jul 14, 2023
Starting at
2,149
Jul 16 - Jul 21, 2023
Starting at
2,149
Sep 24 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
2,099
Oct 1 - Oct 6, 2023
Starting at
2,099
Oct 8 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
2,099
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 21 - May 26, 2023
Starting at
2,189
Jun 4 - Jun 9, 2023
Starting at
2,189
Jun 11 - Jun 16, 2023
Starting at
2,189
Jul 9 - Jul 14, 2023
Starting at
2,679
Jul 16 - Jul 21, 2023
Starting at
2,679
Sep 24 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
2,589
Oct 1 - Oct 6, 2023
Starting at
2,589
Oct 8 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
2,589

At a Glance

Explore the spectacular Redwood Coast of Northern California on hikes with naturalists and other experts along beautiful trails amid diverse environments all while learning about the natural and human history of this breathtaking region. Gaze up at giant cathedral trees, hear tales of timbering and marvel at the science behind the beauty of the Coastal Redwoods — the tallest trees in the world — and their limited range along the Northern California coast.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hike 3-5 miles a day on uneven terrain, maintained trails. Elevation gains of 300-440 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Hike the Avenue of the Giants to see much of the remaining ancient redwood forests.
  • Explore Old Town Eureka and see its murals.
  • Learn from a naturalist about the history of the Redwood National and State Park system, protecting half of all remaining old-growth coastal Redwood forest.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
John Ford
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, John L. Ford has held many titles. He was part of a touring rock band, spent time as a photojournalist, and worked as a Federal Ranger at Yaquina Head Lighthouse and as a marine mammal biologist. He is also a first responder with the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network and a member of the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators. John has been an instructor with Road Scholar for over 20 years.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of John Ford
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, John L. Ford has held many titles. He was part of a touring rock band, spent time as a photojournalist, and worked as a Federal Ranger at Yaquina Head Lighthouse and as a marine mammal biologist. He is also a first responder with the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network and a member of the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators. John has been an instructor with Road Scholar for over 20 years.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion & Daring
by Richard Preston
Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the largest and tallest organisms the world has ever sustained–the coast redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens. Ninety-six percent of the ancient redwood forests have been destroyed by logging, but the untouched fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods have trunks up to thirty feet wide and can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, redwoods were thought to be virtually impossible to ascend, and the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. In The Wild Trees, Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of Steve Sillett, Marie Antoine, and the tiny group of daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, a world that is dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored.
Coast Redwood: A Natural and Cultural History
by John Evarts and Marjorie Popper
Coast Redwood is the first contemporary illustrated book to focus exclusively on the natural and cultural history of the world's tallest tree.
Best Short Hikes in Redwood National and State Parks
by Jerry and Gisela Rohde
A guide to short hikes and the history of the area. Longer hikes are described as possible add-ons.
Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest
by Mark Turner & Phyllis Gustafson
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Eureka, CA
D
Best Western Bayshore Inn

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration & Orientation: 5:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby to register with the program staff and get any updated information. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. We will also complete order forms for several meals on the road. This program is staffed with a featured expert who will serve as our Study Leader and a knowledgeable Group Leader. Both will provide educational information. Travel for program-related activities will be by motorcoach unless noted otherwise. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/current conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel conference room.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Avenue of the Giants
Eureka, CA
B,L,D
Best Western Bayshore Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 85 miles, approximately 2.5 hours riding time. Hiking up to 5 miles throughout the day; maintained trails, varying terrain with little elevation gain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll then hop aboard a motorcoach and set out for a full-day field trip exploring the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The park comprises 53,000 acres, of which about 17,000 are old-growth redwood forest. This is the largest surviving stand of ancient coast redwoods left in the world. Our Group Leader along with our Study Leader will lead us on this hike where we will explore Founders Grove and begin getting to know the redwoods.

Lunch: At Humboldt Redwoods State Park, we will have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Next, we will walk to the nearby Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive and Visitor Center for a self-directed exploration. The Visitor Center includes a natural history museum. We will then continue hiking in the park to learn more about this unique environment. From the park, we will ride through a historic lumber town where our Study Leader will share information about local history and the lumber industry. We’ll return to the hotel with some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We will gather in the hotel meeting room for a presentation by our Study Leader on local geology and environment.

DAY
3
Humboldt Bay, Old Town Eureka, Sequoia Park
Eureka, CA
B,L
Best Western Bayshore Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 15 miles, approximately 3/4 hour riding time. Hiking up to 5 miles throughout the day; paved and dirt paths, maintained trails, graded switchbacks; elevation gains of 200-350 feet. Sky walk is 1/4 mile in length along various ramps and bridges; 100-feet high at its highest point.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will set out on an early morning walk along Humboldt Bay with our Study Leader and Group Leader. As we go, we’ll learn about the bay and Woodley Island as well as local birds and animals. Next, we’ll walk into Old Town Eureka with historians and naturalists who will tell us about local history. Some local owners will give short presentations about their business and heritage.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Eureka.

Afternoon: Next, we will board our bus and head to Sequoia Park Zoo where a local expert will give us a presentation on raptors. We’ll then explore the canopy up close during a 100-foot high Redwood Sky Walk. After the sky walk we will walk to Sequoia Park for a hike with naturalists to explore and learn about local flora and fauna. After our walk, we will board the bus and return to the hotel.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Sue-Meg State Park, Trinidad
Eureka, CA
B,L,D
Best Western Bayshore Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus motorcoach; driving about 60 miles, approximately 1 hour riding time. Hiking up to 4.5 miles throughout the day; dirt trails, slightly rocky paths, elevation gains of 300-325 feet.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will set out via motorcoach on a field trip to Sue-Meg State Park, formerly known as Patrick’s Point State Park, and Trinidad with our Study Leader and Group Leader. While just one square mile in area, Sue-Meg is rich in flora, fauna, and dramatic ocean views. Along the way, we’ll learn about the natural surroundings and local area. The seaside town of Trinidad — population approximately 360 — is notable for its breathtaking location as gateway to the California Coastal National Monument.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Trinidad.

Afternoon: We will continue our hiking field trip along the coast, then return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: In the hotel conference room, we will be joined by a representative from the Ink People Center for the Arts, who will give us a presentation then lead a mural presentation and cooperative mural activity. Each participant will make a section of the mural, then we will put all of the pieces of paper together to make the entire work. Founded in 1979, the organization is dedicated to “weaving” the arts into the fabric of the community.

DAY
5
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park & Kuchel Visitor Center
Eureka, CA
B,L,D
Best Western Bayshore Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 95 miles, approximately 2 hours riding time. Hiking up to 4 miles throughout the day; maintained trails, gradual elevation gains up to 433 feet.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board the bus for a field trip to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. There, we’ll hike with naturalists who will stop for interpretation of the environment and any other animals and plants we encounter along the way. These are spectacular Old Growth coastal redwoods trails where we can take in the sights and sounds of the redwood forests. We’ll also visit the local visitor center to explore and learn more about the redwoods.

Lunch: At a scenic spot, we will have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Our hiking field trip will continue. We’ll then ride back to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: We will gather with our Study Leader and Group Leader for a wrap-up session to review highlights of our hiking adventure with fellow Road Scholars. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Eureka, CA
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.