Redwood National Park - Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail


What? : 

The Lady Bird Johnson Grove provides a fine, short, walk into impressive old growth Redwood grove. Relatively popular location that offers all what a redwood visit has to offer.


This location is part of my "Redwood Parks at Northern California Coastline" road-trip suggestions and trip planner blog.

Link to the trip planner blog


Where? : 

From Redwood NP Kuchel Visitor Center, drive north on Highway 101. Pass Orick, turn right onto Bald Hills Road. After driving uphill for 3 miles, immediately after passing under a large footbridge, you’ll see a parking lot to your right.

Google Map Link


When? : 

Year round visit. Summer temperatures range from 40 to 75F but are cooler along the coast. At summer month morning and evening fog is common. Winter brings chillier 35 - 55F days. Prepare for rain from November to May.


Due note 1: The trail was built for Redwood National Park’s dedication ceremony in 1968.


Due note 2: Bald Hills Road is not recommended for RVs or trailers. Parking on the Bald Hills Road is not allowed, and the Lady Bird Johnson Grove parking spots are too small for large RV and trailers.


Due note 3: Come early morning or later at the afternoon. Once the parking lot is full, there are not any other options to park nearby. Parking on the side of the Bald Hills Road is dangerous and is not allowed. In summer (June to August), this parking area is frequently full, from 11am until 4pm.


Due note 4: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is part several others redwood state and National parks that stretch up at the Northern California's coast and protect the remaining of the old growth Redwoods trees.


My thoughts: 

This is one of the most popular trails in the park, you walk among large redwood trees that grows in the higher hillside elevation. It is nice place to visit, I liked visiting this redwood grove but if you need to select only one short hike, I recommend doing the “Big Tree hiking loop” at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.


The redwoods:

California’s coast redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) exist in a narrow band that runs for 500 miles from Monterey to just over the Oregon border. The redwoods follow the rain and fog at elevations below 2,000 feet, where heavy winter rains and moderate year-round temperatures occur. Trees can grow up to 350 feet tall or more, with a base diameter of about 20 feet.

Redwoods are “living fossils” dating back 100 million years to the Cretaceous Period- the time of the dinosaurs. The oldest coast redwoods are about 2,000 years old.

As result of extensive logging activity in Between 1880 and the early 1900s, thousands of acres of old-growth redwoods had disappeared; Series of state and national parks in northern California protect the remaining of the old-growth Redwoods.

In 1994, NPS and California State Parks agreed to co-manage four parks: Del Norte Coast, Prairie Creek and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks, and Redwood National Park. Managing the parks together provides protection and preservation of more than 105,000 acres of redwood forest.

After the logging only about 5% of old growth Redwood exist today, 95% of them are in northern California and 80% of them are already protected in one of the parks.



The visit:

This is one of the most popular trails in Redwood National Park because it is easy, short 1.4 mile long and can be completed within an hour, close to Kuchel Visitor Center with relatively “ok size” parking lot.


In 1969, one year after Redwood National Park declaration, President Nixon dedicated this grove to former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, for all her conservation and environmental work.


This only 1.4-mile-long loop trail, it is easy and good for small kids with many explanation signs, interpretive trail brochures are available free of charge if you return them back at the end of your hike.


Unlike many trails in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park that are near busy road where you can hear the traffic from the trail this mountain side-road location is free of traffic noise.


Because its location on the edge of the National Park protected aria most of the trees next to the parking lot are second-growth Douglas-fir trees. The hike itself is in an old-growth redwoods that have never been logged.

From the parking lot, cross the wooden footbridge over Bald Hills Road. The trail passes in this first section few isolated large redwood trees, after 0.3-mile you will reach the loop section, it is not so much important which way you will take.

The slightly lower elevation east side of the ridge has a more open view on nice collection of old redwoods with some good-sized trees.

Hiking the 0.8-mile loop section will bring you back to the entering trail and from here you will hike back to your car.






Additional Pictures