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Old Growth Redwoods
Humboldt Redwoods State Park has the largest old growth redwood forest in existence with 17,000 acres out of the 52,000 acre park. This hike takes one through only a small area, it shows off many old growth redwoods of astonishing size. 300' tall trees with 12+ feet diameters are not uncommon. Leave your sunglasses in your pocket, and abandon all hope of credible photography unless you're really good because this forest is dark.
The trailhead is at the Big Trees Day Use Area. There's parking for about 15 cars, though only about a half dozen are in the shade. Take the trail down from the trailhead kiosk to the seasonal bridge over Bull Creek. Go left on the short trail to the Giant Tree. The Giant Tree is 363' tall, and has a 53' circumference so it indeed lives up to its name. The raised boardwalk protects the roots of one of the most impressive living things on earth so please remain on it.
Head back to the trail from the Giant Tree, and go left onto a 1/3 mile trail that loops back to the Bull Creek Trail North. Take the latter trail about a mile as it winds through a flat redwood forest near the creek. There are numerous old growth specimens here, but the dark forest makes photography difficult. The trail crosses Mattole Road near the Albee Creek Campground as it heads slightly uphill away from the creek. The redwoods become scarce here as the trail reaches a bridge across Albee Creek that is about 100 yards east of the campground. This would be a great starting point for this hike.
Go back across the bridge and take the Homestead Trail east as it winds up and down along the lower slopes of Peavine Ridge. There are a few large old growth redwoods here, but not as many as the Bull Creek Trail North segment. Take Homestead all the way until it hits Mattole Road after passing the lower end of the Addie Johnson Trail. A short spur trail heads down from the road to the Bull Creek Trail North. Take that trail about 200 yards back to the Big Trees Day Use Area.
Note that Mattole Road is also shown as Bull Creek Flats Road on some maps.
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