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Photograph Grieg-French-Bell Redwood Grove

Scotia, California



0.6 miles

Elevation Gain

10 ft

Route Type



Added by Becky Eldredge

Amazingly dense redwood sorrel covers the ground here (similar looking to clovers) making for gorgeous tiny rolling hills of green framed by giant redwoods.For an added photo bonus go in the early morning to capture the light rays through the redwoods, great fog depending on the weather, and dew drops on the tiny sorrel leaves.Very easy to access, but almost never any crowds here because it's not well known.

Amazingly unique place for redwood photography. The location of this grove to the eel river & the coast makes it the perfect place for growing dense and thick redwood sorrel (looks like a clover). The giant redwoods in this area are ringed by tiny foot paths edged with thick lush hills of sorrel. Looks like something out of a dream. The trail is less than a mile and very easy to walk through, with little to no climbing over fallen trees (unless you want!). Very calm and peaceful here as most tourists don't see anything impressive from the road and never stop.

Explore the main trail or the numerous side trails through the sorrel covered hills; climb the fallen redwoods or redwood stump caves; photograph the girdled tree (stripped of bark in 1901 but still living!) and endless macros of flora & fauna. The best time for photos is usually in the morning, before the sun/shadows get too harsh. Lots of variations of light so filters/sunshields are great if you have them.

THE TRAIL:The main trail for the Grieg-French-Bell grove is now mostly unmarked but still well maintained (keep an eye out for stray poison oak!). To stay on the main trail keep to the left at the entrance after the fallen log tunnel. Really though, take your time and explore- there are a ton of trails (large & small) throughout the grove; each is a little different than the others! You can't get lost here- too far west/south and you hit hwy 101, too far north/east & you hit the avenue of the giants.

The main trail will take you through the Grieg Grove's cathedral of trees, a large area of tall trees with paths edged with sorrel. Continue to follow the trail as it curves to the right in the French Grove towards the Girdled Tree. The bark of this massive tree was mostly removed in 1901 so that San Franciscans could marvel at the magnificence of the redwoods. A spur trail leads off to the Bell Grove, skirting a gloomy looking second-growth forest along the way. With old growth on one side of the trail and second growth on the other, you can see just how dramatic a difference logging makes to the appearance of a forest.

GETTING THERE:The grove is located just South of Pepperwood, CA on the Avenue of the Giants. Parking is free on the side of the road on a pullout less than a mile south of the Drury-Chaney Loop Trail, in between the Drury-Chaney Loop & the exit for hwy 101.

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