Redwood National Park – Three Tips to Effectively Travel to Redwood by Amtrak Train and Bus


Redwood National Park was created in 1968 to protect land adjacent to the California state redwood parks that were formed in the 1920s. Currently the combined state and federal lands are administered under a joint agreement between the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The combined parks cover over 110,000 acres including 37 miles of pristine California coastline.

Since Delta is the only commercial airline into the local airport, it is expensive to fly into the area. Although not close to an Amtrak train line, there is bus service from Amtrak stations to the Redwood area, which may be the cheapest way to travel to the park. Here are three tips/hints for effectively traveling to/from Redwood by land:

One: Martinez, California is your Amtrak connection to Redwood National Park. The San Joaquin line from Bakersfield (with connecting service from San Diego and Los Angeles) and Oakland (with connecting service from San Francisco) stops there. Martinez is also on the Capitol Corridor line from San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento (with connecting service from Reno.) From Martinez, there are two Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches departing at 10:25 am and 3:25 pm for the six to seven hour ride to the Redwood area.

Two: Since there is no shuttle service at Redwood National Park, you must rent a car to see the entire park. Therefore, the McKinleyville stop at the Arcata Airport is the destination for your bus ride. If you arrive before the rental car counters close in the early evening, you have a choice of companies from which to rent. If you arrive when the rental car counters are closed, you can take a complementary shuttle bus to your hotel for the night and come back to the airport in the morning to rent your car. There are a number of hotels in the area that will provide this service. The motorcoaches back to Martinez leave McKinleyville at 6:15 am and 10:30 am.

Three: The need to make reservations for the train portion of your trip depends on the service you take. Although the Capitol Corridor trains are unreserved, the San Joaquins are all-reserved trains. Although you do not need reservations for the Thruway Motorcoach Connection service, you may be able to receive discounted advance purchase fares or special fares for students and seniors by buying both your train and bus ticket in advance.

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