Wonder and Wellness in the Redwoods

Destination: Redwood National and State Parks, CA

| Activities: Hiking, Kayaking, Canoeing, Tidepooling, Forest Bathing

The Redwood National and State Parks are a unique collection of parks connecting a string of beaches, forests, rivers, and meadows along the Northern California coast. This wild and sparsely populated corner of our country holds a treasure trove of experiences for nature-lovers, including fern-filled canyons, starfish-studded tidepools, miles of beachcombing, and awe-inspiring redwoods. Our itinerary will focus on wellness through being present, experiencing a sense of wonder, and forming deep connections to nature and this mystical ancient ecosystem. We will be inspired by the redwoods as we put down roots, stretch our limbs on hikes and paddles, soak up new experiences, and bask in the peace and quiet of stately forests. Maximum group size: 10

Highlights

  • Absorbing the quiet magic of ancient Redwood groves
  • Charming single rooms and farm to table dining at the Historic Requa Inn
  • Paddling a redwood canoe through time with members of the Yurok tribe
  • Hiking a variety of wondrous trails with flowers, falls, and fern-filled canyons
  • Wildlife viewing from tiny crabs, to vibrant sea stars, to migrating whales

Departures and Prices

May 26 to May 31, 2024
$3295.00 - FULL
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June 01 to June 06, 2024
$3295.00 - FULL
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Inclusions

  • 2 experienced AGC guides
  • All activities on the itinerary, including hiking, sea kayaking, forest bathing, tidepooling, and Redwood Canoe tour
  • All meals from Sunday dinner through breakfast the next Friday
  • Five nights lodging in single occupancy rooms
  • Transportation during the trip including round trip transfer from the California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport
Not included: Transportation to Humboldt County Airport, alcoholic beverages, optional activities, guide gratuities, and items of a personal nature

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip is appropriate for any active woman who regularly walks for exercise and wants a vacation that mixes being active in the outdoors with nature appreciation and reflection. No particular experience is needed but please note that almost all the hiking involves ups and downs. Our longest hike is 7.5 miles on day 2. Some hikes involve rocks and stairs and will require some balance. Sea kayaking is appropriate for beginners and will be in cold water. The trip is rated 2. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be walking regularly, including hills or stairs, at a brisk pace 3 to 4 days a week for 35 - 45 minutes.Rating: 1 [2] 3 4 5.

On this adventurous and restorative nature-based vacation, we'll combine moderate hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and beachcombing. While we'll have 5-7 hours of activity each day, this trip is designed for participants to slow down, look closely, breathe deeply, and soak in the solitude and magnificence of the Redwoods.

We'll spend five nights at the Historic Requa Inn on the Klamath River in the heart of the collective of Redwoods parks. All rooms are comfortable, charming, and have en suite bathrooms. The Inn is known for its delicious farm to table dining.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Please plan to arrive at the California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport (ACV) by 3:15PM for a 3:45PM group shuttle. We will meet you there and after brief introductions, we'll be on our way to the Historic Requa Inn, our home base for the trip. Located about 50 miles North of Arcata where the Klamath River meets the Pacific, the Inn is perfectly located for our trip in the heart of a collective of co-managed National and State Redwood parks including Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Su-Meg State Park, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. All are within a 40-minute radius of the Inn. We’ll head straight up the famous HWY 101, and arrive at the Inn in time to settle in before dinner and get to know our group. The Inn has been a part of the Requa landscape since 1914, and has beautiful single rooms, delicious farm-to-table dining, and Klamath river views. (D)
DAY 2
We’ll begin our week in Redwood’s National and State Parks immersing ourselves amongst the park’s namesakes - the trees! We’ll enjoy a farm-to-table breakfast at the inn before heading out for a full day of hiking trails hushed by pine needle carpets and dwarfed by giant Redwoods. We’ll drive South into the heart of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, where we will stop by the visitor’s center before setting out on the Clintonia Loop Trail, a 7.5 mile hike. Our trail offers a sampler of the area’s finest flora, fauna, and fungi including old growth Redwoods, Sitka Spruce, Wildflowers, Ferns, Banana Slugs, and mushrooms galore. In addition to learning and exercising, today we will also practice being fully present in this glorious ecosystem. Along the way we’ll incorporate the art of forest bathing through guided activities that challenge us to look closer, breathe deeper, and notice more about our surroundings. After 3-4 hours of hiking through a veritable fairyland, we’ll head back to the vans. On our way to the inn we’ll make one more short stop at the Big Tree Wayside Trail, a 200 yard path leading to a 1,500 year old giant Redwood measuring more that 290 feet tall with a 75 foot circumference. We’ll return to our home away from home in Requa for dinner. Mileage: 8 miles (B,L,D)
DAY 3
Did you know that a sense of awe and wonder has been scientifically proven to benefit our physical and emotional well-being by getting us out of our own heads and more integrated into our communities and world? This morning we’ll meet for an early breakfast, and then head south to the seaside city of Trinidad. We’ll split into two smaller groups for the morning, each with a different ocean-faring activity on the horizon designed for maximum wonderment! One group will depart on a beginner friendly sea-kayak tour of Trinidad Bay. From the cockpits of our boats, we’ll search for wildlife including sea & shore birds, sea lions, otters, porpoises, and seals. At this time of year thousands of gray whales migrate with their calves from Baja to Alaska, and if conditions are right, we’ll hope to view pods of whales from our kayaks - a true peak experience. While one group paddles the bay, the other group will spend a meditative morning exploring the seashore by land at Sue-Meg State Park (described in detail on day 5 of the itinerary). After our small-group excursions, we’ll meet back up for lunch and exchange stories of our morning. We’ll aim to spend some time with the redwoods on every day of this trip, and after lunch we’ll explore the Trillium Falls Trail. Redwood National and State Parks are a nominated quiet area with Quiet Parks International, and we will nurture our nervous systems with some rare moments of true peace and quiet on our hikes this week. This moderate loop hike should take us about 1.5 hours to complete as we traipse through the trillium, marvel at old growth groves, and visit the falls. After a full day of exploration, we’ll be ready to return to hot showers and a hearty meal at the Inn. Mileage: 3-5 miles hiking depending on your group. (B, L, D)
DAY 4
Today we’ll dig deep into this magical place like the roots of the mighty redwoods. We’ll start where it began…with the Yurok people. Since well before non-native exploration of California began, the Yurok tribe have had a village at “RekWoi”, about 1 mile up-river from modern day Requa – making this area one of the longest inhabited places in California. The Yurok tribe is woven into this landscape like the baskets they are known for, and the Klamath River and the redwood trees have historically been the lifeline of their people. We’ll begin our trip by learning about the history of the area with members of the Yurok tribe as we explore the Klamath River on a guided redwood canoe tour. We’ll learn about the Yurok way of life, their history, and their traditions including redwood boat building. Following our time with the Yurok we’ll set out with newfound knowledge of the area and drive a short way to the Fern Canyon trailhead for lunch. Speaking of magical places, Fern Canyon just might be the most beautiful little hike in the pacific northwest. A level one-mile trail follows Home Creek through the forest into the canyon proper. We’ll roll-up our pant-legs and follow the shallow creek through a lush canyon wall-papered with ferns. If we catch this hike on a sunny day the walls will sparkle like emeralds. When we’ve had our fill of adventure we’ll head back to the Inn for down time and dinner. Mileage: 2 miles. (B,L,D)
DAY 5
On this penultimate day of our trip, we’ll switch activities in Trinidad. If you kayaked on day 3, today you’ll spend the morning treasure hunting in Sue-Meg State Park, and vice versa. Formerly known as Patrick’s Point State Park, this coastal gem offers our group a menu of marine-style meditations! We’ll plan our time in Sue-Meg based on the tides. When the tide is lowest, we’ll carefully make our way down a short, steep, and rocky trail to visit Palmer's Point, where a hidden world of first-rate tidepools are revealed. We’ll carefully explore these marine microcosms full of urchins, starfish, anemones, and more, making sure to keep them (and ourselves!) safe and undisturbed. If time permits, we will also hike the .5-mile Agate Beach trail, our second treasure hunting site of the morning, where we’ll beachcomb for agates, semi-precious volcanic stones polished by the tides. We’ll photograph our jewels, and then scatter them for others to discover. After reconvening for lunch, we’ll continue North. Our final stop for the trip will be the cathedral of trees that make up the Lady Bird Johnson Grove. One of the most magnificent examples of old growth Redwoods in the world, this grove was dedicated in 1969 by President Richard Nixon, in honor of Lady Bird and her work protecting public lands. We’ll explore the gentle 1.5 mile loop walk, and then hold a closing circle as golden afternoon light filters through the canopy onto our group. After some reflection and celebration, we’ll head back to a final dinner at the inn, and one last peaceful evening on the shores of the Klamath. Mileage: 1.5-3 depending on group. (B,L,D)
DAY 6
Awake refreshed by another great night’s sleep and the crisp pacific northwest air drifting through your window. Our time in the Redwoods has come to a close, and we send you on your way transformed from a week of connection, wonder, and adventure. We’ll have you back to the airport by 10:30AM, in time for flights out after 12:30PM. (B)

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  1. Where do we eat?

    All dinners and some breakfasts will be at the Requa Inn, which offers family style farm-to-table dining based off of what is growing at the time of our visit! You will be able to order breakfast off their menu, and some dinners will be at their restaurant, while a few will be catered for our group by their chef. Two breakfasts will be prepared by your guides so that we can get an early start. Before you leave in the morning the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. What is provided for equipment for the kayaking day?

    Our kayak outfitter will provide the kayaks and paddles, wetsuit and paddle jacket, booties, and PFD with whistle.
    Can you describe the kayaking day?

    Our guides will provide basic safety information and instruction on land and in Trinidad Bay harbor before exploring the coast south 2.5 miles towards Little River and then back again. The launch and landing site is a unique protected location.
    What are the trails like?

    Hikes in the Redwoods are at very low elevation and tend to have little elevation gain. They can however be muddy in spots and/or rooty. When we hike at Sue-Meg State Park, the trails are short, but there are some steep sections and staircases. Your AGC guide will support you in navigating these sections slowly and safely as needed.
    What is forest bathing?

    In 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries created the term shinrin-yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere.” For our purposes, this means spending some time on one of our hikes being intentionally present and using our senses to absorb the environment we are in, in a deeper and more intentional way. We might, for example, spend part of a hike walking silently and listening to the sounds of the forest. No bathing required!
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