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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.

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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.

What You'll Learn

  • 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 trip experts
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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
John Ford View biography
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.
Profile Image of Kris Springer
Kris Springer View biography
Kris Springer has always loved nature and traveling. Kris was born in Wisconsin, attended high school in Minnesota, and received her degree in communications from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Kris has gained great respect for the environment while working as a docent at Point San Luis Lighthouse and Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach. During the school year Kris works as a teacher. She has been singing with the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble for the past 22 years.
Profile Image of Carolyn Singh
Carolyn Singh View biography
Carolyn Singh holds an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland College of Library and Information Science and a B.S. from Barnard College, where she studied urban planning. Following more than four decades as an academic librarian and instructor in three U.S. time zones and Fiji, she now resides in Southern Oregon’s magnificent Rogue Valley. She is an avid hiker, gardener, food ways volunteer, and RYS certified yoga instructor.
Profile Image of Kati Texas
Kati Texas View biography
Kati "Texas" Moulton is a muralist and art educator who runs Maker's Apron Creative Reuse Center. She has served as president of Kinetic Universe and artistic director at Ink People Center for the Arts. She is a passionate advocate for public art, as well as economic development through arts and culture.
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.
While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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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 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 p.m., 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. This program is staffed with a featured expert who will serve as our Instructor 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 Instructor, 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 about this unique environment. We will visit the Rockefeller Grove, a spectacular, scenic lowland grove in the heart of the state park. From there we will continue to the Drury Chaney Trail to enjoy more spectacular scenery. 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 Instructor 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 for a ride through the historic lumber town where our Instructor will share information about local history and the lumber industry. Next, we’ll walk into Old Town Eureka with our Instructor who will tell us about the history of the area and this old logging town.

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
Trinidad Lighthouse, Arcata Marsh
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 Trinidad State Beach where we will enjoy hiking along a coastal trail with spectacular views of the coast and nearby lighthouse. We will hike to the lighthouse and meet with a docent to learn about the history of the structure and surrounding area.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Trinidad.

Afternoon: After lunch we will set out via motorcoach on a field trip to the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary for a guided tour of this rich wetland habitat. A renowned location for wildlife watching, the Marsh boasts some of the best avian diversity in the Pacific Northwest. On our docent-led tour we will learn about this amazing resource and the wildlife and habitat diversity that make it special. After our exploration at Arcata Marsh, we will return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: In the hotel conference room, Artist Kati Texas will introduce Humboldt's favorite homegrown sport: Kinetic Sculpture Racing, a five decade tradition where competing teams pit bodies of art and artists bodies against the majestic and dangerous Humboldt backcountry! See the sport evolve from a two block parade in 1969 into a 50 mile, three day race across roads, dunes and water ... all of it strictly human powered only! Part bicycle race, part rolling musical revue, the Kinetic Grand Championship has been called the "Triathalon of the Art World." The racers say it's all "For the Glory!" but when artists and engineers get together and start exploring their limits there's deeper benefits for the community and the world.

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 Instructor 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!






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