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 30 minutes 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
*Note – Always use caution when traveling in remote areas. The route to the tree is along active logging roads so stay to the right and drive with headlights on at all times. Carry with you a full size spare tire, tire inflation kits, and a jack. Vehicles should be in great working order and have good ground clearance. Always let someone know where you plan to go and pack enough food, water, and clothing for emergencies. The Vancouver Island Backroads Mapbook is the best tool for finding your way.
Directions Coming from Victoria, BC – Drive time approx 3 hours
Click on direction links to see pictures of turns
- Drive to Port Renfrew along the West Coast Hwy #14
- Immediately upon reaching Port Renfrew turn RIGHT downhill onto Deering Rd.
- Cross the long bridge over the San Juan River and stay to the right on Deering until you cross a second single lane bridge and come to a “T” in the road.
- Turn RIGHT at the T and start heading towards Lake Cowichan on the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
- Travel along the Pacific Marine Circle Route for approximately 12 km. where you will hit a major fork in the road. Turn RIGHT at the fork. You will now be heading onto a gravel road.
- Keep RIGHT on this road watching for signs put up to guide you to the tree until you cross a bridge over the San Juan River again.
- Continue a short ways past the bridge and turn RIGHT onto Bear Main.
- Then turn RIGHT onto Mosquito Main. At that point you're at a hill top where it levels off and begins to go down hill again. Stay towards the right.
- Then, at the Y turn RIGHT and get onto the Red Creek main. You’re on the correct road if you soon begin driving down hill for quite a ways. Continue down hill until it comes to a T and go RIGHT.
- Continue for approximately 5 minutes until you arrive at a parking pullout. There should some flagging tape and a white info sign at the route's entrance. Hike on in an see the worlds biggest Douglas fir!
GPS for Red Creek Fir Parking: lat = 48.57990, lon = -124.22639
The largest Douglas fir tree in the world grows only a 45 minute 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 recently 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