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Park Big Tree Big Pines:
The Tallest, Largest & Oldest in the world!
California Redwoods, Sequoia, Bristlecones

Tall coastal Redwoods, massive Sequoia trees in the Sierra Nevada mountains and the oldest living things on earth, the Bristlecone Pines. Yep, they are all here, all in one glorious state ----- California, where else?

Sequoia Groves

The Sequoia is part of the Redwood family of trees. These huge trees have massive trunks which have shallow root systems, so you won't find too many campgrounds/tent spots on the base of these beauties.

NOTE: Several Sequoia and Redwood Parks are currently CLOSED, due to recent wildfire damage.

the tallest:
The Coastal Redwoods tower high above the blue Pacific, growing in fern lined canyons & more often than not, under a foggy layer. Most of these groves are located in Northern California, but a few located on the Central Coast get recognition. There's rumor that Los Angeles even had one small set of Coastal Redwoods, that is - if the smog hasn't killed them yet. There are plenty of parks with these tall "Coastal Redwoods" - some located inland, twenty-something miles from the ocean.

redwoods park town hwy camping lodging
bay area        
Big Basin State Park Boulder Creek Hwy 9 CLOSED Ben Lomond
Boulder Creek
Butano State Park Pescadero Hwy 1 CAMP CLOSED Pescadero
Forest of Nisene Marks Scotts Valley Hwy 17 yes Aptos
Henry Cowell SP Scotts Valley Hwy 17 yes Aptos
Muir Woods NM Mill Valley Hwy 1 no Stinson Beach
Samuel P Taylor SP San Rafael Hwy 1 yes Olema
 central coast        
Julia Pfieffer Burn SP Big Sur Hwy 1 yes Big Sur - Gorda - Lucia
Limekiln SP Big Sur Hwy 1 yes Big Sur - Gorda - Lucia
Los Padres NF Big Sur Hwy 1 yes Big Sur - Gorda - Lucia
Pfieffer BigSur SP Big Sur Hwy 1 yes Big Sur - Carmel
  north coast        
Austin Creek
Armstrong Woods SRA
Guerneville Hwy 116 AUSTIN CLOSED Guerneville
Del Norte Coast SP Crescent City US Hwy 101 yes Crescent City
Grizzly Creek SP Fortuna Hwy 36 yes Ferndale
Hendy Woods SP Boonville Hwy 128 yes Boonville
Humboldt SP Garberville US Hwy 101 yes Ferndale
Jackson State Forest Fort Bragg Hwy 20 yes Fort Bragg
Jedediah Smith SP Crescent City US Hwy 101 yes Crescent City
Kings Range / Lost Coast Garberville Hwy 1 yes Ferndale
Mailliard Redwoods SNR Boonville Hwy 128 no Boonville
Prairie Creek SP Crescent City US Hwy 101 yes Arcata
Crescent City
Redwoods NP Crescent City US Hwy 101 yes Arcata
Crescent City
Richardson Grove SP Benbow US Hwy 101 yes Benbow
Sinkyone Wilderness SP Leggett US Hwy 101 hike in only Garberville
Six Rivers NF Crescent City Hwy 199 yes Crescent City
Smithe Redwoods SP Leggett US Hwy 101 no Garberville
Standish Hickey SRA Leggett US Hwy 101 yes Garberville
southern cal        
Heaps Peak Lake Arrowhead Hwy 18 no Arrowhead
Big Bear
Running Springs
Sky Forest

the largest:
The Sierra Nevada mountain range has some serious dimension, granite spires, deep river gorges, along with the largest trees on the planet. Hiking around thousand year old Sequoia Groves will put it all in perspective. The Central Sierra is where to find these. There are several parks and places to see Sequoias.

sequoia park town hwy camping lodging
Calaveras Big Trees SP Arnold Hwy 4 yes Angels Camp
Giant Sequoia NM Kernville
yes Camp Nelson
Balch Park Springville Hwy 190 CLOSED Camp Nelson
Sequoia NF - Trail 100 Giants Kernville
Hwy 190 CLOSED Kernville
Sequoia National Park Visalia Hwy 198 yes Grant Grove Kings Cyn
Sierra NF - McKinley Grove Huntington Lake
Shaver Lake
Hwy 168 yes Huntington Lake
Shaver Lake
Sierra NF - Nelder Grove Bass Lake Hwy 41 CLOSED Oakhurst
Bass Lake
Yosemite NP - Mariposa Grove Oakhurst Hwy 120 CLOSED Fish Camp

the oldest:
East of the Owens Valley & Bishop, atop one of the tallest peaks around, sit the Ancient Bristlecone Pines. This little-known park gets over looked by many heading the Eastern Sierra. Mammoth Mountain is a huge tourist destination nearby, but the quieter White Mountains have the darkest nights skies, back roads, aspen groves & real wilderness seclusion (you may be looking for).

No longer can you drive right up to the Bristlecone Groves. The parking lot has been moved well away from the fragile trees, and you are gonna hafta hike it (at high elevation), so bring sturdy shoes.

pine forest town hwy camping lodging
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Big Pine US Hwy 395 yes Big Pine
Redwood Maps

Big Sur Maps

Sequoia Maps

The Monarch of the Forest

I remember when the indians camped beneath me,
gathering peagae from the bark of this old tree.
Then the pioneer wagons rolled by,
and some looked upon me with a greedy eye.

Down fell my sons and daughters
to create their living quarters.
Lightning fires raged by
and still I didn't die.

Storms ravished me, twisting and gnarling
the branches of this old tree.
But so long I stood there as the Monarch of the Forest
until the day a logger's saw laid me to rest.

Now I'm some dudes waterbed frame in L.A.,
and the next generation will have to pay.
When there's no more monarchs left
to stand proud again
to beautify this world.
and create precious oxygen.

- David Mc Neill (aka: Ranger Dave)
Mammoth Lakes CA 1987

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