The northern California coast is a place of quiet redwood groves, isolated coastline, and great natural wonder. On the Oregon border, Redwoods National & State Parks are home to massive trees stretching over 300 feet into the sky. At the Lost Coast, the highway is forced inland many miles while rugged sand beaches march on along the shore. Further south, the highway meets back up with the ocean along expansive bluff terraces and extended inlets.
Of all the Pacific Coast Highway sections, this is the place to venture further off the main road; go on a hike, explore one of the many scenic byways, and find a quiet place to sleep.
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Redwood, unlike many national parks, has been put together grove by grove over the course of 57 years. Throughout the late 1800s and into the 1900s, the lumber industry had unrestricted access to over 2,000,000 acres of old-growth redwoods. While there was an attempt to begin saving the remaining groves in 1911, nothing began to happen until 1921.
The Save-The-Redwoods League, founded in 1918, began the conservation process with the purchase of the Raynal Bolling Memorial Grove (now in Humboldt Redwoods State Park). The founding of the California State Park system in 1927 created Prairie Creek Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods (12a).
World War II caused further delays in forming an official national park due to the high demands of lumber. Finally, on October 2nd 1968, the bill for Redwood National Park was signed protecting an additional 100,000 acres of forest. Another 48,000 acres were added in 1978, but most of it had been previously logged.
Throughout coastal California you’ll find small patches of protected old-growth redwoods. These groves are a testament to the hard work and dedication groups of conservationists had over a hundred years ago. Without them, it is likely none of these redwood giants would remain.