My home of Arizona is in the midst of summer. Today is our 20th day of 110 degrees plus for the season, so needless to say; it’s toasty here. What better way to forget about that for a few, than by writing a blog about the Redwoods of California. The dense, fog-drenched, mighty redwoods.
For those of you who don’t know, the redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth. They can tower over everything below coming in at 300 feet tall. There is a few dozen that even eclipses 360 feet tall currently. Ironically, their root systems are only 6 – 12 feet deep. Mother Nature does make up for this, though, because the roots can grow more than 50 feet away from the trunk. To enhance their strength even further, their roots can intertwine as well. And let’s not forget, to add to this massive size, remember that these guys can be over 20 feet in diameter!
The last time I was here, I drove down Highway 101 (also known as the Redwood Highway in these parts) through the twists and turns of the forest. Along the way is a town called Klamath. About 20 minutes South of there is a nature attraction that’s worth the stop for a half day to visit these giant trees. It’s called the Trees of Mystery and is family owned and operated for over 60 years. There’s plenty to do for a few hours here and soak in all nature that Northern California has to offer. Take a hike, grab a bite to eat, visit the museum and more.
Aside from being surrounded by the mammoth trees, moss, ferns and beautiful greens in every direction, my favorite attraction here was the SkyTrail. This provides a unique way to see the redwoods. You hop aboard a gondola car that rises 100’s of feet in the air. Then slowly, you move across the tree tops for a 10-minute ride. Once you reach the top you have the option to ride back down, or you can take a hike all the way back. Everyone is encouraged to take this unique trip; even your family pup is allowed through the park for the hikes and on the SkyTrail! Bonus!
One more thing I must mention, though, if heights are not your thing, and you prefer to stay on the ground. After the few trails and completing the loop, you will eventually get to the end of the park which will lead you towards the exit. Before you exit, you come across the Trail of Tall Tales. These are fascinating Redwood sculptures that loggers have made showing many of the forest legends, that we as kids used to enjoy, and that kids still enjoy today. The biggest stars of these massive carvings being Paul Bunyan and of course Babe, his blue ox.
Another great thing about this area, in general, is that if you do not have time to stop for the day, you can still take quite a bit of the Redwood Forest in, simply with the drive through. There is also plenty of pull outs designed to allow you safely to pull your car off of the road and park. Lots of these have small hiking paths to get a quick glimpse of the surroundings and provide fantastic photo opportunities. On this particular day in May of 2015, there was thick fog off and on along the highway, so I had no choice but to go very slow. I wasn’t complaining, though. It gave me more time to soak it all in!
Lastly, before I go today, I wanted to give everyone some quick, fascinating facts about the redwoods, which you may not have otherwise known.
There are three types of redwoods. The first being the coastal redwoods in this area, which span from a few spots from Big Sur, CA to southern Oregon. The second is the giant sequoias. These guys are only in a very particular area of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The last type is the dawn redwood, which resides far away in a small pocketed area of central China.
They say you become wiser with age. Then if that’s the case, the redwoods are incredibly wise! They can live to be 2,000 years old! Not only that but they have been around for over 240,000 million years!
To put the height into perspective, the world’s tallest tree was discovered ten years ago in the park. It stands at 379′ tall. As for the Statue of Liberty? Well, she comes in at 305′ tall!
That’s it from me today on this sunny, summer, Arizona day! Follow me on SnapChat. My username is mike_ince. I snapped footage from this entire area, along with many other adventures since so check it out. Stay cool!