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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.