Humboldt Redwoods State Park - Big Trees Loop Trail


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 Blog is dedicated to the Big Trees Loop Trail, located at the west side of the park along Mattol Rd.

This is a fun easy and flat hike in very impressive old growth of Redwood trees near the Bull Creek River.



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

Link to trip planner blog


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

Highway 101Attractions between Leggett to Avenue of the Giants



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.

From the small town of Weott drive north on highway 101 (or drive on Avenue of the Giants, highway 254), Take exit 663, turn left (north) into road 254 and short after turn left (under the bridge) into Bull Creek Flat Road that change to Mattol Rd.

Drive west on Mattol Rd., Pass Rockefeller Loop entrance, and after 4.4 miles you will see the entrance to Big Trees Day-use Area parking lot on your left.

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 for a short stop, breakpoint at your long drive north, and enjoy a short hike at the redwoods.


Due note 2: There are restrooms at the trailhead.



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.


Additional Blogs on Nearby Locations:

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.


My Park Visit Description: I will cover only the locations I visit. There are many more things to see and do in this park.

This Blog will cover only the big Tree Loop Trail and for more information about the park please read:


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.


Giant Tree Grove Hike:

Overall, this loop trail is only 0.5 mile long.

You can extend it by hiking sections of the Bull Creek South Trail.


In my view this short walk is one of the most enjoyable hikes in Humboldt Redwoods Park. You can see here Giant Tree, at height of 366.5 ft it was considered the world’s biggest coast redwood (during the 90s), since then, other bigger trees replace him as number one.


There is a hike in the north side of the creek, but the Giant Tree is on the remote, south, side of Bull Creek.

The small parking lot is located just near the creek and the Big Tree trail is on the other side.

During summertime you can cross the creek, if it is not dry completely, using seasonal footbridge.


In winter, when the river flow is strong there’s no footbridge.

It is not recommended to cross the strong current river.

You can cross by walking across the huge fallen redwood near the trailhead that is simply spanning over the river.


After crossing the river turn left.

A short hike along the river will lead you to the base of the Giant Tree. When I visit here (March 2023) the wooden deck surrounding the base of the tree was damaged.

After enjoying the tree keep walking on the trail heading far from the river.

After a short walk you will reach a trail junction with Bull Creek South Trail. Here you can take left doing the short loop back or you can take left and enjoy this section of the old grove.

After a short walk you will reach to a wooden bridge crossing a side creek, here you can walk back to the main loop or continue Bull Creek South Trail.

Once you are on the loop heading west you will reach a turn to the right (in the direction of the river), this is the loop trail. If the trail heading left and you start to climb up the slope you missed this exit.

From here this is only a short hike back to the location you cross the river and the parking lot.

This is a fun hike, short easy and flat, and it cover nice old growth redwood grove.









Additional Pictures: