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The Avenue of the Giants: Redwoods National Park!

Updated: Mar 13


Giant Redwood
Giant Redwood

The Avenue of the Giants is in Humboldt County, California located near Eureka. It is known for its stunning scenery and outdoor activities. The Avenue of the Giants is a 31-mile scenic drive that runs parallel to US Highway 101. The drive takes visitors through some of the most majestic redwood forests in the world, with towering trees that can reach up to 350 feet tall. Today's post will contain a little bit of history, attractions, food and accommodations nearby. Located a little bit over 4 hours north of San Francisco in Northern California, it appears to be a whole difference world compared to the concrete jungles of San Fran. With an old-growth redwood forest located just an easy drive away from the major city, provides a wonderful long weekend getaway, or an easy place to fly into and rent a car to spend a weeklong vacation exploring the coastal redwoods of Route 1 near Fort Bragg and Mendocino Beach area and the Avenue of Giants located in the Humboldt National and State Parks.


I loved my time exploring the acres of redwood groves, in awe of their massiveness. This area as a whole, along with the beaches that are nearby, make a for wonderful memories you will treasure for a lifetime. The north, west coast of California and the California redwoods will take your breath away.


A little bit of history:

The area's history began millions of years ago when the coastal redwood trees started to grow along the Pacific Northwest coast of North America. Over time, these forests were affected by climate change, shifting sea levels, and volcanic activity.


Sarah inside a redwood
My friend Sarah inside a Redwood

The first humans arrived in the area around 5,000 years ago, and the local Native American tribes depended on the redwood forests for food, shelter, and tools. When Europeans arrived in the area in the mid-19th century, they were initially attracted by the gold rush, but soon realized the value of the redwood forests for timber.


In the early 1900s, a group of conservationists led by John C. Merriam and Newton B. Drury worked to preserve the redwood forests and establish a park. In 1921, they succeeded in convincing the state of California to purchase a large parcel of land in the area, which became Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Beautiful tree
Beautiful tree

The Avenue of the Giants was established in the 1920s as a scenic route through the park, and it quickly became a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Over the years, the park has been expanded, and today it covers over 50,000 acres, including some of the most iconic redwood groves in the world.


Today, the Avenue of the Giants, which is located in the Humboldt State Park, is open year-round, and visitors can take a leisurely drive through the towering forest, stop at scenic overlooks and picnic areas, hike or bike on nearby trails, or camp overnight in one of the park's campgrounds. This is the largest expanse of ancient redwoods in the world.


Attractions

Visitor Centers: There are several visitor centers along the Avenue of the Giants, including the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center and the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center. These centers offer maps, brochures, and information on hiking trails and other attractions in the area. There are some amazing things to look at in the visitor center, from fossils, taxidermy, to souvenir shopping.


Take some time and look at Rockefeller Forest, Dyerville Giant, Founders Tree in the Founders Grove area, the tiny town of Scotia, Garberville, Ferndale and the Historic Logging Museum. Also explore the coast redwoods near Shelter Cove, there is just something about the tall trees standing within view of the ocean that makes for a magical experience. Myers Flat to the south is another beautiful place, where I spotted a herd of Roosevelt Elks. You will notice these soaring trees all around, but also be on the lookout for the giants that have fallen to the ground. These huge fallen trees support life on the forest floor.


Hiking Trails: There are a number of hiking trails that can be accessed from the Avenue of the Giants, ranging from short, easy walks to more challenging hikes. Some popular trails include the Founders Grove Nature Trail, the Women's Federation Grove Trail, and the Rockefeller Loop Trail. Always pay attention to the forest floor when hiking. I spotted a huge yellow and brown Banana Slug while taking a walk through the forest near Rockefeller Grove. Some of the trails of the area lined with massive ferns, which helped this area be chosen as a place to film sections of Jurassic Park. Many other movies have been filmed in the area due to this old-growth forest.


Drive Thru Tree
Drive Thru Tree

Drive-Thru Trees: There are several places along the Avenue of the Giants where visitors can drive their cars through the trunk of a giant redwood tree. The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree and the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree are two popular examples. There are other drive thru trees in the area to the south also, and even as far south as Leggette.


Eel River: The Avenue of the Giants follows the south fork of the Eel River for much of its length, offering beautiful views of the river and surrounding countryside. Visitors can stop at various points along the way to fish, swim, or enjoy a picnic.

Lodging and Dining: There are a variety of lodging and dining options along the Avenue of the Giants, from campgrounds and RV parks to hotels and bed and breakfasts. There are also several restaurants and cafes that offer local cuisine and other fare.


This is an amazing drive with the North Entrance being closer to to Eureka, and the South Entrance closer to Leggett. Drive through the park and stop at all the areas you would love to visit. There are several parking areas close to trails, but some of those areas are not real large.



Other attractions nearby include:

a giant redwood
A giant redwood

Redwood National and State Parks: This iconic park is home to some of the tallest trees in the world, with towering redwoods that can reach up to 350 feet tall. Visitors can hike, camp, or take a scenic drive through the park to marvel at the majestic trees and other natural wonders.

Lost Coast Trail: This challenging hiking trail winds along the coast and offers breathtaking views of the ocean and rugged coastline. The trail is remote and requires some advanced planning, but it's worth it for the stunning scenery.

Victorian Village of Ferndale: This picturesque town is known for its well-preserved Victorian architecture and charming downtown area. Visitors can stroll through the streets, shop at local boutiques, or grab a bite to eat at one of the town's many restaurants.

Chimney Tree
Chimney Tree, southern part of Avenue of Giants

Trinidad State Beach: This beautiful beach is located just north of Eureka and offers stunning views of the ocean and surrounding cliffs. Visitors can walk along the beach, watch for whales and other marine life, or enjoy a picnic in the sun.

Old Town Eureka: This historic district is home to dozens of Victorian-era buildings, as well as galleries, restaurants, and shops. Visitors can take a walking tour to learn about the history of the area and see some of its most iconic landmarks.


statue of bigfoot
Statues of Bigfoot are everywhere at the roadsides stops

South on 101 there are also plenty of roadside stops to check out. They love Bigfoot here and it's fun to look at those shops. Buy some Bigfoot Poop Candy. lol


You could also drive south and jump on Route 1 at Legette CA and head to the beach (crazy curvy road, but the beach at Fort Bragg CA is amazing). It's just 1 hour and 15 minutes from Legette. Check out my other blog about Bandon here by clicking here. Legette CA is about an hour south of the last part of the Avenue of Giants. So, this area needs several days of exploration to see all the sights.


Personally, I think the best time to visit is late April or May. Temperatures are warm, and you avoid the summer crowds. While summer is peak season, the extra crowds trying to experience the sheer beauty of the drive, along with you, will make it hard to find parking spots.


Accommodations:

  1. The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel: This hotel is located in Fortuna, just a short drive from the Avenue of the Giants. It offers comfortable rooms and suites, free Wi-Fi, and a complimentary breakfast.

  2. The Victorian Inn: Located in Ferndale, this charming bed and breakfast is housed in a restored Victorian-era building and offers cozy rooms and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

  3. Redcrest Resort: This campground and RV park is located on the banks of the Eel River and offers a range of accommodations, including cabins, RV sites, and tent sites. Amenities include a swimming pool, playground, and convenience store.


There are also plenty of hotels in Eureka, and if inclined Casino/hotels like Feather and Falls Casino and Lodging near Eureka. Also heading south on 101, south of the Avenue of Giants, there are plenty of campgrounds.


Pictures above are the cute tree house village at the Shrine Drive Thru Tree, more redwoods, and Roosevelt Elk.



Food:

  1. The Avenue Cafe: Located in Miranda, this cozy cafe offers homemade soups, sandwiches, burgers, and other American fare. The restaurant also has a selection of local beers and wines.

  2. The Peg House: This casual restaurant and bar is located in Leggett and is a popular stop for those driving the Avenue of the Giants. The menu features burgers, sandwiches, salads, and other pub fare, as well as a selection of beer and wine.

  3. Ferndale Pizza Company: This pizza restaurant is located in Ferndale and offers a variety of pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. The restaurant also has a selection of beer and wine, as well as outdoor seating for those who want to dine al fresco.

  4. Siren's Song Tavern: Located in Eureka, this restaurant and bar offers a range of seafood dishes, as well as burgers, sandwiches, and salads. The restaurant also has a selection of local beers and wines.


Every restaurant you could think of is in Eureka CA if you are choosing that as your home base to check out the Avenue of Giants.


I hope you have enjoyed my little blog about the many places to see and visit while driving through the Avenue of Giants in Humboldt State Park. So pack your pack backpack and hit the trail. Explore these majestic trees of the Humboldt National and State Parks of Northern California.


Sources:




Hilton Honors


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