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In the Games

Cover Art for The Lost World. Image via Wikimedia User Mad Max.
Cover Art for The Lost World. Image via Wikimedia User Mad Max.

The Redwoods parks of California have provided a unique fantasy setting for many games and movies. Travel through the old growth trees to experience these iconic settings in real life.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The 1997 sequel to Jurassic Park bought us to the land of dinosaurs for the second time. Through thorough research, the studio discovered that dinosaurs did not live in the tropical climates like modern-day Costa Rica, but in more temperate zones such as the old growth redwoods. Multiple games were released in support of the popular movie, including both arcade and console versions. Play varies based on which of five players is being used, but the ultimate goal is to survive Ingen’s Site B full of dinosaurs in a side-scrolling adventure.

Star Wars: Battlefront

Endor gameplay in Star Wars Battlefront. Screenshot image via gearnuke.com
Endor gameplay in Star Wars Battlefront. Screenshot image via gearnuke.com

The Redwood forests are also the setting for the Ewok’s home of Endor in Star Wars. Endor is also part of the hugely popular Star Wars: Battlefront, released in 2015. Imperial Troops and walkers engage in combat across tree filled terrain. While Ewok treehouses appear in the game, the actual battle is fought between 10 Imperial troops and 10 Rebel soldiers.

Visiting the Redwoods

California’s Redwoods consists of not one, but many parks stretching from Humboldt County to the Big Sur Coast. Combining 4 main parks, the Redwood National and State Parks are old-growth temperate rainforests totaling over 133,000 acres. The trees are the tallest (and one of the largest) tree species on Earth. Many areas of the park have been used in the filmings, specifically Humboldt county.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Old growth Redwoods in Prarie Creek State Park. Image from the Ca.gov gallery online.
Old growth Redwoods in Prarie Creek State Park. Image from the Ca.gov gallery online.

A short drive north of Eureka, the park features sandy beaches and open meadows in addition to the coastal redwoods. Visitors can stay at one of the two main campgrounds or experience the park through a scenic drive. Highlights include 75 miles of hiking trails and a 19-mile bike loop which includes access to Fern Canyon where Jurassic Park scenes were filmed.

The park is open year round with a pass. For information on lodging and seasonal conditions check with California Parks online.

Tall Trees Redwood Grove

Tall Trees Grove. Image via visitcalifornia.com
Tall Trees Grove. Image via visitcalifornia.com

Tall Trees is a special grove with giant trees reaching up to 379 feet – taller than a 35 story building. Access to the grove is limited by the park service, so don’t forget to obtain a free permit from the Kuchel Visitor Center. Visitors must drive about 45 minutes away to the Tall Trees trailhead and then hike a little over a mile, so make sure you’re ready to walk.

For additional information on lodging and seasonal conditions check with Visit California online.

*Filming also occurred in Smith River, CA.

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