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What is the Avenue of the Giants?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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The Avenue of the Giants is a stretch of road that runs through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California. Initially, this section was part of the US Highway 101, but after a bypass was built, it was designated as State Route 254. The road is named for the massive coast redwoods that line it, and it is a very popular tourist attraction, with numerous roadside stops offering a variety of entertainment. One of the most famous features of the road is the Drive-Through Tree.

Coast redwoods are among the tallest and largest trees in the world, and the trees in Humboldt Redwoods State Park are no exception. People who have time to stop along the Avenue of the Giants can venture into the park to get a glimpse of some extremely massive trees, while passing drivers can enjoy the view of the those that border the road. Despite being a well-traveled thoroughfare, the Avenue of the Giants is restricted to two lanes due to the large trees that border it, and many parts are extremely curvy, going around the trees instead of slicing a path through them.

From Garberville in the south to Fortuna in the north, the road stretches 31 miles (50 kilometers). Along the way, people can visit the Drive-Through Tree, the Immortal Tree, and the Tree House, a house built from a single huge log. Confusion Hill, another tourist attraction along the Avenue of the Giants, offers a variety of weird and mysterious artifacts and illusions to visitors. Chainsaw carving, redwood burls, and other tree-related artifacts are often on sale at the various wayside stops.

Signs along the road designate various tourist attractions. Many of the signs are designed to have a very retro feel, and traveling through the Avenue of the Giants can sometimes feel like being transported back in time to the 1960s, an era when roadside signs in America were often elaborate, telling a story over the course of several miles.

Reaching the Avenue of the Giants requires some traveling. While there is an airport in Arcata, a town north of the road, many airlines do not offer service there, and those that do often charge high rates. Visitors often fly into San Francisco or another Bay Area airport and rent a car for the five to six hour drive. Visitors can also take a more leisurely route along the California coast, stretching a trip to the area out over several days.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By wesley91 — On Dec 19, 2010

The Avenue of the Giants is a beautiful place to visit. The redwood belt covers about 500 miles but the 31 miles covering the Avenue of the Giants is the most outstanding part. It is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park which is where the largest remaining virgin redwoods in the whole world.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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