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Hikers to the World’s Tallest Tree in NorCal Face Jail Time

Travelers face $5,000 fine and 6 months jail time for hiking to the famous tree in Redwood NP
By - posted 8/2/2022 No Comment

The World’s Tallest Tree in Redwood National Park is now off-limits. And the punishment? A $5,000 fine and 6 months in jail.

Redwood National Park has issued the following statement,

“As a visitor, you must decide…Will you be part of the park’s preservation? Or part of the problem?

There is no trail to Hyperion. Hyperion is located within a closed area. Hiking within this closure could result in a $5,000 fine and 6 months in jail. 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. Despite the difficult journey, increased popularity due to bloggers, travel writers, and websites of this off-trail tree has resulted in the devastation of the habitat surrounding Hyperion. As a visitor, you must decide if you will be part of the preservation of this unique landscape – or will you be part of its destruction?”

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.

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.

In addition, 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 (legally) see other amazing, big trees within the old-growth redwood forest

Read more at the National Park Service.