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Avenue of the Giants

Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California

Take the Philipsville exit off of the California's Redwood Highway (US-101) coming from the south (or see this tour from North to South) to take a 32-mile scenic bypass tour through the famed Humboldt Redwoods State Park known as the Avenue of the Giants.  This stretch of tree-lined roadway contains a series of scenic and tourist attractions that will leave you feeling that you have really seen the Redwood Forest of California.

Almost immediately after taking the exit, you'll see signs for the Avenue of the Giants.  Just off the road as you enter the Avenue of Giants, you'll see a roadside sign where you can obtain a free pamphlet containing an Auto Tour of the Avenue of Giants.  The pamphlet isn't tremendously useful, but does give you a little map and some historical information.  Listed below, we'll take you through the major attractions of the Avenue of the Giants.

Avenue of the Giants Roadside Attractions

The Chimney Tree (Philipsville) - Located in what the owners now call Hobbitton, after the Lord of the Rings characters, this 78 foot, 12 and a half foot diameter redwood burned out in 1914.  What's left is an underground room inside the tree, that is something like a Hobbit would live in.  Remarkably, the tree is still alive.  Admission is Free.

Bolling Grove - The first of many groves of Redwoods along this road, you can stand in the middle of the grove and get your first taste of the Redwoods of California.

Shrine Drive-Thru Tree (Myers Flat) - This 5,000 year old tree stands a massive 275 feet high and is a whopping 21 feet in diameter.  A road has been cut through the middle of the tree, and you can drive through it.  Also on-site are the Two-story treehouse, the Drive-on Log, Children's Step-through Stump, the Shrine Cathedral Tree where several Redwoods have grown together to produce an altar-like effect.  Admission is $1.50 per person.

Taste of Humboldt (Myers Flat) - Next to the Shrine Drive Thru Tree is home to the Riverbend Cellars Winery, where you can partake in Wine Tasting and shop for locally produced goods.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitors Center - The visitors center contains quite a few exhibits of the Redwoods history, as well as several exhibits set up for kids, such as where you can make animal footprints, guess types of animal pelts, or see stuffed representations of many native species to the Redwoods area.  There are guided nature walks and presentations during the summer, as well as rangers present to give you information.

Burlington Campground - This campground is worth mentioning not only for camping, but just to take a walk through the campground and see the size of many of the trees and stumps that exist within the campsites.  Adjacent to the visitors center, it's worth a walk through - if you're camping, this is a good place to try.  it's small, but those trees!

Founders Grove - This grove is worth a stop for sure.  A half-mile nature trail takes you past the 346 foot tall Founders Tree, the 362-foot tall, 1600 year old Dyerville Giant that was the world's tallest tree until it fell during the winter of 1991, and through groves of other massive redwoods.  The trail is primarily a flat, wide gravel path.

The Immortal Tree - This 1,000 year old tree got it's name because no matter what happens to it, it can't be taken down.  it's survived being struck by lightning, a logger's axe, a forest fire in 1908, and the massive flood of 1964.  The tree is marked by a roadside sign.

Rockefeller Forest - The 10,240 acre forest is one of the largest old-growth forests in the world.  The forest houses some of the park's monster redwoods - each over 360 feet tall and some up to 17 feet in diameter.  This forest is a short side-trip off the Avenue of the Giants - it sneaks up on you, so make sure you don't miss it.

At the North End of the Avenue of the Giants, you'll hook back up with the Redwood Highway (US-101) and continue through California's Redwood Wonderland.

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