Avenue of the Giants

The Avenue of the Giants is a scenic highway in northern California, United States, running through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It is named after the coastal redwoods that tower over the route. The road is a former alignment of U.S. Route 101, and continues to be maintained as a state highway as State Route 254 (SR 254).

State Route 254 marker

State Route 254

Avenue of the Giants
SR 254 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Caltrans
Length31.595 mi[1] (50.847 km)
Major junctions
South end US 101 near Phillipsville
North end US 101 near Stafford
CountryUnited States
Highway system
SR 253 SR 255

Route descriptionEdit

The Avenue's southern terminus is at US 101 near Phillipsville, north of Garberville. Its northern terminus is at US 101 near Stafford, 15 miles (24 km) south of Fortuna. The Avenue is notable for the coast redwoods that overshadow the road and surround the area. It is from these towering trees that the Avenue of the Giants takes its name. The road winds alongside the scenic Eel River, and connects several small towns such as Phillipsville, Miranda, Myers Flat, Burlington, Weott, Englewood, Redcrest and Pepperwood. The two-lane road has a number of parking areas, picnic sites, and attractions for visitors. The nearby river provides many swimming locations, such as those at the Rockefeller Forest redwood grove.

The route contains the site of the annual "Avenue of the Giants Marathon".[2]

SR 254 is not part of the National Highway System,[3] a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.[4] SR 254 is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System,[5] but it is not officially designated as a scenic highway by the California Department of Transportation.[6]

Avenue of the Giants passes through a redwood forest.

Immortal TreeEdit

Though not the oldest redwood in the forest, this large tree is at age millennium, and is currently around 250 ft (76 m) tall, though originally it was much taller. It has survived not only the ravages of time but also the 1964 flood of the area, a 1908 attempt at logging, and a direct lightning strike which removed the top 45 feet (14 m) of the tree (making its original height close to 300 ft). It is from its age and the perceived hardiness to the fates that the tree derives its name. Markers are visible on the tree, denoting the heights of where the loggers' axes and the floodwaters struck the tree.

Situated in the northern half of the Avenue, The Immortal Tree is easy to find, and has a large gift shop and parking area in front of it.

Founder's GroveEdit

Near Weott, this grove has an easy 1/2 mile self-guided walk with informational booklets available at the beginning of the trail. This well-travelled trail is a good example of old-growth redwood forest and contains a few very big trees, including the Founder's Tree (346.1. ft. tall)[7] and the Dyerville Giant (c. 370 ft. tall) which fell down in 1991.

Drive-Through TreeEdit

Avenue of the Giants features a tree that visitors can drive through. Shrine Drive-Thru Tree is near the town of Myers Flat. The tree is privately owned; the owner charges $8 or more for a car to drive through it.

Tree HouseEdit

Not a traditional tree house, this is actually a house that is, albeit partially, built within a giant redwood.

Visible from the road, and with tours available, the front of this house is entered through the hollow trunk of a still-living tree. The front door and windows are clearly visible to passers-by, and the rest of the house adjoins the rear of the tree in a more traditional style.

Eel River and South ForkEdit

Eel River, as seen from part of the Avenue

The Eel River is the third largest river in California. It carves deep canyons down great mountains, through flat valleys, and past majestic and ancient redwood forests. The Avenue of the Giants follows the South Fork of the river, but also features the branching of the South and Main forks to its north.


The Avenue of the Giants was part of U.S. Route 101 until a freeway bypass was completed on August 27, 1960, assuming the 101 designation.[8] The Avenue was then designated as CA Route 254 by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 10.

Major intersectionsEdit

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, based on the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers to an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (for a full list of prefixes, see California postmile § Official postmile definitions).[1] Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The entire route is in Humboldt County.

0.00  US 101 – Ukiah, EurekaSouthern terminus; interchange; US 101 exit 645
Maple Hills Road to US 101
Myers Flat12.33  US 101 – Ukiah, EurekaInterchange; US 101 exit 656
Newton Road to US 101
Dyerville Loop Road to US 101 south – South Fork
Connects to US 101 north exit 663
20.78Bull Creek Flats Road – HoneydewConnects to US 101 south exit 663
US 101 north – Eureka
On-ramp from SR 254 to US 101 north only
US 101 south
Off-ramp from US 101 south to SR 254 only; US 101 south exit 667A
Sorenson Road to US 101
Barkdull Road to US 101
31.52  US 101 – Ukiah, EurekaNorthern terminus; interchange; US 101 exit 674
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


In popular cultureEdit

The Avenue of the Giants was featured by Huell Howser in Road Trip Episode 105.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  2. ^ https://www.arrs.run/HP_AvGMa.htm Avenue of the Giants Marathon
  3. ^ Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: California (North) (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  4. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "Article 2.5 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets & Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  6. ^ California Department of Transportation (August 2019). "Officially Designated State Scenic Highways and Historic Parkways" (XLSX). Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  7. ^ "Founders Tree Coast Redwood. Humboldt Redwoods State Park Founders Grove. Sequoia sempervirens".
  8. ^ Hawk, Diane (2004). Touring the old redwood highway : Humboldt County. Arcata, Calif.: Hawk Mountaintop Pub. p. 48. ISBN 0-9672162-4-9.
  9. ^ California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
  10. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
  11. ^ "Avenue of the Giants – Road Trip with Huell Howser (105) – Huell Howser Archives at Chapman University".

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata