North California Coast Redwood Forest
Big redwood near trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods

Coast Redwood | 14th Largest
Prairie Creek Redwoods SP

Copyright 2010 - 2015 by Mario Vaden

This big redwood is the 14th largest known (2013) coast redwood, in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park near Foothill Trail.

North of Orick and South of Klamath. About 1 minute drive down the road from the visitor center. There is parking with a sign by the roadside for directions. The wood sign got clobbered late winter 2014 when a 4' diameter trunk fell across Dury Parkway. But the sign was repaired.

286 feet tall and a 23.7' diameter dbh trunk. 28,619 ft cubic feet (2014)

This is not the "3rd widest" or "3rd largest" in case you read that somewhere, but its still a grand old beauty of the redwood parks.There were at least 4 older discoveries that were wider, including Del Norte Titan 23.7', Godwood Creek Giant 24.5', Lost Monarch 25.5' / 26.0' and Arco Giant 24.4'. With new 2013 - 2015 discoveries and measurements, the Big Redwood of Prairie Creek is surpassed by no less than seven others for average trunk width. But just stop by and take a walk. Its huge ... you will enyoy it a lot.

One photo from 2008 shows the spot when there was just the rail in front. The bottom photo shows part of a large deck built over the root system on it's east side. Normally I don't like decks around specimen trunks, but this one looks okay. I like the woman's stance because it fits with the hand-on-the-hip look of the big curved limb on the side of the trunk. Reminds me of a tea cup handle.

It was listed taller than 300', but I remeasured it 2012 or 2013 with help from Alan Justice, PhD (retired medical neurology researcher, Prairie Creek visitor center volunteer (and 3rd place winner in Save the Redwood League's 2013 photo contest w/ his Spotted Owl photo near the Klamath River). We started about 500 feet away down Drury Parkway and worked our way back to the trunk with a laser rangefinder and prism. Hence, 286 ft.

The big redwood appears to be a curly redwood judging from a large piece of stem that fell down near it. Curly redwood is not rare, but not common. If you walk to it from the parking area, look for what has the appearance of a fallen log about shoulder height. Check out the pattern and grain of the exposed wood.

There are epiphytes growing on it including evergreen huckleberry. Some redwoods like this are nature's orchards for wildlife.

This Sequoia sempervirens is just a little big larger than the Giant redwood near Avenue of the Giants and Rockefeller Forest in the Bull Creek Flats area. This one in in Prairie Creek redwoods is more or less available all year long, whereas the one down south can be inaccessible when the creek level rises in winter. Although Drury Parkway may have gates closed sometimes for winter blow-down of debris or trunks, the big redwood is within short walking distance of the visitor center, so it can be reached with a short walk during the few gate closures.

North of this big redwood is one of the tallest Coast Redwoods in the park, although you may not be able to tell. But you may catch a glimpse of an unusual trunk that Dr. Steve Sillett of HSU was shown circling in a National Geographic / Nat Geo Discovery Channel video.


Big redwood in Prairie Creek Redwoods


Big redwood in Prairie Creek Redwoods