The Avenue of the Giants

The Avenue of the Giants
The Avenue of the Giants

An awesome scenic drive is a 31-mile portion of old Highway 101 which is called the “Avenue of the Giants”. It actually parallels the freeway version of highway 101, so if you are travelling 101 it is an easy detour to take the scenic route.

The Avenue of the Giants passes through Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which has the largest remaining stand of old growth redwoods in the world. It is by far the most outstanding display of these giant trees in Northern California.

Some of the giant redwoods almost stand on the highway itself
Some of the giant redwoods almost stand on the highway itself

The highway is narrow in places and the giant redwoods stand tall at the very side of the road. When I went through the area traffic was light as it was a weekday morning, but still, speed is not a factor on such a winding highway. You are best to relax and enjoy the scenery.

The beginning of the drive there was a stop where you could pick up a printed guide for an Auto Tour of the drive. The numbered stops are listed and explained on the guide.

Also along the Avenue there are a number of small towns including Pepperwood, Redcrest, Weott, Myers Flat, Miranda and Phillipsville. Each of these scenic towns seemed to have their fair share of tourist shops.

There are many places to pull over to get close to the forest and also to hike, picnic, camp and fish. There is great access to numerous hiking trails and the various redwood groves.

Also, a little south of the town of Weott is the Humboldt Redwoods Visitor Center. It is a great place to stop and gather additional information about the area.

If you are in the area, don’t miss it!

A Video Tour of the Avenue of the Giants

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Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Ferns fill the forest floor in many places

Located in the very northwest corner of California, the Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a great place to get up close to a giant Redwood.

The trail is a few miles off of Highway 101. The road off the highway to the trailhead is an uphill climb all the way. Once you go under the wooden bridge that marks the beginning of the trail you know you are there.

The trailhead has a parking lit, washrooms and signage. Also near the beginning of the trail is a box with pamphlets that explain the marker posts on the trail. It was empty when I was there. I guess I should have checked to see if these are available online.

The trail is a 1.2 mile loop. It is fairly flat, with a few uphills but all slopes are very gradual. The trail is dirt though, and it really is not very accessible to the disabled.

The grove itself is very remarkable. The redwoods tower over you. As you look up to gauge their height you may find yourself getting dizzy from the experience.

It is quiet in the forest. There were a few other people on the trail, but mostly there was solitude. I did hear the rustle of small wildlife in the bushes from time to time. At one point in the trail a bright blue Steller’s Jay came wildly flapping out of the bush I front of me. It was like I disturbed his afternoon solace.

Throughout the trail I kept thinking that this would be a great place to see a Sasquatch, but even with my hopeful thinking none appeared.

At one point in the hike you will come across a dedication plaque that was originally placed by Lady Bird Johnson when the trail was opened.

There are benches at various points along the way, so if you want to sit down and enjoy the forest, you can do that as well.

I highly recommend this hike if you are in the area. It won’t take you long, the rewards are great.

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