Montgomery Woods State Reserve
Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve, in the heart of the Coast Range, is an excellent example of both a magnificent coastal redwood grove and a beautiful fern forest.
The Reserve is located about 15 miles east of the town of Comptche. It can also be reached by traveling 13 miles west from Ukiah past Orr's Mineral Hot Springs resort.
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.
About the park
Montgomery Woods is one of the more remote of California's 31 redwood parks. It is a perfect place for a picnic, and tables are provided for that purpose.
A trail follows Montgomery Creek upstream to five separate redwood groves that have never been logged. The trail is about three miles long, laid out in a shallow loop that takes about an hour to travel.
The redwoods you will see here, while walking the trail, are among the two main species of redwoods in the Western United States.
The Sierra Redwood (Sequoia giganteum) also called Big Tree, is both older and more massive but rarely attains the heights of its coastal relative. The Sierra redwood grows at higher elevations, which is why it can be found in the Sierra mountain ranges.
The taller Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) grows along the California coast into Southern Oregon in an area about 500 miles long by 20 or 30 miles wide.
The Coastal redwood favors moderate temperature with lots of moisture. They fare especially well in areas of heavy fog, where the soil rarely dries completely. The coastal redwood is the tallest tree on earth, measuring up to 378 feet in height. The Coast Redwood grows best on river flats and stream junctions, where they receive a rich supply of alluvial soil, or silt, deposited there by flood waters.
The reserve started with a nine-acre donation by Robert Orr in 1945, and has been enlarged to 2,743 acres by purchases and donations from the Save the Redwoods League.