A World Heritage Site Awaits Your Visit to the Redwoods
No, it’s not part of the iconic Redwood National Park, or its associated State Parks, but this easily accessible swath of beautiful land is a grand way to take in the power of the majestic Redwood forests of Northern California. It’s also designated as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.
It’s Humboldt Redwoods State Park and it encompasses over 53,000 acres of forest, which is an area twice the size of San Francisco. Included in that are 17,000 acres of old-growth coast Redwoods, making it the largest expanse of contiguous ancient Redwoods on the planet. The lumberjack’s blade has never touched them!
The park, like the county it’s in, is named after 19th-century explorer and naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt, and is the third largest state park in California. It was established by the Save the Redwoods League in 1921, mostly from lands purchased from the Pacific Lumber Company.
The Eel River meanders through the park, as does much of the world-famous Avenue of the Giants. This makes for one of the best Redwood car touring experiences in California, and also means that it’s highly accessible for those not able to make extensive hikes or those with limited time.
With more than 250 camp sites, 100 miles of hiking, biking, and riding trails, and the scenic 32-mile Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt Redwoods State Park truly does offer something for everyone. Whether you have just a few hours to visit or a week-long vacation to explore, a journey into the Redwood Forest is sure to be an awe-inspiring experience in this Humboldt County park.
It’s open year round and recreational activities are available throughout the four seasons. In order to help you plan, here’s some core info to help you on your way to creating an unforgettable North Coast experience:
Park Headquarters is located along the Avenue of the Giants, which is State Route 254. Avenue of the Giants essentially runs parallel to Highway 101. It’s 44 miles south of Eureka and about 230 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.Park Website Map Brochure
Avenue of the Giants
Meyers Flat, CA 95554
Founders Grove & Dyerville Giant
The Founders Grove is the most-visited grove in Humboldt Redwoods and a major North Coast redwood attraction. It’s popular because it’s conveniently (maybe too conveniently) located right next to a Highway 101 offramp on the Avenue of the Giants, and it’s also truly an exceptional sight. At the end of the loop is the magnificent fallen Dyerville Giant. The giant redwood once stood 362 ft. tall and was considered the tallest tree in the park before its fall in 1991.
Gould Grove Nature Trail
Gould Grove Nature Trail is short interpretive trail is in a small old-growth grove across from the park visitor center and the main campground. Despite its convenient location, the trail isn’t especially busy.
Shrine Drive Through Tree
The Shrine Drive Thru Tree has been attracting visitors for years. Located in Myers Flat, four miles south of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center, it’s an easy stop right on the Avenue of the Giants — just look for the signs and the Gift Shop. Seasonally open – closed in winter. There is a minimal fee to drive through the tree.
Not the tallest redwood, but this specimen in Humboldt Redwoods State Park is pretty much the best in show. Designated the National Champion Coast Redwood for having the best combination of height, diameter and crown spread, Giant Tree could be dubbed Big Beauty. Perhaps the largest redwood in terms of mass, it is in the park’s Rockefeller Forest, the world’s largest stand of old growth redwoods, 10,000 acres!
The Rockefeller Forest is the largest remaining contiguous old-growth coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest in the world. Trees soaring to immense heights combined with a relatively open under story combine to create a fairy-book forest! The grove has the classic ground cover of redwood needles dusted with a sparse layer of redwood sorrel and dotted with an occasional fern. Walking through these forests is like taking a step back in time.
Visit Redwoods Redwoods Interpretive Assoc.