Redwood Hikes

A guide to California’s old-growth redwood trails

Questions? Comments? Please contact Dave Baselt at
List of all trails  •  Buy trail maps
Go to Giant Sequoia Hikes

Grey boxes will take you to regional maps; park names to park pages


As a result of wildfires in 2020 and 2021, all redwood and sequoia parks south of San Francisco, except Portola Redwoods, are completely or partially closed due to wildfire damage. All redwood parks north of San Francisco are open as normal.

Fire-damaged areas that have reopened include Armstrong Redwoods and the Big Ben hike in Henry Cowell Redwoods.


This site is a guide to hiking California’s old-growth redwoods and giant sequoias. It contains descriptions, photos, and maps of almost every trail that has a significant amount of old-growth redwoods and is open to the public. Many nearby trails without old growth are also covered.

This is the main page for the coast redwoods. There’s another page for the giant sequoias of the Sierra Nevada.

Top picks

In general, the further north you go, the better the redwoods. To really experience the redwoods I’d suggest visiting at least three parks:

Currently, the tallest tree in the world is the Hyperion Tree in Redwood National Park. The tree is not accessible by trail and its location is kept secret to prevent visitors from trampling the soil around the tree. The tree is on a hillside, not in the Tall Trees Grove.

Hiking the redwoods

California’s redwood forests are famous for being home to the tallest living things on the planet, but there’s much more to these extraordinary woodlands than the size of the trees. At their best, redwood forests are suffused with a sense of openness and serenity. Sun-dappled, elegantly fluted tree trunks shoot straight as an arrow into the sky, while below are burbling streams, spectacular fallen trunks, and a lush accumulation of ferns, sorrel, moss, and lichen. Many redwood trails are also a pleasure to walk because they’re so well constructed: wide, smooth, and easy to walk, with a springy mud-resistant carpeting of needles, and bridges to span even minor obstacles. The forest is cool in the summer but rarely below freezing in the winter, and (except for Muir Woods) the parks are almost never crowded.

The Foothill Trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Foothill Trail, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

California has six major redwood parks, each with its own character. Prairie Creek, for example, is an aggressively lush and green coastal forest, while Jedidiah Smith is filled with light and is the most photogenic. Del Norte has a unique location on a prominent coastal bluff, while Redwoods National Park occupies a large and heavily-logged inland valley. Humboldt Redwoods is best known for its dark, dense, and flat lowlands, and Big Basin has the mixed-species woodlands typical of southern redwood forests. Of these six parks, Jedediah Smith and Prairie Creek clearly have the best-preserved ecosystems and most scenic hikes.

At least 15 other parks have small old-growth groves and should not be overlooked. Many of these parks are just as enjoyable as the big parks and, in addition to outstanding redwoods, offer a wide variety of other scenery, from the dramatic coastal bluffs of Big Sur to the rolling farmlands of the Anderson Valley.

Total area of and amount of old growth in some of California’s redwood parks

Within each park, the largest trees are normally found in the flat bottoms of creek valleys, where the soil moisture is the highest. These alluvial flats host the spectacular, cathedral-like groves that redwoods are famous for. Most redwood parks are centered around an alluvial flat that originally inspired the creation of the park. These alluvial flats, which usually aren’t very big to begin with, are often the site of highways and parking lots, making it difficult to appreciate their unique and serene character. The most striking example of this type of forest is the Bull Creek area in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Pfeiffer Falls Trail, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Uplands tend to have fewer big redwoods and more trees of other species. The difference is more pronounced in drier and hotter parks like Big Basin and Humboldt Redwoods. On the other hand, in Prairie Creek, Del Norte, and Jedidiah Smith parks, large redwoods can cover the hills right up to the ridgelines. Uplands can make great hiking because the hills make the trail more interesting. A great example of redwood uplands is the Miners’ Ridge Trail in Prairie Creek State Park.

Redwood forests generally get more scenic as you go north. The northernmost parks tend to have the biggest trees and the lushest, healthiest appearance. The southern parks tend to be drier, have less greenery and more dead tanoak leaves on the ground, and often have a a dense layer of shrubs that obstructs views of the redwoods. On the other hand, the southern parks have better weather and there’s more to do after the hike.

The tallest redwoods are found in Redwood National Park, Humboldt Redwoods, and Montgomery Woods. However, the lists of tallest trees that can be found online are no longer maintained and are out of date, since the large numbers of people going off-trail to see and climb the trees was causing significant damage.

List of coast redwood trails · List of giant sequoia trails

Click on the links below to view the regional, park, and hike pages. Parks are listed from north to south. Each park and trail has been rated from one star (pretty good) to five stars (world class) based on how enjoyable it is overall, with an emphasis on redwoods.

Key to table colors
Park names
 Old growth redwood hikes 
Other hikes


Overall Rating Distance, miles Climbing, feet Trail name
★★ Siskiyou National Forest
★★★ 1.1 290 Redwood Nature Trail
1.7 280 Oregon Redwoods Trail
Redwood National and State Parks
★★★★★ Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
★★★★★ 5.3 750 Boy Scout Tree Trail
★★★★★ 1.7 200 Grove of Titans
★★★★★ 0.6 40 Stout Grove
★★★★ 7.4 250 Mill Creek Trail
★★★ 2.6 110 Nickerson Ranch Trail
★★★ 4.3 360 Hatton Trail
★★★ 0.9 20 Simpson-Reed Trail
★★★ 2.1 330 Leiffer and Ellsworth Loops
0.6 20 Adams Grove
★★ 4.4 420 Hiouchi Trail
9.8 1600 Little Bald Hills Trail
1.5 470 Wellman Loop Trail
★★★ Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
★★★ 4.0 1170 Damnation Creek Trail
★★ 12.6 2370 Coastal Trail, DeMartin Section
★★ 13.0 2810 Coastal Trail, Last Chance Section
15.8 2000 Crossover Road (Mill Creek Watershed)
7.0 1260 Hobbs Wall and Saddler Skyline
3.1 70 Picnic Road (Mill Creek Watershed)
★★★★★ Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
★★★★★ 12.1 1350 Miners’ Ridge and James Irvine
★★★★ 5.8 760 West Ridge and Prairie Creek
★★★★ 3.5 540 Brown Creek loop
★★★★ 0.8 130 Moorman–Pond Trail
★★★ 8.7 1050 Rhododendron and Foothill
★★★ 8.0 960 Friendship Ridge Trail
★★★ 7.7 1433 West Ridge and Rhododendron North
★★★ 3.6 720 Cal Barrel Road
★★★ 3.5 710 Ten Taypo Trail
★★★ 3.2 190 Big Tree loop
★★ 6.4 1400 CREA Trail
★★ 1.0 110 Nature Trail
★★ 0.6 40 Ah Pah Trail
★★ 2.2 580 Carruthers Cove
★★ 3.6 730 Ossagon Trail
2.8 210 Elk Prairie Trail
0.4 90 Little Creek Trail
★★★ Redwood National Park
★★★ 9.5 1520 Coastal Trail, Flint Ridge Section
★★★ 7.2 1270 Berry Glen Trail
★★★ 5.5 700 Emerald Ridge and Tall Trees
★★★ 3.9 690 Tall Trees Grove
★★★ 2.8 440 Trillium Falls Trail
★★★ 1.4 100 Lady Bird Johnson Grove Nature Trail
★★★ 10.4 2490 Dolason Prairie Trail
★★ 15.4 500 Redwood Creek Trail
★★ 14.1 2600 McArthur Creek Loop
★★ 7.8 1390 Coastal Trail, Klamath Section
★★ 7.6 1050 Coastal Trail, Skunk Cabbage Section
★★ 1.5 200 Enderts Beach
22.0 3100 Lost Man Creek Trail
10.4 1970 Mill Creek Horse Trail
6.0 590 Coastal Trail, Tey-wo-lew section
4.5 750 Lyons Ranch Trail
1.2 100 Yurok Loop
Humboldt Redwoods and Vicinity
Headwaters Forest Reserve
★★ 2.8 530 Salmon Pass Trail
10.7 1460 Elk River Trail
★★★ Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park and Van Duzen County Park
★★★★ 0.7 10 Cheatham Grove
★★★★ Humboldt Redwoods State Park
★★★★ 2.4 110 Homestead and Big Trees Loop
★★★★ 0.6 10 Big Trees Area
★★★★ 0.7 20 Rockefeller Loop
★★★★ 0.3 10 Grieg-French-Bell Grove
★★★ 10.0 300 Bull Creek Flats
★★★ 3.0 280 High Rock Trail
★★★ 2.4 30 Drury-Chaney Loop
★★★ 1.8 70 Children’s Forest Trail
★★★ 1.3 20 Founders’ Grove
★★★ 0.7 30 Stephens Grove Loop Trail
★★★ 0.0 0 Bolling Grove
★★ 10.5 2870 Peavine Ridge spur
★★ 3.4 450 River Trail
★★ 2.3 790 Allens Trail
★★ 1.3 100 Nelson Grove
★★ 0.9 0 California Federation of Women’s Clubs Grove
★★ 0.7 10 Gould Grove Nature Loop Trail
★★ 0.4 20 F.K. Lane Trail
★★ 0.4 40 Kent-Mather Loop Trail
13.4 2610 Look Prairie and Peavine Ridge
3.8 420 Garden Club of America Grove
3.0 750 Dry Creek Horse Trail
0.4 70 Chandler Grove
16.2 3200 Grasshopper Summit and Johnson Camp
16.9 3650 Grieg Road and Grasshopper Summit
15.5 3170 Grasshopper Trail
2.5 580 Addie Johnson Trail
★★ John B. Dewitt Redwoods State Natural Reserve
★★ 0.3 50 Whittemore Grove
0.6 20 Holbrook Grove
Benbow State Recreation Area
5.5 640 Thrap Mill and Pioneer Trails
★★★ Richardson Grove State Park
★★ 2.4 340 Lookout Point Trail
★★★ Sinkyone Wilderness State Park
★★★ 18.4 5290 Lost Coast Trail
8.9 1850 Wheeler Trail
0.5 250 Shady Dell
Smithe Redwoods State Natural Reserve
      Park has no trails
Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
1.7 130 Taber Nature Trail
★★ Drive-Thru Tree
      No trails
Mendocino and Sonoma Counties
★★★★★ Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve
★★★★★ 1.6 220 Montgomery Grove Trail
★★★★ Hendy Woods State Park
★★★★ 1.4 20 Big Hendy
2.7 270 Hermit Huts and Little Hendy
★★★ Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
★★ 1.3 50 Colonel Armstrong Tree loop
Grove of Old Trees
0.6 50 Grove of Old Trees
Mailliard Redwoods State Natural Reserve
      Park has no trails
Admiral William Standley State Natural Reserve
      Park has no trails
Navarro River Redwoods State Park
      Park has no trails
San Francisco Bay Area
Only old-growth redwood parks are listed here; for more parks see the Bay Area page
★★ Samuel P. Taylor State Park
2.7 190 Pioneer Tree Trail
★★ 10.6 1200 Bolinas Ridge
★★ 5.8 1340 Barnabe Peak
Roy’s Redwoods Open Space Preserve
3.0 400 Roy’s Redwoods Loop Trail
★★ Muir Woods National Monument and Mount Tamalpais State Park
★★★ 8.5 2080 Willow Camp and Steep Ravine
★★★ 4.7 930 Sun Trail
★★★ 3.9 890 Dipsea and Steep Ravine
★★ 5.2 1100 Ben Johnson Trail
★★ 2.0 120 Bohemian Grove Trail
★★ 1.4 410 Colier Spring
★★★ 0.6 30 Dad O’Roarke’s Bench
★★ Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve
★★★ 9.1 1600 Purisima Creek and Whittemore Gulch
★★ Portola Redwoods State Park and Pescadero Creek County Park
★★ 0.5 80 Heritage Grove
★★ 11.5 1820 Peters Creek loop
★★ 5.8 1100 Coyote Ridge and Shingle Mill
★★ 3.8 880 Mount Ellen Loop
13.1 2434 Butano Ridge
10.6 1270 Tarwater - Pomponio - Brook - Canyon
6.0 990 Heritage Grove Trail
★★ Butano State Park
★★ 11.7 1700 Canyon Rim Route
★★★ Big Basin Redwoods State Park
★★★ 10.0 2150 Berry Creek loop
★★★ 0.6 10 Redwood Nature Trail
★★★ 2.9 560 Sunset-Skyline Short Loop
★★ 25.0 1710 Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail
★★ 5.4 680 Slippery Rock
★★ 8.0 1060 Hollow Tree and Meteor trails
3.0 360 Blooms Creek loop
3.0 500 Creeping Forest loop
4.7 320 Sempervirens Falls
★★★ 9.4 2450 Westridge Trail
★★ 12.0 1860 Basin Trail
★★ 4.8 1200 Buzzard’s Roost
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
★★ 0.8 20 Redwood Grove Loop Trail
★★★ 6.6 1360 Four Crossings
7.0 1480 Truck Trail and Fall Creek
8.2 1760 Big Ben and Fall Creek
Big Sur
★★ Garrapata State Park
★★★ 4.7 1750 Rocky Ridge and Soberanes Canyon
Molera State Park
★★ 7.5 1300 Ridge, Panorama, and Bluffs loop
★★ 3.2 1390 East Molera Trail
4.1 140 River Trail
★★★ Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
★★ 2.2 560 Pfeiffer Falls and Valley View Trails
★★ 9.4 3050 Mount Manuel Trail
★★★ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
★★★★ 5.1 1450 Ewoldsen Trail
★★★ 6.3 1980 Tan Bark Trail
★★ Limekiln State Park
★★ 2.1 480 Limekiln, Limekiln Falls, and Hare Creek Trails
★★★ Los Padres National Forest
★★★★ 10.8 2360 Kirk Creek Trail

Redwood sorrel in Rockefeller Grove, Humboldt Redwoods State Park


Trails are rated for scenery, not safety. The fact that a trail is discussed or shown on a map on this site does not imply that it is safe for all visitors, even under ideal conditions. Furthermore, trails may not be well-maintained and may have become impassable since the last time I walked them. Notices may not posted at the trailhead when this happens, so always ask about trail conditions at park headquarters before your trip.

About the maps

Trails and some roads were mapped with a handheld global positioning system (GPS) receiver. Roads outside of park boundaries are mostly derived from county or USGS street data and are therefore more likely to be outdated or contain inaccuracies. Most other features are derived from GIS data and satellite imagery provided by the USGS and/or the USDA.

Map legend



© 2006–15 David Baselt