Our next part of the trip took us to the Redwoods of Northern California. For this, we went off highway 101 and took the Avenue of the Giants, which is the old highway 101. It’s a 31 mile stretch of road that runs parallel with the new 101. It’s a little longer, but totally worth it. There are 51,222 acres of redwood trees. There are places to picnic, hike, swim, fish, raft and bike. There is something for everyone.
The main attraction is the forest. I have never seen a forest like this. It was so quiet and serene. Even through the sun was shining, there were times when it was dark, and we couldn’t see the sun. The trees were too thick.
Some must sees are:
The Immortal Tree
This tree is over 950 years old. While it isn’t even the oldest tree in the forest, it is a survivor. The tree is currently only 250 feet tall, but it used to be must taller. It survived the flood of 1964, a 1908 attempt at logging, and a lightning strike that destroyed the top half of the tree. It is one of the first main attractions of the Avenue if you are coming from the north.
The Drive-through Tree
The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree is near the town of Myers Flat. They do charge $5 to drive through, but it is a fun picture to take.
This forest is 10,000 acres and has the 8th, 6th, 4th and 2nd tallest trees.
I thought Scotia was really cool. It is one of the last “company-owned” towns in California. I didn’t even know those existed anymore. If you go, they have the Historic Logging Museum that is only open in the summer.
Elk and other wildlife
On our way back to the highway, we were stopped by a herd of elk on the road. They were so close to the car that I could have rolled down the window and touched them. Obviously, I didn’t do that because they are wild animals. I did get some great pictures.
One note- there was some debris on the road as we went by. It is a forest after all. We didn’t think anything of it until we had a tire blow out not far from the Avenue of the Giants. Our rental car was brand new, so new, in fact, we were the first renters, but our road trip had taken it’s toll. On the side of highway 101 in the dark, my husband had to put the spare tire on the rental car. Luckily, we weren’t far from the town we were going to stay the night it. The next morning, we traded our rental car in for a new one.