Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tall Trees Trail – Redwoods National/State Park

Life is tough, I thought, as I sat on my comfy couch in the bay window (slideout), protected from the wind and spitting rain, while watching the wild waves of the Pacific crash on the beaches below.

Meanwhile, my Kozy World heater kept the place toasty warm without using any power, and the big fridge insured a good supply of cold drinks.

After a peaceful night of surf sounds, it was time to get to ‘work’.

I was waiting at the Kuchel Visitor Center when they opened the gates in the morning, and parked the rig in their parking lot for the day.  I wanted to check out some ‘tall’ trees, though that is a relative term around here!  The Tall Trees Trail (wonder how they thought up that name?) is accessible only by a restricted 6 mile long road.  But it is a free, first-come-first-served permit, so with the secret gate code and permit in hand, I was off.  First, up the Bald Hills Road, and a quick stop at the Redwood Creek Overlook – with a great view of the valley, and the ocean off in the distance.CIMG9822Then, onto the Tall Trees road.

CIMG9824I made it through the gate with no problem – now the long descent to the trailhead.CIMG9823They warned me about bears and cougars in the area – but I’m kind of used to that at home.  But it you look carefully at the pamphlet (click to view full size), you will see the ‘No attacks’ has been stamped over top with, um ‘Few attacks’.  Guess the liability police were watching the pamphlet people!

CIMG9849I actually had my bear spray along anyway.  The single lane former logging road was in good shape, and I was the only vehicle on it that morning.  My kind of place. 

CIMG9827And since I knew that I was the only person on the road, I knew that I would be the only person on the trail!


Of course, I read all the safety information at the trailhead.  It was an 800’ descent to the Tall Trees Grove, but being used to hiking around 5-6000 feet elevations at home, I find the air fairly thick here at sea level.


The trees were big.  This one that had fallen was a small one!

CIMG9852This tree has it’s own forest starting to grow along the rotted trunk.CIMG9836I was curious to see just how old these trees really were, so I got out my little campers saw and cut this one down for a look. CIMG9838Some of these trees are up to 1500 years old.  That’s even older than some friends of mine. CIMG9839At around 500 tons, it was too heavy to haul back in my truck for firewood, so I left it for others to ponder!  Other trees were virtual forests of ferns – growing all the way up the trunks.CIMG9841 CIMG9842Not sure if this one is the tallest in the world or not, but it was featured in National Geographic according to the plaque and photos on site. CIMG9843 Look up – Look way UP!CIMG9844 CIMG9845  CIMG9850 On the way out, I checked out this logging road – just on the edge of the park, and found that it was quite active.

On the way back to the valley, I also stopped and hiked around the Lady Bird Johnson Grove in a light rain.  I also had that trail to myself, even though it was not on the ‘restricted access’ list.  It was dedicated to her in 1968, by then president Nixon.

OK, relax already.  I didn’t cut down that or any other tree.  No trees, trails, or roads were harmed during the production of this blog!


  1. Looks like an awesome area. I am sure you enjoyed your hikes.

  2. Looks like our kind of area as well. We sure miss our trees down here in the Sonoran desert. Trees & the color green are the two things I look most forward to when we return to Ontario.....AL