Hike to Tall Trees Grove, Redwood NP

Tall Trees Grove Trailhead

The hike to Tall Trees Grove is one of the best relatively easy hikes in California, and maybe the entire country. Some of the tallest trees in the world, of the species sequoia sempervirens (coast redwood), grow here. Many of the trees in this grove stand well over 350 feet, and are so high you can't even see the top. If you've ever been to Muir Woods, the trees here tower over 100 feet taller and are much wider. The Howard Libbey tree, which used to be the tallest in the world and spurred the creation of Redwood National Park, can be easily found on this hike.

NOTE: You need a permit, albeit free, to do this hike.

First, you'll need to go to the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center just off Highway 101 south of Orick, CA. Once there, write down your license plate number and go up to the counter and ask one of the rangers for a permit for Tall Trees Access Road. You'll need to provide the make, model, and plate number of your car. The permit is free, and the ranger will give you a combination number (which changes daily) to unlock the gate to Tall Trees Access Road.

Once you have the permit, drive north along Highway 101 through Orick (last chance for gas) until you reach Bald Hills Road. It will be a right turn roughly 1 mile north of Orick. Continue on Bald Hills Road for 7 miles until you reach Tall Trees Access Road. It will be just after Redwood Creek Overlook on the right. There, unlock the gate with the combination given to you (and re-lock it once you're through) and place the permit on your dashboard.

The Tall Trees Access Road is a 6 mile, unpaved gravel road with bumps and hills. The vast majority of cars (even 2WD) can handle this road fine by just going at a slow speed. However, low clearance vehicles might not be the right choice for this road. Note: RVs over 21 feet and vehicles towing trailers are not allowed on the road.

Once you've reached the bottom, there is a parking lot with a bathroom where you leave your vehicle. The trailhead begins just to the right of the restroom. Hike 1.3 miles down to Tall Trees Loop and you will reach the grove. You'll know you're there when it flattens out and you see a bench on the path. There are distinct signs marking the trail as well.

You can enjoy the Tall Trees Loop and the nearby Redwood Creek. The creek (which looks more like a river) can be found by continuing straight past the bench to the clearing. There are gravel and rocky banks of the creek that you can walk and camp on. This is the only place in Redwood National Park where "dispersed camping" is permitted. However, you have to be at least 1/4 mile away from Tall Trees Grove to camp.

This hike is best done in any season; however, permits are limited to a certain number each day and can sometimes fill up in summertime. Typically, though, this hike will be quite uncrowded due to its remote location. Enjoy!

Pack List

  • Permit (http://www.nps.gov/redw/planyourvisit/tall-trees.htm)
  • Water
  • Snack
  • Camera
  • Hiking Boots (optional)
  • Camping Gear (optional)
Show More
RT Distance 3.9 Miles
Elevation Gain 690 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Felt like we had the place to ourselves

My girlfriend and I hiked this trail on our road trip and it was great. getting the permit was really easy and made it feel like it was super exclusive. When we were there we saw a total of 4 people the whole entire hike. make sure you give yourself enough time to explore everything.

Easy Hike With Lots To See

The huge redwoods were breathtaking and I loved the overgrown mossy areas as well. Stopped at the creek to skip rocks.

Stunning

If you want to feel small, this is the perfect place to be. We stayed overnight, but the river was too high to cross so we had to find some unsanctioned camping outside of the grove. If small crowds or isolation is your thing, you're gonna love it here. The trees are magnificent and too beautiful and tall for words or photographs to do them justice!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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