Awe Inspring Avatar Grove

Apr 13, 2015 | by | 3 Comments

Canada's Gnarliest Tree

The main attraction at Avatar Grove, an ancient gnarly western redcedar.

Avatar Grove is an awe inspiring grove of old growth western redcedar and huge Douglas-fir trees. It’s hard to describe the feeling in this quiet forest near Port Renfrew. The trees are immense, towering over a forest floor covered with a chaotic jumble of fallen moss-covered wood, deer fern, salad, and red huckleberry.

Forest Floor Chaos

A mad jumble of fallen trees and rainforest undergrowth at Avatar Grove near Port Renfrew.

Tiny western hemlock cluster on the rotting backs of nurse logs. Photography is challenging because there is just so much in every image—it is very difficult to simplify compositions and I struggled with it.

Salal and Deer Fern

Salal and deer fern carpet the wet rainforest floor of Avatar Grove.

I visited the grove with a group of photographers on a Thomas Dawson weekend photography workshop. We spent quite a bit of time looking for scenes in the forest around the main attraction at the grove, “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree.” The big redcedar is definitely a must see, the huge burls on the trunk make the tree distinctive.

Side View of the Ancient Redcedar

Side view of the ancient redcedar at Avatar Grove.

It is a bit of a muddy walk up hill to the big tree (you also have the option to visit the lower part of the grove as well). The trail has been improved and there are stairs in sections, but there are many exposed roots and slippery sections. Listen for Pacific wrens and varied thrush as you make your way through this special place and try to minimize your impact.

Debris Choked Stream

Woody debris fills the stream that runs down past Canada’s gnarliest tree.

Your best option for visiting the grove is to overnight in Port Renfrew which makes getting to the grove early easy. It also gives you the opportunity to combine your visit with other local attractions like Botany Bay and Botanical Beach as well as several of the other beaches in Juan De Fuca Provincial Park between Port Renfrew and Sooke.

Getting There:

Rather than provide directions to Avatar Grove I’ve included several links to sites with detailed directions. Once you’re on the right logging road the signage is pretty clear.


Published in: Destinations, Forests, Hiking, Landscapes, Nature Photography, Nature Viewing, Pacific Rim
Tags: , , , , , ,

Follow Island Nature

Google+

Previously Featured

Rossiter Lake Ramble
Apr 8, 2015

I’ve been meaning to hike down to Rossiter and Divers Lake for some time but they’re a bit off the beaten track and access is essentially in and back. Both of these … [ read more ]


Bravery Needed at Bonnell Creek
Apr 6, 2015

Some waterfalls are challenging to get to—Ammonite Falls and the Trent River Falls are two good examples. Both of these require a rope assisted descent down a fairly steep slope. … [ read more ]


Return to Rosewall Creek
Dec 7, 2014

I like the hike up Rosewall Creek—it’s fairly easy going and the walk doesn’t take much more than 45 minutes to get to the first view point of the main falls. At … [ read more ]


Radar Hill Beach
Sep 5, 2014

It’s definitely off the beaten track in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and takes a little effort to get to but the Radar Hill Beaches are spectacular. The trail down to … [ read more ]


A Helleva lot of Velella
Aug 10, 2014

It’s like some ill-conceived, poorly planned invasion on the shores of the west coast of Vancouver Island. In the last week, small blue jellyfish-like creatures have been … [ read more ]


Call for Writers

Got an interesting nature story or hosting a nature related event that is based on Vancouver Island?

If you're interested in writing a guest post, we're always looking for articles about wildlife viewing, nature activities, ecotravel, and natural destinations. Check our Submission Guidelines for articles and photographs!


Disclosure

Island Nature is a member of the Canadian Amazon Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to books on amazon.ca. A small percentage of each sale helps support this web site and you pay no additional fees for the book!


Member of

  • Wildlife Photography Blogs

Copyright

Creative Commons License

Images and writing by Dave Ingram are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.



Botany


Common Spring-Gold (Crocidium multicaule)
Signs of Spring … Gold

One of the most beautiful early blooming spring flowers on the east coast of Vancouver Island is gold star or common spring-gold (Crocidium multicaule). In the Comox Valley the … [ read more ]


More

Birds


Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)
Cassin’s Casualties

I usually find interesting things washed up at the high tide line along Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve—fresh bull kelp is common, as are various types … [ read more ]


More

Invertebrates


Sand-verbena Moth (Copablepharon fuscum)
Sand-verbena Moth Surprise

It has been too long since I’ve checked out the plants in the spectacular dunes at Goose Spit. A number of specialized plants grow in these dunes—yellow sand verbena (Abronia … [ read more ]


More

Sea Shore


Velella velella at Wickaninnish Beach
A Helleva lot of Velella

It’s like some ill-conceived, poorly planned invasion on the shores of the west coast of Vancouver Island. In the last week, small blue jellyfish-like creatures have been … [ read more ]


More

Destinations


Side View of the Ancient Redcedar
Awe Inspring Avatar Grove

Avatar Grove is an awe inspiring grove of old growth western redcedar and huge Douglas-fir trees. It’s hard to describe the feeling in this quiet forest near Port Renfrew. … [ read more ]


More