Avenue of the Giants is a magical drive through the biggest trees in the world. This drive was so surreal and showed us how big these trees really are. We loved driving around the trees and experiencing a forest unlike any we had ever seen before. There are many things to do along the Avenue of the Giants for those of any age! It is easily accessible and makes a perfect weekend trip from San Francisco. I hope you love the Avenue of the Giants as much as we did!
What is Avenue of the Giants?
Avenue of the Giants is a road that drives through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California. On this road you will drive between the world’s tallest trees and feel you like you are in the movie Jurassic Park or a prehistoric time period. The Humboldt Redwoods State Park was established when the Save the Redwoods League saved thousands of acres of old-growth redwood forests from commercial logging companies in the early 1900’s. The park is currently almost twice the size of San Francisco at 53,000 acres. Today the park is a symbol of preservation and continues to make efforts to protect the tallest trees in the world for future generations to see and experience.
Where is Avenue of the Giants?
Avenue of the Giants is located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California.
Distance From San Francisco: 225 miles, approximately 4 hours
Distance from Eureka: 48 miles, approximately 50 minutes
Distance from Redding: 170 miles, approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes
How do I get to the Avenue of the Giants
The best way to access the Avenue of the Giants is by car. The road is 32 miles one way. You can drive out and back the entire 32 miles or drive Avenue of the Giants in one direction and Highway 101 back to where you arrived. There is not a shuttle service in the park and driving will be needed. Another option is to bike the 32 miles of the Avenue of Giants. More information on biking the Avenue of the Giants can be found on Jay’s Essential Bike Rides Website.
Is Avenue of the Giants Free?
Yes! Avenue of the Giants and Humboldt Redwoods State Park are completely free to hike any of the trails, drive the Avenue of the Giants, or to park at any of the trailheads.
Avenue of the Giants Lodging
Camping within Humboldt Redwoods State Park
There are 3 campgrounds in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The three campgrounds are Albee Creek Campground, Burlington Campground, and Hidden Springs Campground. Albee Creek Campground is located on Mattole Road, which can be found if you turn off of Avenue of Giants at the main intersection near Rockefeller Forest/Dyerville area. Burlington Campground is located right beside the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center. Hidden Springs Campground is located slightly south to Myers Flat, CA on the Avenue of the Giants. Bookings at any of these three campgrounds can be make on the California State Parks website.
Non-camping Lodgings Along Avenue of the Giants
There are several different places to stay along Avenue of the Giants that is not camping.
Myers Country Inn is located in Myers Flat, California and is only a few miles away from several redwood groves and an redwoods art gallery. There is a lot of history at Myers Inn. They have 10 rooms available for rental.
Miranda Gardens is located in Miranda, California. Miranda Gardens has several cottages available for rental starting at $140 per night. Miranda Gardens also has redwoods wedding packages available.
Redcrest Resort is located in Redcrest, California. Redcrest Resort has several cabins available for rental, along with a vacation home rental, RV sites, and tent camping sites. There are various amenities available at Redcrest Resort.
Giant Redwoods RV is located in Myers Flat, California. Giant Redwoods RV has glamping cabins for rental beginning at $125 per night, along with RV sites available.
Tips for Driving on Avenue of the Giants
Enjoy the drive! Drive slow and take in the trees that rise towards the sky and never seem to end.
Drive Slow. Sometimes the road wraps very close to the base of these massive giants.
- Stop spontaneously. There are many pull-off areas along the road that have trails leading into groves of the Redwoods. Be sure to stop at anywhere that you think would be interesting in addition to the stops listed below!
Before starting the Avenue of Giants, I highly recommend stopping at the beginning of the Avenue of Giants as soon as you exit Highway 101 (Phillipsville Exit if Northbound, Jordan Creek Exit if Southbound). Here you will see a sign for the Auto Tour. There is a brochure box where you can pick up a free brochure with more of the stops you can make throughout the park and information about each. This was really helpful to us and even has a little map of most of the important areas and its FREE!
Stops to Make on the Avenue of the Giants
**These stops are listed as if you are starting the drive from the most southern point (Phillipsville exit from Highway 101) and driving north. If you happen to be starting from the north and driving south towards San Francisco, use this list in reverse order.
Humboldt Redwoods Visitor Center
There are some small groves prior to the Visitor Center, but even if you don’t stop at those, you should make a stop at the visitor center. It has information, brochures, exhibits, ranger programs, a gift shop, and restrooms. There are several trails beginning here, including the 0.9 mile Gould Grove Nature Trail and the 1.3 mile Fleischmann Trail. If you’re feeling super adventurous, the 14.5 mile Grasshopper Mountain Trail also leaves from the Visitor Center.
Founders Grove was my favorite part of Avenue of the Giants. Here you can walk among the giants and experience how truly big these trees are. There are trees you can walk through, trees that have fallen with their roots rising in the air over 30 feet, and some of the tallest trees in the country. When you first start on the short 0.5 mile flat trail, there will be a box where you can pick up a nicely done pamphlet that has information about many of the specific trees you will pass on the trail. One of the first trees you will see is Founders Tree. In the 1930’s, it was thought that Founder’s Tree was the tallest tree in the world, but later it was discovered that it was not quite the tallest, even though it reaches to a height of 346.1 feet. Later on the trail, you will also encounter the Dyerville Giant. The Dyerville Giant was once 362 feet tall, but it fell in 1991. Prior to it’s fall, it was the tallest tree in the world. You can walk around the ginormous roots of this tree and walk along the tree. Being up and close with the Dyerville Giant, you can truly appreciate how big these trees really are.
The Founders Grove Trail is 0.5 miles round-trip and is ADA accessible. This is a great trail for anyone of any age to experience the giant redwoods trees. If you’re driving northbound, Founders Grove is approximately 4 miles north of the Visitor Center.
Rockefeller Forest is very close to the Founders Grove in proximity. It is the largest forest of coastal redwoods in the world. It is named after Rockefeller because in the 1930’s, Rockefeller was impressed with the forest and gave a huge donation to the Save the Redwoods League to purchase and protect this specific redwood forest. Here you can find huge redwoods on an easy 0.7 mile trail called the Rockefeller Loop. This trail has notably less traffic than the Founders Grove and is quieter than many other trails in the area with similar sights.
Chandler Grove is listed as one of the stops that can be made on the Avenue of Giants Auto Tour. There is a 0.4 mile hike that is known for a variety of plants and animals along the way. We didn’t see much wildlife on this trail, but it is an quieter area if you are seeking a short walk with more solitude.
Drury-Chaney Grove is a great last (or first) stop to make in the park. There a wide winding trails that meander through open areas with standing and fallen redwoods. Something unique about this trail that I didn’t notice on any of the other trails in the part was the abundance of redwood sorrel, which is a small clover-like herb with leaves that look like little hearts. It covers the entire area under the redwoods and makes the entire walk seem magical and almost fairy-like. Also, if you go to this grove in the earlier part of the day, sunlight streams into the redwoods at the beginning of the trail, really enhancing their colors. The Drury-Chaney Trail is a flat, 2.1 mile loop that goes throughout the Drury-Chaney Grove. Even if you do not want to walk the entire 2.1 miles, it is worth it to get out of your car and walk into the grove, even if only for a short time.
Humboldt Redwoods State Park Hikes
Gould Grove Nature Trail: 0.9 miles roundtrip
Fleischmann Trail: 1.3 miles roundtrip
Grasshopper Mountain Trail: 14.5 miles roundtrip
Founders Grove Trail: 0.5 miles roundtrip
Rockefeller Loop: 0.7 miles roundtrip
Chandler Grove Trail: 0.4 miles roundtrip
Drury-Chaney Trail: 2.1 miles roundtrip
Nearby Avenue of the Giants: Extending Your Trip
North of the Avenue of the Giants you can find the cute town of Ferndale, Eureka, Trinidad State Beach, The Lost Road, and Redwoods National Park. This would be a great way to extend your trip or experience more things if you have longer than a weekend to see the area. See my Redwoods National Park Guide for more information on exploring the Redwoods National Park and planning your itinerary.
Have you visited Avenue of the Giants? Do you have any questions? Let me know down below in the comments!
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