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Humboldt Redwoods State Park: Your Gateway to the Giants

Humboldt Redwoods State Park: Your Gateway to the Giants

Explore the majestic Humboldt Redwoods State Park, home to the world’s tallest trees. Discover the top things to do for a great time. Team


3 min read

August 03, 2023

Nested along the picturesque banks of the Eel River in Northern California, the Humboldt Redwoods State Park represents a majestic sanctuary of ancient redwood trees, some of which stand as the tallest living things on earth. Occupying an area of approximately 53,000 acres, this grand testament to nature's resilience is a verdant treasure trove of biodiversity and ecological richness.

The roots of the park's history trace back to the 1920s, when the Save the Redwoods League, an organization deeply concerned about the rapid deforestation, initiated efforts to preserve these majestic giants. The league's relentless commitment led to the establishment of the park in 1921. The park is named in honor of Alexander von Humboldt, the renowned Prussian naturalist, and explorer, though he never visited the area. Over the years, through numerous acquisitions, the park has grown into its current size, protecting a significant part of the old-growth redwood forest that once spanned much of the Pacific Coast.

There's plenty of beautiful wildlife to admire in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

When to Visit


As winter recedes, the park springs to life with lush greenery and wildflowers adding vibrant hues to the landscape. Temperatures are mild and ideal for hiking, biking, or exploring the park's network of trails. This is also a perfect time to spot a variety of bird species that flock the park.


Summers are generally warm and dry, making it an excellent time for camping, picnicking, or swimming in the Eel River. However, it's also the peak tourist season, so expect some crowds, particularly on weekends.


As fall arrives, the park turns into a cascade of beautiful autumn colors. This season is particularly delightful for photography enthusiasts, with a mild climate perfect for leisurely walks amidst the giants or for participating in ranger-led interpretive programs.


Winters at the park are usually cool and rainy, and fog often envelops the towering redwoods, lending a mystic aura to the park. The winter rains nourish the park's ecosystem, leading to gushing waterfalls and streams. It is the perfect time for those seeking solitude and tranquility amidst nature.

Take some time and spend a day enjoying the nature of Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

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Top 5 Things to Do at Humboldt Redwoods State Park

1. Explore the Avenue of the Giants

The Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile stretch of old Highway 101, is a must-visit attraction within the park. This scenic drive is flanked by towering redwoods on either side, creating a breathtaking corridor through the forest. Numerous pull-outs along the road allow for short walks into the heart of the forest, offering an up-close encounter with these towering giants. Remember to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in one of the many picturesque picnic spots scattered along the avenue.

2. Hike the Founders Grove Nature Trail

Hiking is a popular activity in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and the Founders Grove Nature Trail is a standout choice. This easy, self-guided, 0.5-mile loop trail takes you through an impressive stand of ancient redwoods, including the famed Founders Tree, which soars to a height of over 346 feet. Interpretive panels along the trail provide insights into the ecology and life cycle of the redwoods.

Founders Grove Nature Trail will put you among the towering redwoods in the park.

3. Visit the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center

A visit to the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center is an excellent starting point for first-time visitors. The center provides a wealth of information about the park's history, ecology, and trails. You can also view an array of fascinating exhibits and take part in ranger-led interpretive programs that offer an enlightening perspective on the park’s rich biodiversity.

The Eel River is a gorgeous, winding river in Northern California.

4. Enjoy Water Activities on the Eel River

The Eel River, winding its way through the park, provides ample opportunities for water-based activities. During the warm summer months, the river's inviting waters make it a favorite spot for swimming. Canoeing and fishing are other popular activities. The river's banks also serve as stunning locations for picnics, sunbathing, and wildlife viewing.

5. Experience Camping Among the Redwoods

For the full redwood experience, consider spending a night under the stars at one of the park's campsites. The Burlington Campground, situated near the Visitor Center and the South Fork Eel River, is particularly popular. Waking up surrounded by the towering redwoods, with the sounds of nature as your morning alarm, is an experience that simply can't be matched.

In conclusion, the Humboldt Redwoods State Park offers a diverse array of experiences that cater to all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it’s the tranquil solitude of a hike among the towering giants, the exhilaration of a canoe ride down the Eel River, or the simple joy of a picnic surrounded by the beauty of nature, the park is a destination that invites you to slow down, breathe, and connect with the grandeur of the natural world.

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