Humboldt Redwoods
State Park

Arguably the Mecca of the great coastal redwood forest, Humboldt Redwoods State Park is where you’ll find the majority of the world’s tallest trees, as well as the Rockefeller Forest — the largest remaining contiguous forest of old-growth redwoods. It is a place like no other.

Avenue of the Giants winds through some of Humboldt Redwoods State Park’s most impressive old-growth redwoods.
LEFT: Avenue of the Giants winds through some of Humboldt Redwoods State Park’s most impressive stands of old-growth. This moody 32-mile road is a must-drive for redwood lovers, offering the opportunity to gaze upon some of the world’s tallest trees — literally — as you navigate one curve after another through shade and sun dapples.

BOTTOM: Bull Creek cuts through Rockefeller Forest, the largest contiguous old-growth redwood forest we have left, and a holy site to worshippers of this great tree, the Sequoia semperviren. Along this stream you’ll find the finest examples of lowland, alluvial flat redwood groves on Earth, containing staggering numbers and concentrations of trees exceeding 350 feet in height.

Bull Creek cuts through Rockefeller Forest, the largest contiguous old-growth redwood forest we have left.
Avenue of the Giants winds through some of Humboldt Redwoods State Park’s most impressive old-growth redwoods.

ABOVE: Avenue of the Giants winds through some of Humboldt Redwoods State Park’s most impressive stands of old-growth. This moody 32-mile road is a must-drive for redwood lovers, offering the opportunity to gaze upon some of the world’s tallest trees — literally — as you navigate one curve after another through shade and sun dapples.

Bull Creek cuts through Rockefeller Forest, the largest contiguous old-growth redwood forest we have left.

ABOVE: Bull Creek cuts through Rockefeller Forest, the largest contiguous old-growth redwood forest we have left, and a holy site to worshippers of this great tree, the Sequoia semperviren. Along this stream you’ll find the finest examples of lowland, alluvial flat redwood groves on Earth, containing staggering numbers and concentrations of trees exceeding 350 feet in height.

This spot, where Bull Creek rushes into the South Fork of the Eel River, is a special place where a lot of special trees grow.
ABOVE: This spot, where Bull Creek rushes into the South Fork of the Eel River, is a special place where a lot of special trees grow. The grandest specimens of the coast redwood reside on the alluvial flats along these streams, seemingly bursting from the dark, duff-covered forest floor and into the stratosphere. Some of these giants have been drinking quietly from the fog for millennia. The group of trees to the right is one particularly famous grove and so far my favorite.
This spot, where Bull Creek rushes into the South Fork of the Eel River, is a special place where a lot of special trees grow.
ABOVE: This spot, where Bull Creek rushes into the South Fork of the Eel River, is a special place where a lot of special trees grow. The grandest specimens of the coast redwood reside on the alluvial flats along these streams, seemingly bursting from the dark, duff-covered forest floor and into the stratosphere. Some of these giants have been drinking quietly from the fog for millennia. The group of trees to the right is one particularly famous grove and so far my favorite.
While searching for ancient trees, in their shadows, I found the lil fungi of my dreams.
ABOVE: While searching for ancient trees, in their shadows, I found the lil fungi of my dreams.
There are many beautiful trees, but in my opinion, this sacred spot is the altar in the great cathedral of the church of the redwood forest.
ABOVE: I can see why this tree got its name. There are many beautiful trees, but in my opinion, this sacred spot is the altar in the great cathedral of the church of the redwood forest.
Burlington Campground, located along the Avenue of the Giants, is a fine place to pitch a tent amongst Humboldt Redwood State Park’s old growth.
ABOVE: Burlington Campground, located along the Avenue of the Giants, is a fine place to pitch a tent amongst Humboldt Redwood State Park’s old growth.
While searching for ancient trees, in their shadows, I found the lil fungi of my dreams.
ABOVE: While searching for ancient trees, in their shadows, I found the lil fungi of my dreams.
There are many beautiful trees, but in my opinion, this sacred spot is the altar in the great cathedral of the church of the redwood forest.
ABOVE: I can see why this tree got its name. There are many beautiful trees, but in my opinion, this sacred spot is the altar in the great cathedral of the church of the redwood forest.
Burlington Campground, located along the Avenue of the Giants, is a fine place to pitch a tent amongst Humboldt Redwood State Park’s old growth.
ABOVE: Burlington Campground, located along the Avenue of the Giants, is a fine place to pitch a tent amongst Humboldt Redwood State Park’s old growth.
Classic alluvial flat old-growth redwoods along Bull Creek.
ABOVE: Classic alluvial flat old-growth redwoods along Bull Creek. The size of theses groves and the density of large trees within them is staggering. A walk through this forest is a visit to a land before time, and a cleansing of the soul so instant, it’s startling.
Classic alluvial flat old-growth redwoods along Bull Creek.
ABOVE: Classic alluvial flat old-growth redwoods along Bull Creek. The size of theses groves and the density of large trees within them is staggering. A walk through this forest is a visit to a land before time, and a cleansing of the soul so instant, it’s startling.
ABOVE: The cracked remains of the Dyervillle Giant lay along the floor of the Founders Grove in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This behemoth was once the tallest tree in the world — a fact unbeknownst to scientists until after it fell during a storm in 1991. By measuring the marks on a nearby tree (which are still visible, though healing, as far as I can tell), Michael Taylor (of Wild Trees fame) and Rod Hildebrant estimated the Dyerville Giant’s height to be 372 feet. Today, it decomposes every so slowly, as redwoods do, laying mostly intact, still painting a vivid picture of its final moments nearly 30 years after a ripper of a North Coast storm ended its life.
ABOVE: The tallest tree deep in the heart of one of my favorite groves.
ABOVE: The cracked remains of the Dyervillle Giant lay along the floor of the Founders Grove in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This behemoth was once the tallest tree in the world — a fact unbeknownst to scientists until after it fell during a storm in 1991. By measuring the marks on a nearby tree (which are still visible, though healing, as far as I can tell), Michael Taylor (of Wild Trees fame) and Rod Hildebrant estimated the Dyerville Giant’s height to be 372 feet. Today, it decomposes every so slowly, as redwoods do, laying mostly intact, still painting a vivid picture of its final moments nearly 30 years after a ripper of a North Coast storm ended its life.
ABOVE: The tallest tree deep in the heart of one of my favorite groves.

Getting There

With the tops of some of its tallest trees visible from Highway 101, Humboldt Redwoods State Park isn’t exactly a hidden secret. It is, however, a vast distance from any major urban center, and takes some dedication to visit. I assure you, though, that wherever you’re coming from, the drive will be worth it.

Related Organizations

Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association

The Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association (HRIA) is a 501(c) non-profit, providing volunteer-run Visitor Centers at four State Parks in Humboldt County. They strive to connect visitors and the community to the incredible Redwood Forest, in hopes of spreading appreciation and a passion for the conservation of the tallest trees in the world.

Save the Redwoods League

Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected and restored California redwood forests and connected people with their peace and beauty so these wonders of the natural world flourish. They purchase redwood forests and the surrounding lands needed to nurture them; regenerate logged forests so they become spectacular havens for future generations; study how to best protect and restore these global treasures; and introduce people to these magical places.

Redwood Parks Conservancy

Redwood Parks Conservancy (RPC) is the non-profit partner for your public lands along the North Coast. They were established to foster understanding, enjoyment, and stewardship of your public lands through educational outreach, visitor services, and support of their partners entrusted with the care of these wondrous public lands.

California State Parks

The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.