Copyright 2008 - 2015 by Mario Vaden ~ Updated August, 2015
Note: ... New largest coast redwood discoveries & Grogan's Fault at 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.
Even if location clues leak, my tendency withholds hints. Most who put forth more effort in the past appreciated the redwoods more: the entire scene growing around it. If you were ever familiar with a few who leaked clues ... say to Lost Monarch ... you can understand the aesthetic downgrade and selfishness of those who do not truly appreciate the whole picture.
Our visits were so careful, we literally fluffed footprints from needles to erase any trace. Leaving picture-perfect for whoever may find their way someday. These days, a few lurk around who are the antithesis to us.
Actually, few really know Hyperion for certain. A few claim claim finding it. Virtually everyone didn't measure to ascertain if whether correct, a decoy or mistake. Most carried pictures assumed the real McCoy. So if anyone tells you they found it, odds are near nil they confirmed a measurement to know.
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 represents the coast redwood Hyperion. Other people have offered Stratosphere Giant as a Hyperion photo, from Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This photo is a redwood in Redwood National Park.
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 unfolds as if they 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 tall Coast Redwood trunk. It was unusually warm that day ... 80 degrees the first day of May.
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. Keep in mind, if someone hiked 6 miles and passed a hill or creek eveb the first mile with something up there, it would be accurate to say you "passed" something.
I reread Above and Beyond recently. Clynes mentioned at least an "hour" of "sloshing". That can extend 1/2 mile up one of several creeks. The narrative indicates one of the next days was even farther, so they could have gone up a full mile, maybe more. Far enough to match a distance equal to solitide grove, or the "oasis". The article beginning with 10 ft. log jams (or jams of 10 ft. logs) erases several brooks or creeks. 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 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 Clynes explains is the last day. But whether they actually looked 2 days or 5 days, he doesn't reveal. Clynes was secretive with his writing; most landmark names are omitted.
In the beginning, the park's ranger made the effort to draw their attention to a specific stand of redwoods and one part of the park. That's about the only time Clynes names a spot they went. Afterward, they left to study maps for where to lead themselves. They went to the visitor center south of Orick for a "better" map. Its uncertain what map they started with or whether a ranger provided any at the "headquarters" (operations center) earlier in the story.
One section in the narrative that reveals their thoughts 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' believing and comment was directed up toward Bridge Creek, Emerald Creek, etc..
Page Header Image & Clynes' Above and Beyond
The recent page header image was added in relation to Clynes' Above and Beyond article. Its a spot a few miles up Redwood Creek from where he "descreetly scanned the steep, mazelike country". Its like nature's Olympic swimming pool ... but bigger and more beautiful.
There is a small waterfall to the right. The expansive stretch of water in the panorama image is more than 620 ft. from left to right. I included a single frame at the bottom of the page with Atkins swimming to show the size of one of the big boulders and the depth of the water: Chris is actually standing in the shallow.. There was minimal for gravel bar at this point. The boulder in front of Chris is so large that it shows up on a satellite image.
In regards to navigation, this area or the waterfall to the right, are like a type of keyhole. The area is reminiscent of one other narrative by somebody else, because its very close to a 4 mile jaunt from a particular forest road and parking. We saw otters, ducks and other wildlife up there. Very peaceful.
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. If the conspiracy theory is partially right, searchers can be drawn 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 a while, it made no sense.
Eventually, I realized that one or two spots in the park can be described as a keyhole.
Image: cleaning lens in Redwood National Park, the same day my photography assistant, above, helped me get more images
March 28, 2015 ... 80 tallest
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.
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. From this page, people can only mislead themselves if they make it into more than what it is.
July 18, 2015
This could have be Dec. 1 "Part 2" ... even though I have another edwood in mind . Because recently a couple of people sent messages assuming they know the name of a largest redwood. And the one-word name they wrote got me curious, since no name was ever specified. So I asked one person, and found the trend continues to make things 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 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.
December 25, 2014
Who is the photo assistant? A few inquired.
Jenni ... the one who inspired redwood photos with dresses.
She 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 ... another, found on a networking site for photographers, makeup artists and models.
Those set the foundation of my redwood portraiture and art photography displayed at the redwood coast: some in motels, gallery, magazines and brochures. We also tinkered with artistic photography at the 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. Also on account that I 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 flexibility and stamina for a lot of 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.