2-Day Itinerary: Redwood National and State Parks Road Trip [Day 1]

Redwood National Park road trip itinerary

After absolutely loving the hikes in Joshua Tree and the Grand Canyon a couple years ago, we made it a mission to travel more domestically and explore the natural wonders in the US. Even though we’re vaccinated, it seemed like an outdoorsy trip would still be best for now, so we decided on a road trip and hiking through the Redwood National and State Parks! Below is Day 1 of our two day itinerary:

Day 1

9am – Before taking off from San Francisco, I got a vanilla cold brew from Sightglass Coffee and pastries + sandwiches from Jane the Bakery for our journey to Muir Woods National Monument (about 45+ mins away).

Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods giant Redwood tree
Muir Woods National Monument

10am-12pmMuir Woods National Monument is close enough to San Francisco that if your trip is mostly based in the city, you could still make a quick day trip to be surrounded by redwood trees. The average age of the redwoods there is 600-800 years, with the oldest being 1,200+ years old! We felt so finite in an awe-inspiring, quieting way.

There are a few hiking lengths and options that are all quite mild. In pandemic times, a parking reservation has to be made ahead of time, which helped space out people on the trails.

Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree Park

Chandelier Tree Drive Thru Leggett CA Redwood

4-5pm – The Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree is something I’d seen in pictures since I was a little kid, so I’ve always wanted to visit, and it was bizarre to be able to drive our car through. However, as an adult, I’m shocked that cutting holes into trees was ever allowed! This tree is like 2400+ years old! The hole was cut in the 1930s, and thankfully the act is no longer allowed and the tree looks like it’s still alive and well.

Avenue of the Giants

Avenue of the Giants road trip drive

5-7pmAvenue of the Giants is a 31-mile scenic drive that winds along the Eel River and is surrounded by towering redwoods. We drove a portion of it from Leggett to Eureka, and stopped off multiple times to different groves that contain the Immortal Tree (950+ year old tree that survived a flood, loggers’ axes, and a lightning strike), Founder’s Tree (364+ feet tall!), and more.


7pm – We stayed in the cute coastal city of Eureka, and got there after a day of driving and hiking around dinner time, so we were pretty famished. We got calamari and fish & chips from LoCo Fish Co. and some local beers from a nearby liquor store while we waited for the food.

Click here for my Day 2 Itinerary: Yurok Loop Trail, Fern Canyon, and more.

Patagonia TechFace fleece zip up jacket (shop more activewear jackets), Alo Yoga cropped long sleeve top (shop more Alo Yoga), Free People neon leggings (shop more leggings), Nike socks, Columbia hiking boots


  1. Maria
    May 3, 2021 / 10:26 am

    Hi thanks for sharing! I did this trip as a kid but sounds like something I would appreciate more as an adult. I was wondering about those Columbia hiking boots–how do you like them? Do they have good support?

    • Carolyn
      May 3, 2021 / 11:24 am

      I do find it’s a different type of enjoyment as an adult, for sure!

      The Columbia hiking boots have been very supportive so far, but I also don’t go on very treacherous hikes haha. I like that they’re pretty light and waterproof. They do take a couple walks to break in. If I were to get them again, I’d go a half size down — even with hiking socks, my usual size is still slightly loose.

      • Maria
        May 11, 2021 / 4:20 pm

        Thanks for the response! I don’t do treacherous hikes either so these might work for me 😉

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