Humboldt Redwoods State Park & Muir Woods National Monument

If there was one thing we were looking forward to in Northern California, it was the giant redwood trees along the coast. One of the things we learned while in Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Muir Woods National Monument is that the trees along the coast are different from the Giant Sequoias we’ve all seen pictures of. The Coast Redwoods are relatives of the Giant Sequoias in California’s interior, but are a little different.

Coast Redwoods are like the taller, lankier little brother of the Giant Sequoia. Instead of “only” growing to 310 feet tall, the Coast Redwoods can hit 368 feet tall. But the base of a Coast Redwood only gets to 22 feet in diameter, paltry in comparison to the Giant Sequoia’s 35-foot diameter. And Coast Redwoods only get up to about 1.6 million pounds, instead of the Sequoia’s 2.7 million pounds.

Just a note, there are two galleries here, so after the first one, keep on scrolling down! These pictures come from Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Muir Woods National Monument, but to get your Coast Redwoods fix, you can also go to Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, and probably several others along the coast of northern CA.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Humboldt Redwoods State Park is in northern California about 3.5 hours from Oregon, right on the coast along US-101. But if you’re heading north or south on US-101, to really get in amongst the trees, you absolutely have to get off of US-101 and drive Avenue Of The Giants.

There are quite a few hikes here, ranging from just over a half-mile to about 13.5 miles. Unfortunately, we were on a long day of driving, so driving amongst the trees was all we had time for.

It really doesn’t matter which of the Redwoods State or National Parks you drive through. The trees are absurd! They reach to the skies, towering 300+ feet over your head with trunks as wide as the F-150 is long. The canopy over your head is so dense that even on a bright sunny California day, virtually no sunshine reaches the forest floor.

Pictures of Humboldt Redwoods State Park

This set of pictures comes from our drive through Avenue Of The Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Muir Woods National Monument

To the northwest of San Francisco, just across the Golden Gate Bridge, is Muir Woods National Monument. Muir Woods National Monument protects one of the few remaining stands of Coast Redwood trees in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our unofficial tour guide Turney was the first to suggest we visit this spot back on our first trip to the San Francisco area. Since we didn’t have time on our first visit, we knew we had to stop this trip. Luckily, we had some time to actually take a 2-3 mile walk along the boardwalk path through Muir Woods. This got us up close and personal with more of those ridiculously-sized Coast Redwoods, along with some deer that were absolutely unfazed by visitors.

Just like at the other parks devoted to redwoods that we visited further up the coast, this is a dense, old-growth forest with an interesting ecosystem due to the lack of sunlight that reaches the floor.

Pictures of Muir Woods National Monument