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Jedediah Smith Redwoods has become very popular in recent years, so hikes 2–4 might be somewhat lower on the list on summer weekends.
A remarkably plush carpet of redwood sorrel makes this Avenue of the Giants grove the most attractive in Humboldt Redwoods. You can easily wander around for an hour here; the short official trail has disappeared into a confusing maze of unofficial paths where it’s easy to get lost.
This relatively little-used walk around Bull Creek Flats lets you appreciate the serenity of the redwoods. The redwoods are small at first, but gradually increase in size until the trail ends up in one of the most spectacular groves in existence.
This large, peaceful, and exceptionally scenic lowland grove is across the Eel River from the Avenue of the Giants, so it gets few visitors. The little-used path gives the trail more of a quiet, wild feel than the well-worn hiking loops along the Avenue.
Rockefeller Grove is the quintessential cathedral-like lowland redwood grove, a densely-packed stand of immense redwoods on an alluvial flat next to Bull Creek. It’s far enough from the freeway that it doesn’t get as much traffic noise as the more heavily-visited Avenue of the Giants groves.
This loop starts in ridgetop uplands and ends in magnificent big-tree lowlands. It has some of the best redwood scenery in Prairie Creek and only loses a star because of traffic noise from nearby Drury Parkway.
Montgomery Woods’s remarkably lush pocket of old growth is sheltered in a remote, steep-sided valley surrounded by open grasslands. The quietness and isolation of the grove makes it feel like a redwood Shangri-La. At one time the tallest measured tree in the world was found here.
The most scenic stand of redwoods, Stout Grove is a majestic, cathedral-like big-tree grove on a flat at the confluence of two rivers. The grove has become very popular in recent years, and is the busiest redwood grove on the North Coast.
This grove, which was made famous by a 2007 book about big-tree hunters, contains some of the world’s largest known trees by volume. Its location used to be a secret, but it was opened to the public in 2021 and has become extremely popular: the Grove of Titans Page is the most-visited page on this website.
The monster redwoods and constantly-changing environments on this supurb hike make it a showcase of the world’s best redwood scenery. The only drawback is that it’s become very popular.
This long loop combines miles of redwood uplands with a walk on a deserted beach and a meander through a dramatically fern-encrusted slot canyon. Although it doesn’t have as many big lowland redwoods as the other top trails, the variety, length, and lack of crowds makes it the best all-day redwood hike.
© 2006–2022 David Baselt