Sex in National Parks: Where People Are Having It Most

It seems that nature lovers are doing more than admiring nature at our national parks, at least according to a press release survey from which claims that 1 in 5 travelers have enjoyed sex on America’s public lands. Zion National Park was crowned the top place where couples have done more than explore nature based on the survey of 8,500 traveling singles.

Brandon Wade, Founder & CEO of the website that conducted the survey notes in the press release that “Mother Nature inspires people to shed their inhibitions and give in to their primal urges. At a National Park, there are lots of secluded areas off the beaten path, and it wouldn’t be too difficult to find a quiet, romantic spot for two people to be alone together.”

While the one in five number may at first appear rather high, it’s important to remember that there are some national parks that have hotel lodging and camping within the park. Below are the top 10 parks where people are having sex according to the survey:

Number 1: Zion (Utah)

Zion national park
Photo: Jeffrey Strain

Number 2: Dry Tortugas (Florida)

Dry Tortugas national park
Photo: Richard Lopez

Number 3: Redwood (California)

redwood national park
Photo: Jeffrey Strain

Number 4: Mammoth Cave (Kentucky)

Mammoth Cave national park
Photo: Jeff Kubina

Number 5: Arches (Utah)

Arches national park
Photo: Jeffrey Strain

Number 6: American Samoa (American Samoa)

American Samoa national park
Photo: eutrophication&hypoxia

Number 7: Biscayne (Florida)

Biscayne national park
Photo: Bruce Tuten

Number 8:Big Bend (Texas)

Big Bend national park
Photo: Robert Hensley

Number 9: Congaree (South Carolina)

Congaree national park
Photo: Hunter Desportes

Number 10: Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee)

Great Smoky Mountains national park
Photo: Carl Wycoff

Fallen Giant Redwood Dynamited At Redwood National Park

What happens when a giant California coastal redwood tree falls in a wind and rain storm? This was the question that the rangers at Redwood National Park had to solve recently when an eight foot diameter redwood fell across the popular Newton P. Drury Scenic Parkway in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The decision? Forget chainsaws and bulldozers — get out the dynamite. That’s exactly what they did, and they hope to have the road opened by the end of this week:

fallen giant redwood tree gets dynamited at Redwoods National Park

While the reopening of the road will be appreciated by those wishing to drive the scenic route, bicyclists and hikers may be a little less enthusiastic. With the tree forcing the closure of the road for about the last month, bicyclists and hikers have been taking the rare opportunity to see Atlas Grove and the Procession of Giants without any vehicle traffic.

Somehow I don’t think the entire dynamite process was quite a spectacular as when National Forest personal decided to use dynamite to blow up a beached whale. Enjoy (thanks Kevin in comments)

Photo courtesy of the NPS. More information can be obtained at //

Stout Grove Redwood National Park

For anyone that is in the Crescent City, CA area, a visit to Stout Grove is well worth the time and effort. This 1/3 mile loop in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (CA — part of Redwood National Park) is a wonderful walk under 300 foot redwoods with lush ferns covering the ground which will take your breath away as you look toward the sky to see if you can see the tops.

Stout Grove redwood trees at Redwood National Park

a look up at 300 foot redwood trees at Redwood National Park

More Photos from Stout Grove hike

A placard at the beginning of the trail gives a brief explanation on how this redwood grove came to be:

Stout Memorial Grove

Stout Grove, a majestic example of an ancient coast redwood forest, is often considered to be the heart of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. In 1929, Mrs. Clara Stout donated this 44-acre grove to the Save-the-Redwoods League to save it from being logged and to memorialize her husband, lumber baron Frank D. Stout. Today, land continues to be added to these northernmost parks through the efforts of the League.

A walk along this loop trail reveals colossal redwoods thriving in rich soil deposited during periodic flooding of the Smith River. Here, waist-high sword ferns carpet the forest floor and normally flared tree bases are covered in river soils. Flood waters inhibit the growth of understory trees and plants seen in other groves, leaving the 300-foot redwoods as the main attraction

Here is a short video clip as I walked a portion of the Stout Grove loop:

Directions: Drive east on Highway 199 and turn right on South Fork Road (about 2 miles past the National Parks Visitors center). Continue .5 miles across 2 bridges — at the “Y” in the road, turn right onto Douglas Park Road. Continue until the pavement ends at which point the road changes to Howland Hill. Continue approximately 1 mile on the gravel road to a paved road on the right — park in the lot and walk down the ramp to the 1/3 mile loop hike.

Fern Canyon Redwood National Park

If you like the idea of exploring areas that seem like lost worlds, you will truly enjoy Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods state park (CA) which is part of Redwood National Park. While you definitely should take some time to enjoy Gold Bluffs Beach (since many will ignore it), that doesn’t mean that you want to miss Fern Canyon which is about another 2 miles down the road. An informational sign at the trailhead next to the parking lot gives the following description of Fern Canyon:

Millions of years ago, a retreating sea left these coastal bluffs behind. Waters draining to the ocean sculpted the rocky formations into sheer canyon walls. Some of the exquisite ferns now clinging to the steep, shadowy cliffs are ancient species whose ancestry can be traced back 325 million years.

The canyon is now shrouded with lush five-fingered ferns, dark green sword ferns, and delicate lady ferns. Scouring winter floods periodically rush through the canyon, sweeping debris from its floor. Spruce and red alder saplings often survive for a few years on small terrace ledges, but they rarely reach maturity before falling off or being swept away.

Seeping water supply year-round dampness for the dense foliage and provide habitat for a diverse mix of moisture loving creatures such as salamanders, frogs and dippers. Several perennial waterfalls cascade from the canyon rim, adding to the cool moist canyon microclimate.

It’s less than a quarter of a mile to the canyon entrance, and you’ll immediately see that you’re in for a wonderful journey as light makes its way sporadically through the thick foliage:

Looking out the Fern Canyon entrance at Redwood National Park

You’ll also realise that it’s worthwhile packing an extra layer (especially if you do the hike in the morning) since the temperature drops a few degrees once you get into the canyon. Apparently the rangers set up wood bridge crossings in the summer so that you don’t get wet from the river as you make your way up the canyon, but those were not in place when I went in mid June. Other hikers had created makeshift crossings with the fallen trees and wood debris in the canyon which meant that it’s possible to survive the canyon hike without getting your shoes wet if you’re very careful. I have pretty decent balance, but there were a few times I almost found my feet in the water (although I did manage to come out dry). It’s definitely a good idea to pack an extra pair of shoes and socks just in case.

Once you enter the canyon, the walls narrow and turn green as ferns hang from top to bottom:

Fern Canyon walls covered in ferns at Redwood National Park

Probably my favorite part of Fern Canyon were the waterfalls. These came over the side of the canyon, dripping their way down a moss covered path more than “falling” to the canyon bottom. When the sunlight hit these, the drops in the moss would sparkly like a thousand diamonds which was an amazing sight. My photo doesn’t even come close to doing it justice:

A moss covered waterfall into Fern Canyon at Redwood National Park

Fern Canyon is part of a 7 mile loop trail (which includes Fern Canyon, Friendship Ridge, West Ridge and Coastal Trail) which takes about 4 hours to hike, but you can easily hike just Fern Canyon up and back if your time is limited. Fern Canyon itself isn’t that long (about half a mile), but it does take time since you’re constantly stopping to take photos, admire the scenery and crawling across logs to stay dry. This is definitely a must see stop if you visit Redwood National Park. For those interested, here are more Fern Canyon photos

Gold Bluffs Beach Redwood National Park

When you think of Redwood National Park, the first image that comes to mind usually isn’t the beach. That’s a shame because there are some beautiful beaches which are part of the Redwood National and State Parks. Gold Bluffs Beach is one of these.

Located in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (CA), you need to turn off highway 101 onto Davison Road at Elk Meadow (There is a large sign for Elk Meadow overlook — when you reach the Elk Meadow overlook, continue straight onto the dirt road). Davison Road winds its way through beautiful redwood groves until it reaches the sea. Once you hit the shoreline, you leave Redwood National Park and enter Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (there is a state park fee to enter). While most people head to Fern Canyon and bypass the beach all together, this is a mistake. The beach is vast with very few people (because they are all heading to see the redwoods) making it a perfect place to take a long stroll in near solitude:

Gold Bluffs Beach in Redwood National Park

For those who don’t feel like walking, there are plenty of ocean-worn rocks littering the beach to look at and admire:

Rocks in sand at Gold Bluffs Beach in Redwoods National Park

And for those with a little bit of ambition, the rocks are perfectly shaped to have some fun stacking them:

Stacking rocks at Gold Bluffs Beach Prairie Creek Redwoods state park California

While the redwoods are obviously the main attraction at Redwood National Park, try to take some time to visit the beach as well. You won’t regret it.