The serene, majestic beauty of this Grove is a living reminder of the magnificent primeval redwood forest that covered much of this area before logging operations began during the 19th century. Armstrong Redwoods preserves stately and magnificent Sequoia sempervirens, commonly known as the coast redwood. These trees stand together as a testament to the wonders of the natural world. The grove offers solace from the hustle and bustle of daily life, offering the onlooker great inspiration and a place for quiet reflection. The ancient coast redwood is the tallest living thing on our planet! These remarkable trees live to be 500-1,000 years old, grow to a diameter of 12-16 feet, and stand from 200-250 feet tall. Some trees survive to over 2,000 years and tower above 350 feet. Coast redwoods are classified as temperate rainforests and they need wet and mild climates to survive. The rainfall in Armstrong Redwoods averages 55 inches per year and the trees are often shrouded in a mystical fog that helps to maintain the moist conditions needed for the redwoods to survive. To find out more about these magnificent trees click the link About Coast Redwoods to the right. The reserve includes a visitor center, large outdoor amphitheater, self-guided nature trails, and a variety of picnic facilities. While you can drive into the park, the best way to experience the dramatic effect of the towering redwoods, is to park in the lot at the park entrance and walk in for free. All of the main park features are found along the Pioneer Nature Trail. This trail is a mile and a half long round trip, mostly flat and level with one set of steps. Although no camping is available in the redwood grove, there is a campground at Austin Creek State Recreation Area, which is adjacent to the park. Austin Creek is accessed through the same entrance as Armstrong Redwoods and its rolling hills, open grasslands, conifers, and oaks are a beautiful and dramatic contrast to the dense canopy of the redwood grove. For more information go to Austin Creek State Recreation Area, click on link to the right. The redwood ecosystem is a very fragile one. Every effort is being made to preserve and protect this grove but it can only be done with your help. When you visit, please do not disturb or remove any natural features of the park, stay on designated trails and do not cross low- level fenceline. We hope you enjoy a serene and rejuvenating visit among these inspiring giants. 8:00 AM to one hour after official sunset.
Tackled this loop going clockwise bright and early. Pretty decent climb but it's well shaded and benches litter the area in various spots. The beautiful redwoods appear mostly contained near the visitor center but plenty of other things to see as you ascend and eventually descend the ridge. Definitely worth checking out and a nice workout.
Some amazing views once you are on the top. Was up there around 8 am and the sun was still low on the horizon, so was perfect. Though it says Strenous at the Trail head, it isn't that hard for regular hikers since it's very well shaded. Might actually be better in spring
A nice, short loop that spends most of the way either gaining or losing elevation. The trail is wide, soft and well-shaded the entire way. Despite the shade, the steep (15%-ish) uphills made for warm work despite it being November and wearing shorts. There is a small waterfall as you descend the East Ridge. Cross the picnic area (or stop for lunch) before you head up a decent number of switchback on the Pool Ridge Trail. Upon reaching the ridge, the trail drops almost immediate down more switchback. While these switchback initially will appear to be taking you further north (if you're going counter-clockwise) , they eventually drop you down to a flat trail section that runs southward along a stream (only a trickle in November). This trail eventually spits you out near the Colonel Armstrong Tree, a relatively large (and old) redwood. It is also worthwhile to make the 2 minute walk to the amphitheater before taking the paved road back to the Visitor Center.
Trails are pretty steep, so pace accordingly. Map on this app isn't the most up to date as new trails seem to have been added and parts of old trails closed, so I would recommend getting a map upon arrival. I would rate it higher than moderate but not definitively hard. It's somewhere in-between. Overall, a good hike.
tough stretches of long uphill climb, without breaks. makes this seem more like a difficult rating. incredibly poor trail markings, especially at the loop trail area where a new route has been established, but still is not on the park map. stunning vistas from several high spots, but no big redwoods. they're along the nature trail near the parking lots
We did the shortened loop version of this hike - start on east ridge, turn left when the trail marker designates a fork, arrive at a separate parking area deeper into the park, then continue home on the Pioneer Nature trail. The east ridge portion was a steady uphill climb in the beginning of the hike, followed by a mile or so on an moderate-to-easy trail looking down upon the park, followed by a walk home along a well-maintained, flat, nature trail with various trees highlighted along the way.
Beautiful shaded hike, but some serious uphill climbing. Seems like this hike is tougher than its 'moderate' rating. Lots of steep climbs, plus some side hill walking along a steep ravine. Not great for younger children.
The shade makes for a solid hike when the weather gets hot. Nice vistas in a few different spots. A fair amount of up and down hiking. Would be spectacular when the water is running.
The current trail is a little wonky due to reconstruction of the various trails.