Avenue of the Giants

Avenue of the Giants - One Giant Adventure

Visitors flock to Fortuna all year round to make the most of the great outdoors. They often stay at the Comfort Inn & Suites Redwood Country to search for breathtaking views and rugged terrain, which this stretch of California coast is more than happy to provide.

Once you’ve checked in and unpacked, you can venture out and take a drive north. Here you’ll discover the Avenue of the Giants, one of the biggest attractions for scenery seekers. This winding highway runs through Humboldt Redwoods State Park and certainly lives up to its name, with an abundance of coastal redwood trees that tower over the road and the surrounding area. Here are some of the best sights to watch out for along this 31-mile stretch of highway.

The Immortal Tree

Even though the entire forest is home to thousands of impressively tall trees, the Immortal Tree towers above the rest. At over 950 years old, it stands an astonishing 250 feet tall and has weathered the ravages of time to take its place as the oldest tree in the forest. Over the years, floods, logging and even a direct lightning strike have tried to take it down, but its hardiness and refusal to yield has earned it its immortal nickname.

The Eternal Tree House

It may not be high up in the trees, but this unique building certainly counts as a tree house. Built into a still-living giant redwood tree, it has a hollow trunk entrance that’s visible from the main highway and a natural beauty that blends in perfectly with the lush surroundings. Tours are available too, so you can learn about the history of the area and find out about the house’s unique design.

Drive Thru Trees

The team who constructed this stretch of highway didn’t let the forest dictate the route, as Chandelier tree clearly proves. Unable to uproot this gigantic redwood, they decided to simply chop into it. It now has a six feet wide opening cut into the base for you to drive through. Two more drive-thru trees appear along the highway as well, creating impressive sights to behold and plenty of photo opportunities. These trees often require a fee as they are privately owned.

Drury-Chaney Grove

This 2.4 mile trail is one of the best in the area, giving you the chance to explore the forest without getting lost. The canopy provides plenty of shade on a hot day and the trail is also a great photo opportunity to commemorate your trip. Spend some time trying to capture the light filtering through the trees or wait patiently for the local wildlife to pose for their picture.

South Fork of the Eel River

One of the consistent sights along this stretch is the south fork of the Eel River, renowned for its brilliant fishing thanks to the abundance of salmon and steelhead. Further up the river there are numerous swimming spots, with Rockefeller Forest Redwood Grove as one of the most popular areas for soaking up sun and paddling in the cool blue waters.

Ready to hit the road?

Check out these tips before setting off:

• Pack a picnic. There’s a huge selection of picnic sites dotted along the highway and around the popular swimming spots, so you can snack on sandwiches and soak up the sunshine.

• Take plenty of water and a map. Although there are gas stations and towns along the way, it’s important to be prepared.

• If you’re planning on exploring the forest, wear suitable shoes and clothing.

• Remember to pack your camera and spare batteries so you can take plenty of pictures. The forest is full of photo opportunities, from the dappled light through the trees to the towering sequoias.

• Enjoy the quiet. Plenty of spots in the forest are incredibly peaceful, with just the creaking of the branches and the rustle of the leaves in the breeze.

• Stop off for a coffee. The route is dotted with tiny towns that are a lot of fun to explore.

• Look out for the Auto Tour signs. These indicate an interesting point up ahead where you can pull over, stretch your legs and explore.