Hiking, Adventure and
Coast Redwood Photography.
Every image should enlarge or lead to information including pages for 16 largest Coast Redwoods and some of the tallest. I post on Facebook but the best info is here and the blog. Some must-see tips are in the categorized table below .
If you take the time, information here may prove one of the best representations for what to anticipate visiting the Coast Redwoods. There's enough for more than a few hours. Some folks enjoy photos and reading here at night from their motel room during their redwood vacation. The MOST ESSENTIAL topics should be easy to spot and have yellow highlighted headings.
Coast Redwood Information
This resource is about Coast Redwoods and parks of Northern California, local lodging, camping, redwoods, hiking tips, maps, guided tours, visitor centers, and redwood photography. Content ranges from the redwood forest in general to the explorers and researchers who climb the tallest species known.
Photo top: Site Owner, Mario Vaden aka M. D. Vaden
Photo right: Click image to view 3 images of giant coast redwoods with Kiera, who assisted to show scale and size of several unique redwoods. This first one is 26 feet diameter
Browse and find nearly 300 Coast Redwood photos in the blog, album (menu), a score of other pages and the Redwood Mini Pics page. Even a ranger or two might check for their smile in the ranger page.
Scroll down for motel lodging | hiking | guides | articles and redwood park visitor centers. New content is added continually. It's a lot, but most is categorized in some fashion.
The 16 largest Coast Redwoods are included because most visitors will never see them ... likewise Hyperion the tallest of redwoods at 379 ft. ... discovered at Redwood National Park. These are not destinations.
Content dwells mostly on the north parks where the tallest and biggest coast redwoods grow ... 300 to 379' tall and 60 to 90 ft. circumference. The area ... north to south ... spans Hiouchi, Crescent City, Klamath, Orick, Trinidad, Arcata, Eureka, Fortuna, Scotia, Meyers Flat, Garberville. There are 5 major Coast Redwood parks with old growth and trails. 4 of those parks account for 133,000 acres. Those are Redwood National Park and 3 California State Parks (Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park). Those 4 parks are managed together as Redwood National and State Parks ....... then ....... about 30 minutes south of Eureka is Humboldt Redwoods State Park with over 50,000 acres and Rockefeller Forest. That park has its own visitor center for camping, etc.,.
There are 8 coast redwoods over 370 feet tall. 4 are in Redwood National Park and 4 in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The visitor centers will not provide maps for those and basically, do not know the locations. But you can get maps to see redwoods 300 to 350 feet tall ... like Bull Creek Flats, Howland Hill Rd., a grove by Redwood Creek in Redwood National Park, and more.
The largest Coast Redwood, Lost Monarch, is so big that only 6 Giant Sequoia of the Sierra Nevada surpass its volume which is near equal to the Boole Giant Sequoia. That largest Coast Redwood (321') is taller than any known Giant Sequoia. At chest high, it's almost as wide as the President Giant Sequoia featured in National Geographic 2012.
Note : I am not a "redwood guide" ... but have enhanced the visit for a few folks by getting together for hiking, photography, exploring in the coast redwoods. Including some satisfying meals.
This page began 2008 about a handful of largest redwoods called the Grove of Titans (undisclosed) and content grew.
With patience, 90% of folks should find here what they are looking for, or a good lead, about coast redwood travel.
Photo albums include albino redwood, Jedediah Smith redwoods, Rockefeller Forest, Avenue of the Giants and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, and Redwood National Park, lagoons, animals and plants. The emphasis remains on Coast Redwoods.
Image right: Walking among Coast Redwoods in Stout Grove, at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Light beaming from the side where the grove meets the Smith River
The Redwood Coast name is not derived just from the tall and giant Coast Redwoods. It is a land of beaches, rivers, lagoons, prairie, meadows, harbors, sea stacks, lighthouses, trails and forests. I made an effort to show a lot of this in the photos in the albums and various pages here.
There is also horseback riding, kayaaking, fishing, marathons, festivals, a kenetic sculpture contest, breweries and a lot more.
So if your group or family is looking for variety, the redwood coast can offer it.
Links for researcher Prof. Steve Sillett and explorer Michael Taylor are also provided. Taylor may be revamping his site presently. Sillett has a lot of interesting canopy photos and views taken in the tops while climbing.
Some About Exploring
Exploring My time in the redwoods is hiking, camping, photography and exploring. The redwoods are an outdoor museum which also led to many interesting conversations, new friends, and some new height records.
2008 to 2012 provided opportunities to explore with Michael Taylor, Chris Atkins & Prof. Steve Sillett, in Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek redwoods and some National Forest. The days were vigorous, refreshing and memorable. Plus a chance to lend a hand locating tall redwoods related to LIDAR. Continued: Exploring Redwoods
For travelers from afar, consider reservations at Redwood National Park lodging instead of camping, to get the most out of your adventure: it buys time, not just a room.
Coast redwoods provide many hikes, and drives. Expect park staff & rangers to be helpful: they have been for me. The rangers and staff at the redwood visitor centers, collectively, are indispensable. Keep in mind that north California has the best places to see redwoods. Oregon has very little acreage, but has some nice old growth redwoods and trails.
The biggest list of giant and tallest coast redwoods discovered over the years, came from two men who explored for decades: Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor. They explored alone, together, and with others. See: Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor. Actually, Taylor is an interesting fellow. Before meeting, I read about him in Preston's bestseller, which gave the impression of a poor kid of a rich dad ... a young man who couldn't cope with college.
Having met Michael, I found a mechanical engineer who is expert with species ID and forests. And an appreciable understanding of algebra and trigonometry.
In 2011, he became the California coordinator to verify nominations for the biggest of each species in that state.
June 2011, Michael and I, explored in Oregon, discovering tallest live-top Douglas Fir @ 322.5', which should replace the impressive shrinking Doerner Fir. Various species, and not just redwoods, are part of the expeditions.
For redwood geeks, take a peek at the Drury redwood mapping for another measuring aspect.
Ever wondered about how tall Redwoods can become? See How tall was the tallest Coast Redwood
Redwood hiking is among the best exercise I have ever done. A recreation overlapping my work and education. Redwoods can also increase an awe of God's work: consider just this one component of the environment created to dwell in.
National Geographic Redwood Portrait
Here is a coast redwood video link (below) from National Geographic about photographer Nichols working with a team of researchers to make a giant coast redwood portrait ... a composite image of 84 frames.
The project took 3 weeks, and the redwood photo was a centerpiece of National Geographic, October 2009.
You can see it here:
National Geophic - Making a Redwood Portrait
Other Places and Things to do
There are many places of interest among the north redwoods or in close proximity. Most are in northern California. Oregon Caves is near Cave Junction, west of Hiouchi and Jedediah Smith redwoods. Keep in mind Harris Beach State Park next to Brookings (Oregon campgrounds are among the best in the United States).
A play structure for children is barely 1 minute from Redwood Parks visitor center, Crescent City.
Trees of Mystery at Klamath, has a gondola ride and native American artifact museum. You can't miss is, because there is a huge Paul Bunyan and Babe the Ox. FYI ... the Brotherhood redwood there is the same General Custer redwood seen in old 1937 postcards. There is also an area set aside for redwood weddings. To conserve space, more suggestions were moved to another page ...
Click here to see more: Redwoods Travel. Places to See & Things to Do
Grove of Titans
This page began 2008 with a few photos from the Grove of Titans and Atlas Grove. Like Lost Monarch, Del Norte Titan, Sreaming Titans or Iluvatar. That evolved into all of what you see here. If you scroll up the page, there's a link for each one of those with information and photographs.
The parks provide no maps or directions to those particular redwoods.
Photo: Redwood "Chesty" Puller, courtesy of Gerald Beranek
99.99 % of redwood coast visitors will never see these in person, but the images and pages can at least give you opportunity to visualize what the redwood forest can develop as the centuries pass.
Read Grove of Titans or Atlas Grove & Project.
NOTE ... 5/8/13 ... Black Bear spotted @ Grove of Titans
The present existence of redwoods this large became more widely known following 2008 and Preston's best-seller redwood adventure book release. The main illustrator for that book was Andrew Joslin, shown in the images on the mini pics page: standing in Atlas Grove, 2011, on a trip to Redwood National and State Parks.
It is possible that a larger Coast Redwood exists than Lost Monarch in the Grove of Titans. Several hills and valleys remain unexplored in Redwood National and State Parks. In fact ... 2014 ... we discovered several new titans, one with a 25 ft. diameter trunk at dbh ... proof that giants remain hidden.
Book suggestions & online reading
I moved books and articles to their own section.
Richard Preston, Robert Van Pelt and National Geographic among them.
The 2012 Giant Sequoia article is included with the Coast Redwood 2009
Continue to more: Book Suggestions and Online READING
Odds & Ends
WW II Bombing in the "State of Jefferson": Japanese Fujita bombed the west coast, 1942, attempting to start fires near the northern redwoods near Crescent City & Brookings. inside a region known as the State of Jefferson, also the northern extent of the Coast Redwood natural range. Check these three:
Fujita Reference 1 | Reference 2 | Reference 3
Then, related to BIGFOOT are these other:
World's only Bigfoot Trap
Bigfoot Museum of Willow Creek
Hyperion, World's Tallest Redwood
Hyperion: 115.61m | 379.1' tall, 15.88' diameter Image Policy
Hyperion is the tallest in the world. Previously, Stratosphere Giant in Humboldt Redwoods State Park was the record. Hyperion coast redwood was discovered 2006, by Atkins and Taylor, who explored Redwood National Park. They found it not long after discovering Helios.
Prof. Steve Sillett and team climbed this redwood for a measurement filmed by National Geographic. The 2nd tallest Helios redwood is in the same park. Icarus the 3rd tallest is in the same grove near a nicknamed Dry Heaves Creek.
Continued with Larger Photo at: Hyperion Redwood Page
Dial California highway conditions
Traveling to the redwoods, check highway conditions.
Especially Hy. 199 & Hy. 101.
1 - 800 - 427 - 7623
Redwood parks visitor centers
Redwood National and State Parks visitors centers are perfect for specific questions like ... What dates are camping reservations available? ... How do we tell the difference between a Coast Redwood and Douglas Fir? ... How do I get a camping permit or gate pass for Redwood National Park? .... Is Howland Hill Road open? Is Fern Canyon accessible today?
Click here for list of Redwood Parks Information Centers & Phone numbers
Or choose this one for their Current Conditions information updates
Humboldt Redwoods State Park ... !!! ... this park's camping and hiking is is managed separately from the others at RNSP listed above. Humbold Redwoods State Park information can be found with these links:
Click here for Humboldt Redwoods State Park Information
Click here for Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association
PERMITS to EXPLORE (aka "Bushwhack"), FIND & MEASURE
Redwood National and State Parks have expressed the need for permits to explore and measure Coast Redwoods or other species. Hikers can disregard this, because hiking needs no permits, unless overnight camping in Redwood National or a couple of trails where you need a gate lock combination.
If you plan to bushwhack in Redwood National and State Parks, and expect to measure the diameter of trunks with a tape, laser, transit, relascope or other gadget, that's considered data gathering. And data collection falls under research permits.
Actually, suppose you tape-wrapped some trail-side or easy access redwoods to measure while hiking, that too would be data collection. Its an activity the average visitor doesn't do, plus its data related. The measuring is data collection even if its just diameters. Or, just heights.
Permits come from two sources depending whether its a state redwood park or Redwood National Park.
State Parks like Jedediah Smith, Prairie Creek, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, Humboldt Redwoods
Start with the Crescent City visitor center and request contact info for
Jay Harris, Senior Environmental Scientist
Redwood National Park
Start with the Kuchel Visitor Center near Orick, and request contact info for:
Wi-Fi internet hotspots
Wi-Fi Internet Suggestion In case you need to check email, share photos or find places on your vacation
This is a very challenging thing for me, because I like to tap into email, maps and other information, and 25% of the time, connections seem to vanish.
Lodging, motels, restaurants
Here are some restaurant & motels, several which I enjoy for dining and lodging when I travel Humboldt and Del Norte counties of Nor Cal.
Most are are clean, affordable and comfortable options.
Curly Redwood Lodge CRESCENT CITY on Highway 101. Near food & shopping. 5 minutes from the Redwood park. Rather huge rooms. Sparkling restrooms. Older but clean. Wi-Fi, cable TV. This is the motel which I have stayed at most often. Affordable Redwood National and State Parks lodging.
Hiouchi Motel HIOUCHI next door to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. WiFi, "well behaved" pets. Rooms quaint, sparkling clean. Near small market, restaurant, and fuel. Had microwave and small refrigerator.
Ravenwood Motel KLAMATH. Practically designer decorated, wireless Internet, Excellent rates, Lodging for fishing, hiking, or birding, vacation. Very comfortable. Friendly service. Redwood National and State Parks lodging. Woke up one morning here and forgot I was not at home. Beverage and food directly across the street.
The Chart Room CRESCENT CITY. An excellent restaurant for seafood and other meals. I eat there often. Overlook the ocean, harbor, sea lions and light house. The interior is spacious. The Servers seem to remain for years, which is nice.
Mazottis EUREKA | ARCATA . An Italian style restaurant. Clean, good atmosphere and many menu selections. Also beer, wine and full service bar. Open 7 days a week.
Photo: Select image to enlarge. Jenni of Arcata next to Melkor, one of the largest known Coast Redwoods. I also photographed Kiera of Crescent City. See more at redwood photo series
Discovery Inn EUREKA. First stay at this motel was 2012. Much better condition room and value than Motel 6 down the street. I would pick Discovery Inn for lodging any time. Clean room and bath. Fridge and WIFI worked. Convenient location. Right on Broadway / Highway 101
Bayview Motel EUREKA. Not a budget motel. Set up on a hill overlooking the town and bay. First stay here was with two other forest explorers: we got a 2 Queen Suite & adjoining single King. Nice balcony on 2nd floor.
Redwood Motel GRANTS PASS, Oregon. If you need a place close to I-5, Redwood Motel is one of the nicest around. An extra stepping stone to the coast or a comfortable room for a day drive to Jedediah Smith redwoods, The landscaping is gorgeous including coast redwood and giant sequoia.
The lobby has snacks, beverage coolers, coffee most of the day and a computer for internet browsing. There are plans to add Hyperion Suites, a new addition named after the tallest redwood. Check the website.
Humboldt Redwoods Inn GARBERVILLE. Liked the convenience of this motel right at the turn around for downtown, and close proximity to restaurants, grocery and fuel. South end of town.
Historic Hiouchi Cafe HIOUCHI / CRESCENT CITY. Located in the quant community of Hiouchi, almost adjacent to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and the Smith River. This restaurant is off the main redwood highway 199.
More motels, inns, Redwood National Park
Lodging & Restaurants continued >>> Redwood Vacation Lodging
Redwood information, facts and education
Redwood Education Guide Nearly 100 pages. For those who want to learn about the coast redwood community and help others. In one document, provides human history of the coast redwood region, science particular to the coast redwood ecosystem, how to set up and conduct a field trip to a redwood park, lessons for before, during, and after a park visit.
Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Along the Eel River, Humboldt Redwoods State Park has over 53,000 acres, old-growth redwoods. 250 camp sites, 100 miles of hiking, biking, riding trails.
Redwood Parks Association Established to assist California State Parks. Educational & Interpretive. The Redwood Park Association merged with the North Coast Redwood Interpretive Association. Both have a long history of funding interpretive staff, events, exhibits, signs, and publications.
Redwood Profile by Flower Essence Society. Coast Redwood is Sequoia sempervirens.
Highway 199 ~ Redwood Highway Check out the Redwood Information and Map option too. Highway 199 is the main travel corridor between Redwood National Park and Crater Lake National Park
Sequoia sempervirens And informative page on Coast Redwoods with a lot of info and photos
Coast Redwood and Giant Sequioia: Compare Coast Redwood with Giant Sequoia at Wikipedia.
A bit different, but related, see Archangel Archive Propagate & Reforest. They also propagate Redwoods.
Tours, Guides, Adventure
Redwood Adventures REDWOOD ADVENTURES has tours, hiking, more. Orick. Family vacation, romantic holiday, wedding. retreats. Full hospitality to visitors of Redwood State Parks. They know how to cook too. A group I enjoy stopping by to visit.
Exploring with M. D. Vaden - Exploring as time permits. Available to those who have a huge appreciation for coast redwoods. These are basically personal get-together adventures.
The Redwood Coast Nature Guide Jenny Hanson, naturalist and nature guide for the Redwood Coast. Guided trips for individuals, families, and small groups, including people with physical limitations. Local naturalist services to bus tours, conventions, and large groups. Based in Eureka, California. Services from Humboldt Redwoods State Park in the south to Jedediah Smith State Park and Crescent City in the north
FYI - the Guide site www.gilbertredwoodexcursions.com is inactive. But Redwood Ed as he's called, is still out and about,. His site www.redwood-ed.com is operational.
JETBOAT TOURS. 3 choices. Klamath: Klamath River Jetboat. Gold Beach, Oregon: Jerrys Rogue Jets Grants Pass Hellgate Jetboat Excursions - Rogue River.
Gifts & Souvenirs
Burl n' Drift 28101 Avenue of the Giants. Family owned and operated since 1967. Fine Quality Redwood Souvenirs. (This is one of the best redwood gift shops I have been to).
This is at the Ancient Redwoods RV Park and home of the Hollow Log Truck When you park, look for the Immortal Redwood next to the gift shop.
Campgrounds, RV resorts
Redwoods RV Resort RV, tent and cabin camping under soaring Sitka Spruce, Douglas fir and Coast Redwoods.
KOA Redwoods Campground - Crescent City, California. 17 forested acres
Ancient Redwoods RV Park Hollow Log Truck home. Redcrest. Avenue of the Giants by Founders grove. One mile north of Redcrest, California, on the world famous Avenue of the Giants.
The park sits near Rockefeller Forest and Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center.
Riverwalk RV Park Fortuna. Campground by the Eel River. Immaculate. Cabins, RV and Tent camping.
M. D. Vaden Cargo Trailer Conversion The switch from RV trailer to cargo trailer camping. A growing trend for , light weight and affordable do-it-yourself camping.
Redwood photo: Select image to enlarge. Giant Cathedral Redwood, aka Fairy Ring, in Prairie Creek. Woman shown for scale is Kiera from Crescent City
Drive Through Redwoods M. D. Vaden page about the 3 Drive Through Redwoods: Chandelier, Shrine, Tour Thru
Drive Through Redwood Leggett Chandelier drive-thru redwood. Gift shop. Dawn to dusk. Best looking of the 3 drive-though.
Drive Through Redwoods Information USDA & Forest Service pages about the drive through redwoods.
Photography Workshop Info ... 2014 .... Photo Permit Info ...
Here's where I'm at on Photography Workshops ...
Down the road, I hope to offer workshops in the Coast Redwoods, but presently am not very strong technically speaking. My strength leans toward composition and picking the right location for time of day or weather. Fair to say though ... I looked at workshop pages of some photographers related to Coast redwoods and I would pick my photos over about half of what I see. If you are adept but just need comfort and reliability of photographng with someone who knows the lay of the land, drop a note and maybe we can arrange something. If you are a beginner needing technical help. I won't be the sharpest tool in the drawer; but not the dullest tool either.
Permits and Photography in the Redwoods ... Photographer professionals ... a note for you ...
To all you photographers out there, especially professionals ... the parks require permits for some photography. If you call the visitor center at Crescent City or the permit coordinator there, they can clarify. But here's a few things I gathered:
If your equipment is compact like a camera and tripod, no permit should be required for landscape photography and photos of redwoods, trails, creeks, etc.. If you plan help from a model for commercial use, that needs a permit, including portfolio. Stands, lights and reflectors, etc., enter the realm of commercial photography from their point of view. Photography workshops need a permit. and with that insurance, an apparent obstacle for some applicants.
Wish you well on your 2014 photography adventures,
Tips for photography in the Redwoods
Some basics for taking photographs in the coast redwoods.