How to get to the Red Creek Fir in Port Renfrew, BC
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Hiker Alex Demasson stands beside the towering Red Creek fir. Growing in the San Juan Valley 1 hour from Port Renfrew BC, it is the worlds largest known Douglas Fir measuring - Height: 73.8m (242'), Circumference: 13.3m (43.7'), Diameter: 4.2m (14')
Photo by TJ Watt
Odometer readings will vary from one vehicle to another so please use your best judgement when referencing the distances below. This route is not possible for vehicles with low clearance. Trucks, SUV's, and 4wd vehicles are best. Whenever travelling on logging roads it is recommended that you have a full tank of gas, a working spare tire, and drive defensively with your headlights on. There is no cellphone reception in Port Renfrew or the surrounding areas, so always be prepared in case of an emergency. Let a friend know where you're going and when you intend to be back. The Vancouver Island Backroads Mapbook is a helpful tool for finding your way. Remember: These are remote wilderness areas - travel and hike at your own risk!!
Directions from Port Renfrew - Approximately 1 hour drive time
- km 0.0 - start at the Port Renfrew Community Center/Fire Station and drive down Deering Rd.
- km 0.2 - continue over single lane bridge over the San Juan River
- km 1.4 - keep right at fork
- km 2.7 - cross Deering Bridge and turn right towards Lake Cowichan
- km 15.8 - turn right at 9 Mile Junction onto Len's Creek Main (start of gravel road)
- km 18.2 - keep right at fork (Len's Triangle) onto Bear Main
- km 20.2 - cross the large bridge over the San Juan River. The San Juan Spruce tree & Recreation Site are accessed via a left hand turn just after the bridge
- km 20.4 - continue straight uphill past the San Juan Spruce
- km 22.3 - turn right onto Mosquito Creek Main and begin heading uphill
- km 23.4 - keep left up steep hill through recent clearcut
- km 24.7 - keep straight
- km 26.1 - keep right at fork
- km 26.8 - keep right at fork onto Red Creek Main. This road appears less-used and descends downhill for quite some time, so don't feel that you've gone the wrong way!
- km 30.0 - turn right at "T" junction at the bottom of the hill
- km 31.2 - park where the road noticeably widens on both sides. The trailhead is found just a few meters beyond on the right hand side. It is a 10-15 minute walk to the Red Creek Fir, the largest known Douglas-fir tree in the world! Watch for 3 incredible old-growth redcedar trees along the left hand side of the trail about halfway up as well.
GPS for Red Creek Fir Parking: lat = 48.57990, lon = -124.22639
The largest Douglas fir tree in the world grows only a 1 hour drive from Port Renfrew, BC. The Red Creek Fir measures 43.7 feet in circumference (14 feet in diameter), stretches 242 feet tall, with a crown spread of 75 feet. The tree is truly mammoth in size and is a must-see for big tree lovers. Along the trail there are also three giant cedars that deserve a good look as well.
Although the Red Creek fir is recognized as the largest living tree of its species on earth, it has been afforded no legislated protection by the BC Liberal government. The tree itself sits on public (Crown) lands but is partially bordered by private lands. The Ancient Forest Alliance constructed and installed a new information sign at the tree to replace the old sign, which lay broken and rusted on the ground after years of neglect by the Province.
Trail Guide: Difficulty Level - Moderate.
After parking in the small pullout, find the route marker on the right hand side of the road. The path is fairly clear and easy to follow; it takes approximately 10 minutes to reach the tree. Be sure to check out the giant redcedars on the path's left-hand side about half way up!
TJ Watt with New Sign identifying the Red Creek Fir
3 Giant Cedars