Driving on an Unmarked Backcountry Road in Search of a Tall Tree

Seven point five kilometres northwest of Port Renfrew is an unmarked road which if you drive it, it will take you to a place where trees have been growing for thousands of years. 

These trees are of the cedar variety and can grow over 11metres in circumference! The area is now known as Avatar Grove and this area of the island has been dubbed the Tall Tree Capital of Vancouver Island. 

  • Why has it been dubbed the Big Tree Capital? 

It has over 500-massive cedar, spruce and Sitka trees which are over 8-metres in circumference and over 45-metres tall. 

Actually the largest Sitka tree around here is 11.5-metres in circumference and over 65-metres tall. It’s physically bigger than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy! 

Driving through the only downpour we’ve seen all week, up a semi backcountry mountain road, over small boulders and thru ruts large enough to take off our Hyundai Elantra’s bumpers, we casually drove onward in search of the trailhead. 

Early in the morning we both read articles about this particular Cedar forest called Avatar Grove and that Big Tree photographer T.J. Watt had discovered and named one of the trees “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree”.