Redwood National Park is a remarkable preserve dedicated to saving and maintaining the remaining redwoods that were once prolific in California. Visitors from around the world are amazed at the spiritual impact when they stand amongst the trees for the first time. This road trip itinerary from Sacramento to Redwood National Forest moves travelers to the park through an arc that includes visits to national parks in California and Oregon, three state parks where travelers can rest, and three major cities with exciting sites to see along the way.
Kings Canyon National Park
Redwoods, even though depleted today, are not restricted to the northern California coast; these trees that once dominated California remain in other locations including Kings Canyon National Park. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, 172 miles southeast of Sacramento, this 461,901-acre park features impressive groves of redwood trees that found purchase among the rocks, boulders, and deep canyons of the park. Visitors come to Kings Canyon for the remarkable views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and to hike, fish, and camp amongst the thick trunks of the trees.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is one of the most exciting parks in the national park system. Yosemite consists of canyons, vertical cliffs, rocky outcroppings, waterfalls, and extensive wilderness, all in the company of more towering redwoods. This park is one of the most celebrated in the world. It draws scores of visitors not only for its sights but also for the hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, rock climbing, and stargazing that always seem unique to anyone visiting here.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park lies 162 miles north of Sacramento. The 106,000-acre park is the product of volcanic activity, with the most recent eruptions coming in a series from 1914 to 1917. It represents the southern tip of the volcanic Cascade Mountain Range. Today, boiling mud pits, steam geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles indicate that the area beneath the park still contains magma flowing toward the surface. Many visitors to this park enjoy hiking along the hundreds of streams to their source, where they can fish in a crystal blue lake. Others come to explore the vast lava fields or to hike through the forests. Many of the cliffs that form the deep canyons present a unique challenge to rock climbers who flock here to scale craggy peaks. Lassen Volcanic National Park provides incredible winter activities as well. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding are a few of the icy pleasures visitors come to the park to enjoy.
Crater Lake National Park
One of the most intriguing sites along this Sacramento to Redwood National Park road trip is 183,224-acre Crater Lake National Park. The park covers the lake and the mountain - Mount Mazama - in which it sits. Within the lake is Wizard Island, which is shaped like a wizard's hat. Most visitors come to the lake to view its unique blue hue, which is a product of the high elevation and the incredible depths of the lake. A road runs around the lake's rim with periodic overlooks where visitors can pull over and see how the color of the lake changes with the time of the day. While most visitors leave quickly after viewing the lake, others stay to enjoy the numerous campgrounds and the hiking trails that run throughout the park and to fish the local streams. A road that takes off eastward from the rim road leads across a plateau to a unique set of fumarole chimneys, called the Pinnacle, which are the most exposed examples of the phenomenon found in the world.
Brannan Island State Recreation Area
Brannon Island State Recreation Area sits 45 miles southwest of Sacramento along the route to Kings Canyon National Park. It preserves a maze of waterways, and the surrounding reed lands, in the Sacramento-San Juaquin River Delta. The recreation area provides 140 RV campgrounds from which visitors can explore the waterways and hiking paths that the area provides. Boats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are available to rent at the camp stores. A six-lane boat ramp provides easy access to the waterways, and pathways allow anglers to get close to the water for fish for striped bass, sturgeon, catfish, bluegill, perch, and bullhead.
Valley of the Rogue State Park
The Valley of the Rogue State Park lies along the direct route from Crater Lake National Park to Redwood National Park. Valley of the Rogue provides 92 full hookup sites from which your view of the Siskiyou Mountains to the east and coastal ranges to the west are uninterrupted, giving fantastic sunrise and sunset views. Tucked in the valley created by the rush of the Rogue River over hundreds of thousands of years, the park provides three miles of river shoreline from which you can fish, wade the river, or swim in the deeper pools. Four miles of hiking trails run through the park. White-tailed deer are frequently seen grazing in the park and seeking water from the river.
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Visitors to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park find an astounding collection of redwood groves, 20 miles of gravel hiking paths that hug the trunks of giant trees, and excellent fishing, snorkeling, and kayaking opportunities in the Smith River. Located close to Redwood National Park, this state park provides 106 RV campsites from which to explore the area.
Old Sacramento State Historic Park
Before embarking on your road trip from Sacramento to Redwood National Forest, stop by the Old Sacramento State Historic Park for information on the city's early days. Noted as a National Historic Landmark, the park includes over 50 examples of Sacramento architecture from the early Gold Rush days. This location was the western terminus of the Pony Express, the first transcontinental railroad, and the transcontinental telegraph.
Forestiere Underground Gardens
On your way to visit Kings Canyon National Park, stop in Fresno to see the unique Forestiere Underground Gardens. Carved out of the ground and constructed by a Sicilian immigrant, these gardens are patterned after the Ancient Roman Catacombs. Baldassare Forestiere, equipped with a pick, shovel, and a wheelbarrow, constructed the entire garden in his spare time.
Before you climb Mount Mazama to see Crater Lake National Park, stop in Klamath Falls to visit the Favell Museum, which holds one of the most complete collections of artifacts from Native American cultures in the world. The museum displays over 100,000 artifacts that detail the lives of Native Americans before the injection of European influences from North and South America. These collections give an insight into cultures that no longer exist. The displays demonstrate the existence of societies that were adaptive and creative.
Stockton lies south of Sacramento astride your route toward Kings Canyon National Park on your Sacramento to Redwood National Forest RV road trip. The town has several interesting landmarks, including the Haggin Museum, the Woodbridge Isenberg Crane Reserve, and the California Cavern State Historic Landmark. Make sure to visit one of the many dump stations available for your use. To stay a few days and enjoy Stockton, use one of the many campgrounds that the city offers.
Along with being the gateway to the natural wonders found in Lassen Volcanic National Park, Redding provides an intriguing array of restaurants and shops. Other points of interest include Shasta State Historic Park and the Fantasy Fountain, where kids can dash between waterspouts to cool off on a hot day. While you are in Fresno, take advantage of the multiple dump stations and campgrounds that surround the area.
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Klamath Falls is a great place to stop and take advantage of one of its dump stations. The city has an array of wildlife and historical museums, all of which merit a visit. The restaurants offer a mix of cuisines, some Asian, some American traditional, and at least one Native American. Stay awhile and enjoy the hospitality that the city provides by staying at one of its many campgrounds.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Sacramento to Redwood National Park, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Sacramento or Redwood National Park.