Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Quick Facts

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

California

(707) 869-2015

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

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 the 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.

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 affect 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.

Map of Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (CA)

Latitude, Longitude: 38.536484, -123.003788

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Activities

  • Hiking

    Hikes are available of varying difficulty, from a 1-mile easy walk down the Pioneer Trail, to a strenuous 9-mile hike up the East Ridge Trail. Guided Armstrong Nature Trail group hikes are available by appointment only, and are typically offered for larger groups. For further information, contact Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods.

  • Historic Sites

    During the 1870s, the area was set aside as a natural park and botanical garden by Colonel James Armstrong, a lumberman who recognized the beauty and natural value of the forests he harvested. After his death, Armstrong's daughter and the Le Baron family mounted an energetic campaign involving public meetings, rallies and car-caravans to direct public attention to the need to preserve this last remnant of the once mighty redwood forest. Their efforts were successful, and in 1917 the County of Sonoma passed an initiative to purchase the property.

  • Horseback Riding

    All trails are closed to equestrian use through the winter season. However, when conditions permit, the trails are opened, usually during the peak season in summer. Make sure to call ahead before your visit to find out if the trails are open. Trailers can be parked in the front parking lot or in the east parking lot of the picnic area. No trailers of any type are allowed into the Austin Creek State Recreation Area due to the narrow, one lane, steep and winding mountain road.

    Horse rentals are available though the Armstrong Woods Pack Station, a private company that is adjacent to Armstrong Redwoods.

  • Picnicking

    The picnic area is 3/4 of a mile from the park entrance. Grills, tables, and restrooms are situated beneath the tall trees and seasonal creeks meander throughout the park during the winter months.

    A group picnic area is available on a reservation basis. Group size is strictly limited to a maximum of 150 people.

Seasonality/Weather

In summer, the weather can be changeable; morning fog can blanket the grove and cool the air while afternoon temperatures can warm the Grove. Many trails lead into the upper hills of Austin Creek where temperatures can soar above 100 degrees. Layered clothing and plenty of water is recommended.

In the springtime, wildflowers are prolific, temperatures are mild and the fog is less frequent.

In winter, temperatures drop but remain moderate. Rain nourishes the grove and brings life to the many plants and ferns, turning the understory into a green, lush carpet. A sweater and rain jacket will allow you to enjoy the special tranquility found in the grove as water drops work their magic.

Park Partners

Armstrong Woods Pack Station

Visitors can rent horses from this private company, adjacent to Armstrong Redwoods.

(707) 887-2939

Directions

Driving

The reserve is located three miles north of Guerneville on Armstrong Woods Road. From Highway 101- coming North or South- take the River Road exit (in Santa Rosa). Go west on River Road until you reach Guerneville. At the second stop light make a right hand turn onto Armstrong Woods Road. This road will end in the park.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(707) 869-2015

Links

Comments

Dont waist your time going to the Bullfrog Pond Campground. The camp sights are so close to each other that you can hear someone whisper two camps over. The new operaters "Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods" should reduce the number of sites here by about half to reduce camper impact and create a better camping experience.

Thanks for leaving a comment. If you'd like to get in touch with the park directly, you can find their contact information here: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450.