top of page
Looking Glass #2.jpg
Gabriella Viola blog
WELCOME TO THE BLOG!
Gabriella Viola Blog
Find your next adventure here:
  • Writer's pictureGabriella Viola

Driving Through Northern California's Avenue of the Giants (And Tips For Photographing It!)

Updated: May 4


Driving Through Avenue of the Giants

Avenue of the Giants is a scenic drive that parallels Highway 101 in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The 32-mile stretch, lined with California redwoods (the tallest trees in the world), has been on my bucket list for quite some time. This past June of 2020, I finally got to experience the majestic road while road-tripping through Northern California and Southern Oregon.


In this post, I’ll be sharing a few tips that might be helpful to anyone who is planning on doing the drive through Avenue to Giants.


As always, when exploring the outdoors, help keep it beautiful by leaving no trace.


Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park California

WHERE IS AVENUE OF THE GIANTS:


Avenue of the Giants is located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park and parallels Highway 101 and the Eel River for 32 miles. It can be accessed via Exit 672 or Exit 645 off HWY 101, depending on which direction you are traveling.


Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park California

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DRIVE AVENUE OF THE GIANTS:


The full avenue will take about 2.5 hours, and that's without stopping to take pictures or hiking the groves. If you can, plan on spending half a day to get the most out of Avenue of the Giants.


Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park California

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT AVENUE OF THE GIANTS:


I would imagine Avenue of the Giants is beautiful any time of year. We went at the end of June. I found this to be a great time to visit because it's right before peak season (July and August are the busiest times to visit) and because the weather is ideal (warm, less rainfall). It's also a great time to go if you're looking for foggy conditions.


Eel River at Avenue of the Giants
Eel River at Avenue of the Giants
Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park California

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS:


I found the Avenue of the Giants to be a little trickier to shoot than expected. Here are a few tips for photographing Avenue of the Giants.


TIME OF DAY:

One of the best times to photograph Avenue of the Giants is in the early morning. We stayed near Avenue of the Giants for two days. On the first day, we did the drive in the early morning, hoping to catch some foggy conditions. The fog had pretty much dissipated by 8m, but it was still an ideal time for shooting the road.


We also did the drive the next day in the mid-afternoon. Not a great time to shoot in general; this goes double for Avenue of the Giants. The contrast of shadow and light on the road was extremely harsh.


Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park California

RECOMMENDED GEAR:


  • Wide Angle Fast Lens: Probably the most important piece of gear. Due to the height and density of the redwoods, the lighting along Avenue of the Giants can be challenging. Having a fast aperture lens is helpful. Also, a wide-angle lens is key for capturing the height of the redwoods.

  • Zoom Lens: For those tight road shots.

  • Drone: I brought my DJI Mavic Air but didn't end up using it. I think I was just too lazy to break it out, but I have seen some pretty amazing photos of Avenue of the Giants that look like they were taken with a drone.

  • Tripod: Not a necessity, but considering the low-light conditions that exist, a tripod can help when shooting at slower shutter speeds.


SHOOT IN MANUAL:


If you can, shoot in manual mode to avoid overexposure and/or underexposure from the dramatic contrast of shadows and bright sections along Avenue of the Giants.


USE PEOPLE:


Utilize people in your photos to give perspective to the colossal redwoods.


Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park California

WHAT TO DO AT AVENUE OF THE GIANTS (besides drive):


THE GROVES: In addition to the road itself, there are stunning redwood groves that you can explore within Avenue of the Giants, a favorite being Founders Grove.


TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: There are a few little tourist attractions along Avenue of the Giants (which we chose to skip). The main one is the Shrine Drive Thru Tree, where you can pay a small fee to drive your car through the trunk of a redwood tree.


Founders Grove at Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park California
Founders Grove at Avenue of the Giants

WHERE TO STAY:


We stayed at The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel in Fortuna and would recommend it. It's right off HWY 101 and about 15 minutes from the north entrance to Avenue of the Giants. I also noticed that you can stay directly on Avenue of the Giants; something I would do on my next visit!


Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park California

Be sure to add Avenue of the Giants to your bucket list when visiting the Northern California redwoods. We did Avenue of the Giants as part of a road trip that also included Burney Falls and Southern Oregon.


Before you go, subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss the latest blog posts, videos, and other good stuff. You can also check out more adventures on Instagram and YouTube!



 

More on the Blog:





If you enjoyed this post or know someone who will find it useful

Please share it!



Yorumlar


Leave a comment

DSC_5087-Edit-Edit.jpg

Want to know how to capture gorgeous 

photos of Lake Tahoe?  Then download my free Lake Tahoe Photography Guide!  Included are my go-to locations, recommended gear, and photo tips!

Free Photo Guide!

gabriella viola lake tahoe

Hi, I'm Gabriella, an outdoor photographer living in Lake Tahoe, California. 
 
I'm originally from New York and moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to try out living somewhere new and different.  I found myself loving the adventurous lifestyle and dramatic scenery on the west side of the country.  Eventually, I moved to Lake Tahoe in 2019 after falling in love with its natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle. 
 
On this site, I share adventure tips and destination guides to help you explore the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the Sierras, Northern California, and beyond...

About Gabriella

  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Threads
DSC_5087-Edit-Edit.jpg
INTRODUCING THE TAHOE BLUES COLLECTION

Tahoe Blues is a curated collection of  9 pieces that showcase part of what makes Lake Tahoe so incredibly special- that crystal clear, brilliantly turquoise-colored water.  The selected images capture unique conditions and perspectives of Lake Tahoe during the day and represent calmness, joy, and awe.

bottom of page