Copyright 2009 - 2017 by Mario Vaden
Helios coast redwood was discovered July 1, 2006, a little past 6pm by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor in Redwood National Park. Previously, Stratosphere Giant was the tallest known. Helios became the tallest for a while until Hyperion was discovered by the same two men later that year in another valley on August 25, 2006. Also July 1, less than an hour after discovering Helios, they found Icarus which was 371' tall. That was 2 world records in one hour. The area of Helios Grove was nicknamed Dry Heaves Creek, mentioned in the book by Preston.
The only people I've been here with are Chris Atkins and Thomas from Germany, introduced on New Hope Grove
For the present, I'm not posting a full lower trunk view to maintain an element of mystery. Winter 2017 digging through old folders, I found an image from years ago on a day we went back to Helios grove that doesn't provide compromising detail of the area. That image is at the very end of the page.
Rhododendrons are all over the place, and those are the stems you see obscuring the big trunk. The only glimpse I used to offer for Helios was a small area of bark with a little fire scar. I thought it was interesting, shaped like a Megaladon or Great White Shark tooth. Like many other coast redwoods, Helios offers textures and shapes for the imagination.
For reference, in 2009 measurement for Helios was 375.9' or 114.58 m high, and 16.0' or 4.96 m diameter. The 2006 measurements and 2009 measurements mean Helios was only about 4 feet shorter than Hyperion. By 2012, the gap closed even more. If it happens to surpass the tallest, its doubtful the change will be announced. Dr. Sillett quit releasing names with data, and because the ten tallest changed heights nobody outside the researchers and a handful of explorers really know whether or not these redwoods are still in the top ten. Any claims outside those few are speculation. But it's a fact that Helios was the world's 2nd tallest known in 2006, with added emphasis on "known"
Surprisingly, early 2017. someone photographed the standing trunk of Helios and didn't have a clue what it was. They weren't looking for it either. I was browsing sites like Flickr, FB and 500px, and one image seemed very familiar. I went into my Helios folder and realized it was the same trunk shot from almost the same exact angle. Apparerently that person has a tendency to wander into forest the way I used to, and still do. It seemed so peculiar that someone not looking for Helios would pass and photograph it, while countless other people were still searching intentionally, without a trace of sighting. But I understand why they chose it for their photo because it really stands out ... really stand out.
Update: a February 2017 photo that offers a small clue.