Copyright 2009 - 2106 by Mario Vaden
North of Redwood National Park and Orick, in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, is a primeval stand of redwoods, a Valley of the Lost Groves. The valley contains a hidden, ancient looking forest setting with several "mutant" redwoods.
This valley of redwoods was nicknamed fairly recently ... more of a renaming.
People do not realize how extensive it really is. Valley of the Lost Groves extends over a rise and to where Sitka Spruce of extreme height are found. "Fingers" of the valley reach nearly 2 miles x 3/4 mile. The Gargoyle redwood stands nearby on a ridge overlooking one side of the lost groves valley.
Reference for the grove is mostly word of mouth. At the visitor centers, people in the office will probably not provide maps there if you ask.
Image: Mutant Redwood. There is another page for it with more photos.
The aim of this page is to set for the record that if you hear about a valley of lost groves ... it does exist. It is not the Grove of Titans or Atlas Grove that you may have read about in Richard Preston's book. It's worth noting that a confusing map was circulated for a while, confusing people with the notion that it's half it's size or less.
It is literally a full valley of redwoods: a valley of lost groves, similar to to how ancient temple ruins are abandoned over time and engulfed by the forest.
The only information I feel worth sharing is this ...
The unusual redwoods and groves are scattered within the midst of a full valley. There are giant redwoods, tall redwoods and some very new discoveries. Since things this big can't be hidden, it's not tremendously hard to find for those who are diligent.
Although, locating some of our discoveries there may be exceedingly difficult if not near impossible, because 90% of people who go there imagine a quarter of the valley is the whole valley. And, it's so darn easy to miss something in the redwoods, especially when so many other trunks stand in the way and cloak one another.
The most unusual tree may be the Colossus redwood. From a distance it looks like a huge heap of organic matter: a living dome of tissue over 20' wide at the base. Its not the the Mutant redwood in the photo shown above. The Colossus is dome shaped. It does not appear to be redwood burl. It has a root growing out of it into the air, then fused back into it, almost serpent-like.
The Colossus, Gargoyle, Cathedral, etc., should be in my main redwood page menu under the large or unusual headings. Take a moment to read about those and many other coast redwoods.
Image: Colossus Redwood (a living dome)
This valley of lost groves has a Titanic example of a cathedral redwood, one of the largest in the redwood parks. You may be familiar with what those are. The Redwood region has dozens of gorgeous hidden valleys, and the Valley of the Lost Groves is about as unique as they come.
This may be inspiration to slow down in other parts fo the park when your explore. Several trails have exceptional redwoods that often go unnoticed while hikers pass by. I share this as an encouragement to take your time.