Tom McDonald
Height: 351.12+ ft (107.02+ m) Elevation: 400 ft (122 m) GPS Latitude: 41.19538
Volume: Creek: Tom McDonald Creek GPS Longitude: -124.01691
Width: 12.80 ft (3.90 m) Grove: Hyperion Valley Discovery Date: 2000
Age: 750 y Park: Redwood NP Discovered By: Chris K. Atkins
Michael W. Taylor

Notes: Tom McDonald, also known as The Beast, is the 3rd tallest tree in Hyperion Valley. National Geographic photographer Michael K. Nichols photographed Tom McDonald from Crown Jewel.

Drive: Tom McDonald is 251 mi (404 km) north of San Francisco near the community of Orick.

From U.S. Highway 101 just north of Orick, turn onto Bald Hills Road and drive 7.0 mi (11.3 km) to the Tall Trees Grove Access Road (locked gate: reservation required). Turn right onto Tall Trees Grove Access Road, unlock the gate using the combination code provided in your reservation confirmation email, and drive south 5.2 mi (8.4 km) on the unpaved road to the Tall Trees trailhead parking lot.

Hike: GPS-assisted navigation is recommended for this hike. From the trailhead, hike west/downhill 1.4 mi (2.3 km) on Tall Trees Trail to Tall Trees Grove. Turn left at the bench to access Redwood Creek nearest Tom McDonald Creek. Cross Redwood Creek and, using a GPS device, hike 1.1 mi (1.8 km) up Tom McDonald Creek, past Hyperion and Crown Jewel, to Tom McDonald. Most of the hike up Tom McDonald Creek is clear of brush and very accessible, but expect to get your feet wet. Although the creekbed is flat, you must circumnavigate several sets of big logs which block your path up the creek which is the only reason this hike is rated moderate instead of easy. After visiting Tom McDonald, hike northwest 50 ft (15 m) off-trail to Crown Jewel then hike north 0.8 mi (1.3 km) down Tom McDonald Creek to Hyperion.

Creek Warning: Tom McDonald is not accessible via Tall Trees Trail when Redwood Creek has high water levels. Though seasonal footbridges are installed throughout summer and fall, the footbridges do no cross Redwood Creek near Tom McDonald Creek. You must wade across Redwood Creek and up Tom McDonald Creek to get to Tom McDonald. It is best to visit Tom McDonald from July through October when Redwood Creek is low enough to wade across. To visit Tom McDonald whenever Redwood Creek is impassable, use the 10.5 mi (16.9 km) longer alternate route via Orick Horse Trail.

Trespass Warning: The forest surrounding Hyperion is closed to the public until further notice. Hyperion, Crown Jewel, and Tom McDonald remain inaccessible indefinitely.

Rating: Moderate One-Way Distance: 2.5 mi (4.0 km) Ascent: 674 ft (205 m)
Time: 2 hr Off-Trail: 1.1 mi (1.8 km) Descent: 1,055 ft (322 m)
Tom McDonald Tree Hike Map

View Tom McDonald Tree location in Google Maps

Panorama: Click panorama to take a virtual tour of Tom McDonald Tree

Tom McDonald Tree

Photos: Pictures of Tom McDonald Tree taken from different sides

Tom McDonald Tree Tom McDonald Tree Tom McDonald Tree Tom McDonald Tree