A Walk Among The Trees: The Avenue Of The Giants, Humboldt Redwoods

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

While on the way down the west coast from Seattle to Los Angeles we passed a road sign advertising The Avenue Of The Giants. With a never ending thirst for adventure, I quickly swerved off the main highway to take the exit. This decision paid off big and I highly advise it if ever given the chance.

I had seen redwoods before in different areas in California and Oregon, but nothing like the what I saw here. I did a little research and put together some highlights, but as always I highly suggest you see it for yourself, no words or pictures can capture the beauty or spirit of seeing these sites first hand.

The Avenue Of The Giants

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The Avenue of the Giants is a two lane road that follows U.S. Highway 101 for a 31 mile stretch in Northern California. Starting near Phillipsville, CA, heading north and ending near Stafford, CA, the Avenue runs through a big part of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The Avenue was part of Highway 101 until the rerouting of the highway was completed in 1960. It mostly follows the south fork of the Eel river which is Californias third largest river.

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The Avenue gives your at a good look at a portion of the over 51,000 acres of redwoods and holds 60% of the worlds tallest trees. The california redwoods have been here for over 240 million years, with some trees still alive today dating close to 2,000 years old. The trees can get as big as 24 feet (7 meters) in diameter and near The Avenue there is a tree big enough to drive a car through it.

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The Avenue of the Giants is home to The Immortal Tree. A 950 year old redwood that stands nearly 250 feet (76m) but was once much taller. The tree has survived floods, fires, lighting, and logging but still grows today. A lightning strike once blew 45 feet (14m) off of the top of it and there is still part of an axe sticking from its trunk, left from when loggers gave up trying to chop it down.

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A 20 foot cavern was carved into a 2500 year old stump forming the Eternal Tree House. The stump was originally used as a shelter by native americans. Later hunters and travelers looking to escape the rain storms used the stump on their way through the area. In the 1900s an expert wood carver took it upon himself to renovate the stump. As it sits now its a livable house of which they offer free tours.

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The Avenue of the Giants is a breathtaking place to visit. If ever within a hundred miles, I would advise you to make the journey to go experience it for yourself. Trust me, you will not want to leave.

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Resources for Traveling The Avenue Of The Giants

Lonely Planet Northern California (Travel Guide)

Top Trails: Northern California’s Redwood Coast: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone

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4 Comments

  1. Avenue of the Giants is one of my favorite places. If that’s the most striking you’ve seen so far in OR or CA, I’m guessing that you jetted-past several parks and trails between Eureka and Crescent City. The Coast Redwoods actually get wider than 24 ft. The widest one presently is over 29 ft. diameter at chest-high and makes the species wider than all known Giant Sequoias.

    The rain was a good thing for you. When its wet, you will get some of the best photos.

    Cheers, MDV

    http://www.mdvaden.com/grove_of_titans.shtml

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