While the hills of western Sonoma County were being systematically denuded of old-growth redwood trees in the second half of the 19th Century, Colonel Armstrong set aside this small area to preserve a few giants. Eventually it became a popular state park, named after the colonel. It’s especially popular in the summer, when the temperature under the trees can be 20 or 30 degrees cooler than the adjacent town of Guerneville.
The tallest tree in the park is 310 feet (94 meters) in height. The oldest has been around for at least 1400 years. But coast redwoods—Sequoia sempervirens—can live to be taller and older. As they stand here, it’s almost impossible to get a good top-to-bottom photograph that shows their true scale. No way could I fit the Ogre into the frame with the crown of a lofty redwood.