A trail bridge atop a fallen tree, among the redwood giants in the Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve.

© GaryKavanagh/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve

Along Highway 101

Two miles west of Orr Hot Springs, this 2743-acre reserve protects some of the best old-growth redwood groves within a day’s drive from San Francisco. A 2-mile loop trail, starting near the picnic tables and toilets, crosses the creek, winding through the serene forest. It’s out of the way, so visitors are likely to have it mostly to themselves.

The trees here are impressive – some up to 367ft tall – but remember to admire them from the trail, both to protect the root systems of the trees and to protect yourself from poison oak, which is all over the park.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Along Highway 101 attractions

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