Over the last few days we took our first drive up 101 from Healdsburg to Crescent City for Thanksgiving. It’s a beautiful drive from Healdsburg all the way up to the Oregon border that takes you through some of the oldest redwoods. Our journey took about 8 hours with a lunch break and a few short stops in the Avenue of the Giants. Some of the few remaining old growth redwoods are over 2,000 years old. Over a hundred years ago there used to be many of these old growth redwoods, but unfortunately, most were logged to help rebuild after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Before the Avenue of the Giants, you will pass Legget, which is known for it’s drive through tree. After paying your $5 USD entrance free (per vehicle) you will shortly encounter the Chandelier Tree, which is over 2,000 years old. The Chandelier Tree is a giant sequoia and is shaped like a Chandelier but I couldn’t get far back enough to get the whole tree in the photo, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Both Heidi and I took turns driving through the tree since there weren’t too many other vehicles around. Surprisingly, large SUVs were also able to fit through.
Shortly after entering the Avenue of the Giants we encountered several old growth redwoods. The Avenue of the Giants is an alternate route that runs parallel to 101 for 31 miles. There are many little detours that you can take along this route that offer a variety of trails and viewpoints, so keep your eyes open. We only drove the first 11 miles of it starting in Phillipsville so there is still another 20 miles left to explore for us. We’ll be saving that for a future trip during the spring or summer.
Farther up north near the Oregon border we encountered a herd of Elk in a field next to Hwy 101. So if you get tired of trees we hear that this herd is around quite often.