Copyright 2008 - 2015 by Mario Vaden
Updated June , 2015
Note: ... new largest coast redwood discoveries ... see Year of Discovery
Hyperion coast redwood was discovered August 25, 2006 by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor. It was one of 3 world record Coast Redwoods found the same year in Redwood National Park. The three redwoods found in 2006 were Hyperion, Helios and Icarus. By 2013, heights of the 20 tallest shuffled the deck, and Redwood National Park does not hold 3 tallest moving into 2014.
This Coast Redwood was the tallest known of all plant species in the world from 2006 to 2013.
The 2012 measurement was 115.66m or 379.46' high, 15.2' diameter at dbh or 4.5' above average grade.
It is mostly a single stem redwood with fire charring on the trunk. Hyperion looks like a stereotypical Sequoia sempervirens.
The stem length on the low side was 386 feet. Its location is a hillside above a brook or creek of Redwood National Park.
Around August 26, 2006, forest expert Dr. Robert VanPelt referred to this redwood as "unnamed" and wrote "The most significant year in tree height measuring just joined the ranks of years like 1066, 1492, etc."
The facts available for Hyperion are limited and the location remote.
During the first climb, shown by National Geographic, researcher Steve Sillett said foliage near the top was not as reduced in size as expected. The needles still had some "expansion" indicating potential for extra height.
Prior to 2010, a plane flew over several redwood parks for LiDAR, but left the door open for more unknown super tall redwoods, because a large amount of Redwood National Park was skipped.
A lot of people thought there was no chance another largest coast redwood trunk existed either, but one (or more) was found anyway. Chance has potential.
Helios, the 2nd tallest (2006 to 2013) was growing more vigorously than Hyperion. Michael Taylor, a co-discoverer, noted it would overtake Hyperion. This kind of back and forth between which is tallest, has been going on for centuries.
The photo here is the coast redwood Hyperion. There should be a small pic you can use for blogs pre-approved if you visit the image use page.
Trivia for Tallest Coast Redwoods
From 2010 to 2014 in Nor Cal, the tallest of several species experienced height change ranging from moderate to mind-bogling growth. Changes in height occured up and down the redwood coast. You may have noticed a little about this on my pages for Bigleaf Maple and Western Hemlock.. Some changes in height virtually vaporized the idea of "growth rate". Some trunk tops elongated more through the drought year of 2014 than three or four previous years all combined together.
The largest waterway is Redwood Creek with Prairie Creek as largest tributary. Lost Man Creek is another tributary. Among this web of waterways and slopes, stand quite a few Coast Redwoods over 350 feet, including Hyperion.
When I first found Hyperion, I chose a route that involved water over my waist. These days, I can find a route there without stepping in a millimeter of water ... apparently debunking another piece if author Preston's narrative.
My favorite story by others is a 2007 Above and Beyond by Clynes. If still online, see ... Above and Beyond Article
The narrative sounds like they picked Redwood Creek trailhead close to Orick.
That article opens weighing options in hours and pints of blood. Their first search party had a 75% casualty rate for injuries the first day.
I found interesting quirks comparing Preston's book with Clynes story.
Image: my photography assistant with a Canon camera at the base of the trunk. It was unusually warm that day ... 80 degrees ... the sheer dress was perfect attire.
Clynes never did find Hyperion, but he closes his story with a great appreciation for the forest. Its worth the read.
Clynes contacted co-discoverer Chris Atkins afterward to chat. Around April, 2015, Chris and I stopped somewhere for an IPA and supper, where I asked about his conversation with Clynes. and what ne actually told him. Keep in mind, if someone hiked 6 miles and passed a hill or creek the first mile with something up there, it would be accurate to say you "passed" something. Words have a lot of wiggle room.
I reread Above and Beyond recently. Clynes mentioned an "hour" of "sloshing". That should extend a 1/2 mile up one of several streams. The narrative indicates one of the next areas was farther, so they probably went a full mile one of the next days. Far enough to reach a distance equal to solitide grove or the "oasis". The article opening about 10 ft. log jams erases the first 1/3 to 1/2 mile of several tributaries: connoting pace; possibly accounting for the casualty rate. Coming out of the gate, the story has a McArthur Creek vibe. But the Rhody patches ring true of spots like Forty Four creek or Elam creek's north slope.
Clynes never really says how many days they spent. The "last" day in the context of the call to Atkins remains a mystery. Some people assume the last stretch that Clynes explains is the last day. Whether they looked for 2 days or 5 days, he doesn't clarify. Clynes was secretive with his writing; most landmark names are omitted.
In the beginning, the park's ranger made the effort to lead their attention to a specific stand of redwoods and one part of the park. That's about the only time that Clynes names a spot they went. Afterward, they leave, then study maps for where to lead themselves.
One of the few places in the story that raises eyebrows, is the statement "I turned discreetly and scanned the steep, mazelike country upstream. Somewhere up there, Hyperion had been quietly holding forth for decades". Considering the exact spot the ranger took them, Clynes thought and comment was directed at minimum toward Bridge Creek and Emerald Creek.
Helios is so close in diameter and height, someone could mistake it for Hyperion. But virtually every seeker goes to the park without a laser rangefinder. So practically any 12 ft. to 16 ft. diameter redwood could be mistaken, gazing from a distance.
In the future as new data is released, names are not expected to accompany the data. It may be unavailable for more people to know when the tallest cooast redwoods have actually traded places. I don't think it will be announced anymore.
A change was made (elsewhere) for how redwood information will be published in the future. And many readers will probably not realize when another redwood replaces another as the tallest known. Likewise, complete collapses like Dyerville Giant may not be evident in data.
It has been suspected that discoverers, researchers and park staff laid an elaborate web of false clues. I will not confirm or deny that theory, but will confirm that a few Grove of Titans clues were backwards. If the conspiracy theory is even partially right, searchers can be drawn continually into a modern redwood version of Greek mythology: the legend of Sisyphus and his impossible task.
Keyhole in the Landscape
Richard Preston wrote of a keyhole in the landscape, leading to Hyperion Valley. For years, it made no sense.
Image: cleaning lens in Redwood National Park, the same day my photography assistant, above, helped me get more images
March 28, 2015
80 tallest found ...
One interesting redwood enthusiast out there is a guy from Humboldt. I will use a Pseudonym "Juan Montenegro". Juan located what were the 20 tallest known Coast Redwoods. Plus at least 80 of the approximately 220 tallest known Coast Redwoods over 350 ft. tall.
A good example of why most people don't need a "bone" tossed their direction.
So remember, you don't need to email for hints. Follow Juan's example and find redwoods through common sense and intuition.
Dec. 1, 2014
A woman in uniform at a redwood park visitor center near Orick, ended a conversation claiming I "mislead" people. If she means this page, she is wrong. This page is 100% accurate, excepting typo. If people take take my info and assemble assumptions, that is their responsibility. From this page, people can only mislead themselves if they make it into more than what it is.
January 11, 2015
Reports about rangers and clues ... I had a conversation with rangers regarding emails about "rangers" dropping hints. Over years, I received a bunch of emails saying they got pointed to locations. The messages usually wrote "ranger". The rangers I spoke with said nobody at their location would do that. But preponderance of emails suggests there is some substance to the story they may not be aware of. Others got similar feedback. So if any of you can connect more dots, feel free to share.
June 11 - 18, 2015 ... "Pwned" by Mother Nature
This should be an interesting year to hear where people scratch and claw their way through Redwood National Park. Reason being ... I just recalled tonight, someone telling me last year, that they observed some folks in the right vicinity of the park, and they believe the group (or pair) completely missed Hyperion. Walked right by it. So of all the people looking last year (and I know there was a bunch of them), a few were scouting the correct region and got "pwned" by Mother Nature. The question remains whether they will abandon the right area permanently, or retrace their steps more carefully.
Within the last week, I learned that one particular seeker from out of state is definitely focused on the wrong region. Should the same saga continue, they may have more than one summer's hunt ahead. It will be interesting to see which travelers choose the hamster wheel or not, this year. If someone travels west solely to relax in the Coast Redwoods ... no path will go to waste though.
June 22, 2015
On the ENTS forums today, it was compelling to post about the 23' diameter titan I don't recall anybody spotting since 2008 when it was found. Especially in 2014, considering the particular quests for Hyperion. I can see the narrow 14 footer slipping right by someone. But I'm surprised about the 23 footer. I recently gave it an alter-ego name Romulan Titan for it's cloaking device. The illusive 23 footer drives home the point why a few of the tallest hide like like giant Chameleons.
December 25, 2014
Who is the photo assistant? A few inquired.
It's Jen ... and she's the one who inspired redwood photos with dresses.
Jen also enjoys image adjusting, video and editing. Jenni is her stage name. Our first shoots were in Eureka and Humboldt.
At the time she worked in Eureka as a dancer and model. I first met her through her friend Lotus (mentioned on my page about the Knotty Lady redwood).
There were also photo sessions with her friend Lotus. Those set the foundation of my redwood portraiture and art photography displayed at the redwood coast: some in motels, gallery, magazines and brochures.
May 30th, 2015, I hung about 12 prints and prints on canvas in the Crescent Harbor Art Gallery for June Artist of the month. Jenni was in at least four of those. Recalling the day ... we did one more photo shoot that same day ... Jenni and her friend Misty, pole dancing down in Humboldt.
We tinkered with artistic photography in at least 3 parks, beach, city streets and some tourist attractions.
The world's tallest maple was named Humboldt Honey after a photo of Jenni taken near Koster St.. in Eureka, by a huge stack of logs. We also photographed her in a redwood grove where the tallest maple was located, the same day.
Jenni enjoys the outdoors of Humboldt, photos, dancing and yoga. It should be evident from the photo ... she has the stamina to for a lot of fun and adventure.
When she helped with the tall redwood, it was mainly personal documentary photography and appreciation of redwood forest. We both enjoy redwoods a lot.