Where? : Located in Oakland east bay mountains, we will visit at the Redwood Gate section that is located on the south section of the large park. The entrance is on Redwood Rd. east of Skyline Blvd.
What? : The uniqueness of this large park is that during the cold winter months large colonies of Ladybug are populating the park.
When? : In order to see the ladybugs clustered at the park you need to visit at winter months (Dec. – Feb.)
Due note: The ladybugs clusters in many cases are not huge so keep your eye opens to spot them on the side of the trails.
My thoughts: This is a really nice nature phenomena were ladybugs clusters are covering specific section of the forest, the story behind their migration is interesting….
Each year from Dec. through Feb., thousands, if not millions, of the kids’ favorite red bugs converge to Redwood Regional Park in Oakland.
Typically, ladybugs begin arriving in Redwood Park and start clustering by Nov./Dec. and stay at the park for the cold winter month.
The lifespan of a ladybug is not long, just one year, they hatch from their eggs at the central valley and manage to come back to this specific place, probably following something that their previous generation left behind. They stay here for the cold month to hibernate and at early spring they are flying back to the central valley, lay eggs and die.
ladybug insects are actually lady-beetles and they have 4 wings underneath the forewings with black spots on the red covering the body.
You can see many thousands of ladybugs red/rusty colored clustered on trees, leaf and small branches.
Start the visit at Redwood Gate Park south entrance, try to come early and park at the end of the road at Canyon meadows staging area small parking lot.
Try to ask the park ranger or other visitors where they spotted the ladybugs colonies, getting the right location description will simplify your search. When walking it may not be so visible but look for red or rusty colored and once you get up close you will be able to see the tiny ladybugs.
From here start to hike on Steam trail, pass the meadows and get into the redwood woods. Start to look for ladybugs clustered where the trees is less dance and where there are other grassy vegetations or opening.
We visited last year at early January and saw many clusters along the trail, you start to see them after a mile into the hike. Keep going on Steam trail in the canyon and you will see more around 1.3 miles from the starting point. Keep looking as you go on the trail up to reaching Eucalyptus Trail.
Another way I saw to go to the same ladybug’s location is at Skyline Gate Staging Area, this is located at the upper side of the Redwood Creek canyon. Take the Stream Trail and start watching for the ladybugs right around the Eucalyptus Trail and onward to Prince Trail.
Once seeing the ladybug’s you can go back the same way you hike or continue walking in one of the trails going up the ridge south to the West Ridge Trail, there turn east and at some point go back to the canyon you parked at.