Should I Hike to Hyperion?

Exposed burl tissue shows how off-trail hikers are damaging the tallest tree in the world.
Visitors stepping on Hyperion has resulted in the degradation of the tree’s base. The area around the tree no longer has ferns due to trampling.

NPS Photo | A. Gran

Since its “discovery” in 2006, this tree has been on many tree-enthusiast’s bucket lists. Hyperion is located off trail through dense vegetation and requires heavy ‘bushwhacking’ in order to reach the tree. Those accessing and viewing the tree have trampled, and in some instances killed, the surrounding native vegetation.

As a visitor, you must decide how you can help protect this fragile ecosystem.


Three choices you must make before hiking to Hyperion.

•The forest around Hyperion has been trampled and damaged by ill-informed hikers. Remember, Hyperion is located off designated hiking trails.

•Redwood roots are incredibly shallow, reaching down 12 feet on average. Soil compaction due to trampling negatively effects these centuries-old trees.

•Forests grow by the inch and die by the foot! The redwood forest is a delicate ecosystem. Hiking off trail tramples sensitive understory plants and disrupts the redwood forest ecology.

•Trash and human waste has been found littered on the way to Hyperion.

The trek to this particular redwood is hazardous to hikers because it is completely off-trail. Located in an area with no cell phone reception and spotty GPS coverage, a small injury could be dangerous.
There are hundreds of miles of trails within the old-growth redwood forest. All these trails offer beautiful views of massive redwood trees.

Check out these trails in order to see amazing, big trees within the old-growth redwood forest!


Commonly Asked Questions

No, it’s not. A view of Hyperion doesn’t match its hype. Hyperion’s trunk is small in comparison to many other old-growth redwood trees and its height cannot be observed from the ground. Please remember that flying drones and climbing redwoods is illegal, violators have and will be cited. There are hundreds of trees on designated trails that are more impressive to view from the tree’s base.
  • Redwoods in their lifespan frequently lose sections of their crown due to wind and lightening. Although they attempt to regrow, they may never reach their initial height. The title of tallest tree has changed many times over the years and will change again in the near future. Constructing and maintaining a trail is an expensive operation, particularly to a tree not expected to be the tallest in the future and a forest that does not rival the grandeur of Tall Trees Grove.
Thousands of people likely think the same thing when hiking off trail. Forests grow by the inch and die by the foot. A single visitor can make a negative change to the environment. Although you may feel like you are not making an impact, many people making a small change creates a lasting and devastating effect.

What Is the Park Doing to Protect The Tree?

We are encouraging visitors not to seek out Hyperion, and we continue to ask people not to create social trails anywhere in the redwoods. We have over 100 miles of maintained trails that go to incredibly stunning and massive redwoods. In summer 2022, we opened up the new "Grove Of Titans" trail that has an elevated boardwalk. This expensive boardwalk protects the delicate ferns and other forest floor plants that were being trampled by well-meaning visitors who were bush-crashing to seek the "Titans". 

The Fine Print (Legalities)

The following listed activities are illegal within Redwood National & State Parks. These activities are listed in the Redwood National Park Compendium as follows.

  • The following area is closed to public access to protect park resources. The closure includes Tom McDonald Creek and the surrounding area upstream from its confluence with RedwoodCreek”. This includes all park areas inside the following five GPS points.
    1) 41°12.689N 124°1.343W eastbound to -

    2) 41°12.605N 124°0.889W southeast following the west side of the Redwood Creek streambed along the tree line to -
    3) 41°12.407N 124°0.492W southwest to -
    4) 41°11..879N 124°0.788W westbound to -
    5) 41°11.783N 124°1.302W northbound back to #1 following the G61 Road. The closure will follow the east side of the road at the tree line.
    Determination: This area contains sensitive and unique park resources that require limited human exposure to protect these resources.
    Hiking within this closure could result in a fine or jail.

  • Climbing any tree is prohibited without a research permit issued by the NPS that specifically authorizes this activity. During the spotted owl and marbled murrelet breeding season a United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) approved Section 10(a)(1)(A) permit is also required.

  • Launching, landing or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Redwood National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.

Last updated: November 29, 2022

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