Big Tree Loop, Redwoods, CA

The Redwood forest in northern California is full of amazing hikes, all of which are populated by amazing and unique trees. One of the most famous of these is called, simply, Big Tree. At 304 ft tall, with a 68 ft circumference, it’s one of the largest and oldest trees in the forest. The tree itself is just a short hike from the parking lot, but the trail continues in a loop that truly showcases the splendor of the Redwoods.

Location: The Big Tree Loop is located at the southern end of Prairie Creek State Park on Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway off of Highway 101. The Big Tree Wayside parking lot is just a few miles north of the Visitor’s Center and Prairie Creek campground.

Difficulty: 1/5 to walk to the big tree. 3/5 for the whole loop. It isn’t a steep hike, but it is long, and there are a lot of roots growing on the path that you have to watch out for.

Kid-Friendly: Yes! The whole loop might be a little long for really young kids.

Stroller/ADA Accessible: No, it’s an uneven dirt path with a lot of roots throughout.

Description: Our whole family loved doing this hike. The big tree at the beginning is cool, but you’ll definitely want to go farther on the trail to see the amazing variety of the Redwoods. There are a number of fallen trees along the way, and some of the massive trunks and roots were twice as tall as us adults. Our kids loved crouching down behind them so they could jump out and surprise us. It was a great way to experience this ancient forest for ourselves.

 

Heather

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