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.
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.

See the other best miles

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