The Redwoods are unique in that they contain a mix of land both managed by the National Parks and by California State parks. The park is also split up into a northern and southern section, with private land in between. I suggest spending one night in each area, so as to reduce driving time and still see it all. You can also choose to stay on the ocean or in the forest. Here are my two favorite campgrounds.
At the beach in the south – Gold Bluffs Beach
In the woods in the north – Jedediah Smith State Park
If the campgrounds within the National and State parks are full, there are also private campgrounds bordering the parks as well.
There are lots of restaurants in the towns surrounding the park where you can eat. Crescent City and Eureka are the biggest towns with the most options, or you can always bring camping meals, or mix and match both. Some groceries are available in the towns, but it would be best to bring things with you.
Day 1 – Southern Area
Tall Trees Grove
First stop is the Tall Trees Grove. To visit you will first need to acquire a permit. These are given out for free at any visitor center, with the closest being Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center. Your permit will include a code to unlock the gate on the road to Tall Trees. Passed the gate, you will drive down a windy dirt road before reaching the trailhead for the 4 mile path. Not only does the path include some of the tallest trees in the world, the permit system ensures that you get to experience them relatively alone.
Next make your way to Fern Canyon. It is like something from another world. You will walk through a small canyon with 50-80 foot tall, fern covered walls on either side of you. The trail goes for about a mile and includes walking on planks over streams, climbing downed trees, and small waterfalls in the ferns. It does get crowded here, so try to make it early.
Drive up Newton B Dury Parkway
This scenic drive is the best way to get from the southern part of the park to the northern. Redwoods will tower on either side of you, and countless trails will lead off into the woods. You can stop wherever you want, or just drive straight through.
Day 2- Northern Area
Howland Hill Road
Start your day by heading down Howland Hill Road. This ten mile dirt road is my favorite drive in the Redwoods. It is never very crowded, is outrageously scenic, and includes countless places to get out and explore. It is best done entering near Jedediah State Park and ending near Crescent City.
Boy Scout Tree Trail
While there are loads of hikes to do off of the Howland Hill Road, this is probably the best. This 5.2 mile trail leads to the Boy Scout Tree, and goes through a wide variety of environments including low-lying areas and uplands areas, meaning you will see a little of everything.
After your hike, continue to the end of Howland Road and then make your way to the ocean. There are many beaches you can visit, but Enderts is my favorite. Stay for a sunset or drive down the coast. Either way, it is a nice end to the weekend.