Humboldt Redwoods State Park


What? : 

Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a large park along highway 101 corridor. The park containing and protecting Rockefeller Forest, the world's largest remaining contiguous old-growth forest of coast redwoods.


This location is part of my "Redwood Parks at Northern California Coastline" road-trip suggestions and trip planner blog.

Link to the trip planner blog

Additional nearby highway 101 things to see can be found in my Blog:


Where? : 

Located 170 miles north of Santa Rosa alongside highway 101 and the Avenue Of The Giants Scenic Road, from Myer Flat at the south to Redcrest at the north.

Google Map Link


When? : 

Year round. Between October and May, the park receives about 80 inches of rain. Fog is not as common as at the coastline.


Due note 1: The Park is located along the main south-north highway 101, this is an excellent place to plan a short stop, breakpoint at your long drive and enjoy a short hike at the redwoods.


Due note 2: This area was more densely populated before European incursion than it is now. Today, more than 10 percent of the population of Humboldt County are Native American, including many people of Sinkyone descent who live along the North Coast.


My thoughts: 

I visit this park on my way north and I found it worth the stop. This is a large park and I only visit a small section of it, visiting few old-growth Redwood Groves. The side-drive onto Mattole Rd is an excellent way to see the redwoods from your car or to enjoy few short redwoods forest hikes.


The redwoods:

California’s coast redwoods (sequoia sempervirens) exist in a narrow band that runs for 500 miles from Monterey to just over the Oregon border. The redwoods follow the rain and fog at elevations below 2,000 feet, where heavy winter rains and moderate year-round temperatures occur. Trees can grow up to 350 feet tall or more, with a base diameter of about 20 feet.

Redwoods are “living fossils” dating back 100 million years to the Cretaceous Period- the time of the dinosaurs. The oldest coast redwoods are about 2,000 years old.

As result of extensive logging activity in Between 1880 and the early 1900s, thousands of acres of old-growth redwoods had disappeared; Series of state and national parks in northern California protect the remaining of the old-growth Redwoods.

In 1994, NPS and California State Parks agreed to co-manage four parks: Del Norte Coast, Prairie Creek and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks, and Redwood National Park. Managing the parks together provides protection and preservation of more than 105,000 acres of redwood forest.

After the logging only about 5% of old growth Redwood exist today, 95% of them are in northern California and 80% of them are already protected in one of the parks.


The visit:

Today Humboldt Redwoods Park spans 53,000 acres, about one third, or 17,000 acres, of the park is old-growth redwood forest, the largest expanse of ancient redwoods left on the planet.

This Park offers one of the best places to see redwoods by car: the 32-mile-long Avenue of the Giants Scenic Road parallel to highway 101. Another highly recommended drive is the Mattole Rd., a narrow side road that wind in between the giant redwood trees and offer several hiking options along the road.

Park headquarters and the visitor center are located on the Avenue of the Giants, State Route 254, between the towns of Weott and Myers Flat.


My Park Visit Description:

In my visit description below I will cover only the locations I visit.

There are many more things to see and do in this park.


Avenue of the Giants Scenic Road:

Heading north from San Francisco using highway 101, 157 miles north of Santa Rosa I took the south entrance into Avenue of the Giants Scenic Road.

This one lane road find it path parallel to highway 101 and the South Fork Eel River, wind its way through the Redwood forests.

5 miles into Avenue of the Giants drive I took exit to my left into at Maple Hill Rd. (this road can connect you back to 101).

Just before you are crossing the bridge over the river there is a small roadside parking and on your left side a short 4x4 trail that will take you to the river level below the bridge.

This is a nice river beach, wide and covered with pebbles, during summer months and if there isn’t any poison algae restriction you can swim here.


After my river visit, I kept driving north, passing the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center, I reached the South Fork Eel River bridge. I turn left onto Lower Bull Creek Flats Rd just under the 101 bridge, this road transform into Mattole Road and enter the danse Redwood forest.

Mattole Road is one of the best drives I did at an old-grove redwoods, early morning sunlight penetrating through the tall trees canopy, narrow and winding road between the trees, and only few other cars contribute to my morning experience.


I stop and hike the Rockefeller Grove Loop:

Once driving on Mattole Rd. you will see sign to a single-lane road to your left (look for signs), this short road will take you to a small parking.

The Rockefeller Grove, at the confluence of Bull Creek and the Eel River, an excellent place to enjoy old redwood forest. A short 0.7 loop hike start at the small parking lot, I did it counterclockwise, but it can be done in the opposite direction.

The trail passes between the huge trees, it passes a huge fallen tree, soon after it turn right near to Bull Creek, this section has many towering, big redwood trees.

After short walk the trail turns right to the direction of the parking lot. It enter another dens redwood grove just before the parking.

Overall, this is a short 20–30-minute hike but very rewording.


Giant Tree Grove:

Keep driving west on Mattole Road until you will reach the turn left into Big Tree parking.


Here you can find the Giant Tree that once was considered to be the largest redwood. The Giant Tree is on the remote, south, side of Bull Creek.

Cross the seasonal Bull Creek footbridge and turn left, most people just looking at the Gian tree and go back but the short loop trail on the far side of the creek offers impressive views of huge redwoods.






Additional Pictures:


  1. Replies
    1. thanks for your correction !
      Unfortunately in blogger you can't change anything in the blog title once it was published


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