Parks road reopens from sequester-induced closure

By Adam Spencer, The Triplicate March 03, 2014 06:50 pm

The Tall Trees Access Road in Redwood National Park was reopened for vehicles Friday after being closed eight months due to last spring’s federal budget cuts known as the sequester.

“That essentially eliminated the funding for the positions needed to maintain that road,” said Jeff Denny, supervisory park ranger for Redwood National & State Parks. “The funding has been restored, the positions have been filled and over the winter we received some funding to do needed repairs on that road.”

The road is in “good condition” now, Denny said, ready to provide access to the iconic Tall Trees Trail, Emerald Ridge Trail and backcountry camping on certain bars of Redwood Creek during low water periods.

Free vehicle permits are required to drive on the gated Tall Trees Access Road due to limited parking space at the trailheads. Permits are available at all Redwood National and State Park Visitor Centers, seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during winter hours.

The improved gravel road is considered passable for most passenger vehicles (high-clearance not required), but it is not open for trailers and motor homes.

The Park Service plans to do more roadwork before the summer season, so weekday closures are possible.

“The Tall Trees Trail is a five-mile round trip walk, descending 800 feet in elevation over two miles into the world-famous Tall Trees Grove,” according to the Park Service’s press release.

“The grove was named after the world’s tallest tree was measured at 368 feet during a 1963 National Geographic Expedition. The Tall Trees Grove and the surrounding old-growth redwood forest became the impetus for the creation of Redwood National Park in 1968. While that one tree is no longer the world’s tallest, the Tall Trees Grove remains an outstanding day hike into the tallest forest on the planet.”

For park information, call 707-465-7335.

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