Humboldt Redwoods State Park
In the early 1900s, loggers came to what is now Humboldt Redwoods State Park to cut down lofty ancient redwoods for grape stakes and shingles. The founders of Save the Redwoods League thought that was akin to “chopping up a grandfather clock for kindling.” From the acquisition of a single grove in 1921, the League has raised millions of dollars to build and expand this park. Today Humboldt Redwoods spans 53,000 acres, an area almost twice the size of San Francisco. About one third, or 17,000 acres, of the park is old-growth redwood forest—the largest expanse of ancient redwoods left on the planet.
This park offers one of the best places to see redwoods by car in the entire North Coast region: the 32-mile-long Avenue of the Giants. Good stops along the way include Founder’s Grove, with its fallen 362-foot Dyerville Giant, and the California Federation of Women’s Clubs Hearthstone, designed by famed architect Julia Morgan.
The South Fork of the Eel River provides excellent opportunities for fishing, boating, picnicking, and swimming. More than 100 miles of trails await hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians, who (along with other visitors) can spend the night in one of more than 250 campsites.
A wide variety of activities and facilities are available. More than 250 family campsites in three different campgrounds, plus environmental camps, group camps, trail camps, and a horse camp. A hundred-plus miles of trail await exploration by hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. The South Fork Eel River provides fishing, boating, and swimming opportunities while several-day use areas are ideal for picnicking, family activities, or merely enjoying the pristine environment.
Some favorite locations include the Founders Grove Nature Trail, the 32-mile Avenue of the Giants Auto Tour, and the Humboldt Redwoods Visitor Center. The visitor center offers a wide variety of fun and educational exhibits and activities, including a theatre, displays, a bookstore, and the famous Kellogg Travel Log—the world's first RV, carved out of a fallen log and driven cross-country four times. Bird-caller Charles Kellogg promoted redwoods conservation and the fledgling Save the Redwoods League in his unique motor home. Auto Tour brochures are available at either end of the Avenue of the Giants and at the visitor center. During the summer season, such interpretive activities as nature walks, Junior Ranger programs, and campfire programs are hosted daily.