Best 100 Miles: The Emerald Mile, Redwood NP, CA

This mile of towering redwoods is among the best 100 miles of trail in the whole national park system.
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emerald mile best 100 miles

Stand among giant redwoods on the Emerald Mile. Photo by Byron Hetrick / Flickr.

1 mile / Among the Giants


Just getting to the secret sanctuary known as the Emerald Mile qualifies as a life-list hike: You’ll wander among the giants in Tall Trees Grove, a dense stand of immense, 300-foot-plus redwoods. But once you shake the tourists by hiking south along the wide gravel bar of Redwood Creek, the magic really begins: “You get the feeling you’re in a primeval forest in there,” says ranger Jim Wheeler. Countless old-growth redwoods and Douglas firs line a deep gorge, building a natural tunnel that will keep your eyes endlessly drawn up, up, up.

Trailhead 41.207450, -124.012202
Total hike 7 miles (out and back) or 4.5 miles (loop via Emerald Ridge Trail)
Permit Pick up a free permit and gate combination to the locked Tall Trees Access Road at any visitor center. Camping Allowed along Redwood Creek at least .25 mile from Tall Trees Grove. Grab a free permit at any park visitor center.
Infonps.gov/redw

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