Garberville, California

Garberville/Redway area is the perfect base for your exploration of the enchanting Redwood Empire. You can find lodging, restaurants, colorful shops and a full entertainment calendar. A movie theater, concerts, a summer Shakespeare festival and crafts fairs.


Garberville is located south of Eureka between Fortuna and Willits along US Highway 101.


Along California route #101 about two hundred miles north of the Golden Gate, on the REDWOOD HIGHWAY in Humboldt County one reaches the still modest hamlet of Garberville. Named by and for Jacob Garber in 1868. It proudly proclaims itself the "Heart of the Redwood Empire". These photos were taken during the last century when it was much smaller and pleasantly attractive.


 The freeway arrived in the early 1960's.

  Eureka - 70 miles
  Redwood State Park - 5 miles, 10 minutes away
  Avenue of the Giants - 5 miles, 10 minutes away
  Golf - 3 miles
  Ocean - 24 miles
  Mill Tour - 42 miles
Benbow State Park - 5 minutes
The Redwoods & the Lost Coast
   Avenue of the Giants - 6 miles
   9-Hole Benbow Valley Golf Course - nearby
   Shelter Cove - 45 minutes

In 1978, the seeds that became the Mateel Community Center were planted at the old Fireman’s Hall in Garberville, CA, a rural town serving as the epicenter of the southern Humboldt community. The name Mateel was given to the community center and newly formed non-profit organization because it was a gathering place for people living in the hills throughout the Mattole and Eel River watersheds, and sought to unite the many remote and culturally underserved communities scattered throughout the region. The alternative culture that thrived here bought and refurbished the Fireman’s Hall, which was originally built in 1939, and it quickly became a popular meeting place that drew a surprising number of high-quality music acts for which people streamed out of the hills.


New Year's Celebration at Benbow Inn.


Richardson Grove State Park  Established in 1922 and named after Friend W. Richardson, the 25th governor of California, the park is bisected by Highway 101 and the south fork of the Eel River. Camping, hiking, swimming, and just relaxing are popular activities throughout much of the year. The park has the most southerly significant forest of old growth Redwoods. The 9th tallest redwood, a fallen tree ring study conducted in 1933, and a walk through tree are immediately available. The park offers summer programs including campfires, Junior Rangers, and guided nature walks. Camping is available. The park also offers miles of hiking trails, picnic area, fishing, and water access.


HUMBOLDT REDWOODS STATE PARK: California's largest redwood park is home to the awe-inspiring Rockefeller Forest, which contains hundreds of towering 1,000-year-old redwoods in its never-logged groves. Drive the Avenue of the Giants, a narrow two-lane road; trails edge the Eel River and cross the park's 51,000 acres.


Where: 5 miles north of Garberville off U.S. 101. When: Year-round; rainy and cold in winter. Cost: $2 per car. Camping: 250 sites from $12; (800) 444-7275. Contact: (707) 946-2409 or


The first known inhabitants of this region, the Sinkyone people, used the area as a seasonal encampment for hunting, fishing and food gathering. These expert hunters, members of the Athapascan people, used trained dogs to drive game into the river so that it could be more easily caught. Both men and women made baskets. The women created the household basketry and the me made those used for hunting and fishing. The first settler recorded in the area, Kentuckian Ruben Reed, purchased the land o the south fork of the Eel. 


The most notable natural feature of Richardson Grove is the old-growth redwood forest, which thrives in the area’s mild climate. Many trees in the grove are more than 1,000 years old; several are more than 300 feet tall. Strolling among these towering redwood giants is an unforgettable experience. Here visitors can see the ninth tallest coast redwood, a walk-through tree, and a fallen tree growth-ring exhibit that has drawn visitors since 1933.Redwood sorrel, ferns and mosses take advantage of the deep shade in the heart of the forest. Younger redwoods, Douglas fir, California laurel, various oaks and madrones compete for sunlight and moisture outside the established groves. Lower growth includes huckleberry, manzanita, coyote brush, Douglas iris, calypso orchids and redwood violets. Periodic flooding of the Eel River has done tremendous damage. Park facilities were destroyed and many trees lost in the floods of 1955 and1964. In February 1986 the river again overflowed its banks, destroying the campfire center and picnic area.

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