Spread over 53,000 acres, with 17,000 of those acres populated by untouched redwood groves, this is one of the most pristine places on earth. The 31-mile Avenue of the Giants scenic road takes you deep into the forest and along the Eel River. There are free interpretive trail maps at either end of the road.
Start at the Visitor Center, between Weott and Myers Flat.
The Rockefeller Forest boasts the largest remaining old-growth redwood forest in the world. Other favorite trails are the Founders Grove Nature Trail, Bull Creek Flats Loop Trail, the Dyerville Giant (a fallen tree that is 200 feet taller than Niagara Falls). In the Big Trees area, check out the Immortal Tree.
From within the park, you can access the Eel River and Mattole River, which are great places to fish for salmon and steelhead in winter.
Off US 101 from the south, the drive is north of Garberville, take the Phillipsville exit; or from the north take the Pepperwood exit. Allow at least two hours for the drive.
Book sites well in advance. The following are camps with pit toilets and untreated water: Johnson Camp (notorious for mosquitoes, especially early in the season)
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