The Big Cedar Tree

The Big Cedar Tree isn’t as big anymore, but it is still worth your time.

A closer look at the gaping maw from whence the giant piece of the Big Cedar Tree fell off.
A closer look at the gaping maw from whence the giant piece of the Big Cedar Tree fell off.
The gigantic old cedar, located off Highway 101 near Kalaloch and Ruby beaches in Olympic National Park, lost a significant chunk in 2013, but remains one of the biggest trees we’ve ever seen – and that includes a trip to see the Redwoods in northern California.

We went to take a look at the old girl during our recent camping trip.

Veronica posing in front of the Big Cedar Tree, with Catarina thinking about scaling it in the background. It's hard to show just how huge this tree is, but this should give a bit of scale.
Veronica posing in front of the Big Cedar Tree, with Catarina thinking about scaling it in the background. It’s hard to show just how huge this tree is, but this should give a bit of scale.
The Western Red Cedar was one of the largest in the world before a storm broke it in half. Despite the tree losing some of its size, it still serves a purpose on the rain forest floor as it will become a place for new plant life to take shape.

The Big Cedar tree supports lots of other trees. It is truly an amazing sight.
The Big Cedar tree supports lots of other trees. It is truly an amazing sight.
After parking in the gravel parking lot, which we had to ourselves, we made our way up a short path to the fallen down giant. The fog on this late May morning only added to the effect.

The old path is cut off, as a enormous section of the tree is laying across it. The trunk, which was at least 5 feet tall, dwarfed me and I’m 6-foot-4.
The part that is still standing is massive, and includes a piece that extends over the top of the new trail.

Looking up at the Big Cedar Tree. Makes one feel rather tiny.
Looking up at the Big Cedar Tree. Makes one feel rather tiny.
Someone even left a miniature angel statue inside the tree, I guess to bless those that came to visit.

Someone left an angel statue inside of the tree, perhaps as a blessing on all who passed by it.
Someone left an angel statue inside of the tree, perhaps as a blessing on all who passed by it.
This tree is truly one of those experiences in life that it must be seen to be believed. We tried to take photos from multiple angles, but each time it was hard to get the true size of the behemoth across.

Catarina is a climber, and though this is no high peak, she certainly loved climbing all over the Big Cedar Tree.
Catarina is a climber, and though this is no high peak, she certainly loved climbing all over the Big Cedar Tree.
It dwarfed everything in its sight, and is so big, that it has other tree varieties growing off of it.

We also continued up the path a way, eventually turning around because of our desire to go to Ruby Beach. There were other very large trees up the trail, but I have no idea where it goes.

This is not the Big Cedar Tree, but a big cedar tree. We saw this one nearby, and it was impressive in its own right. The entire forest in this area is a wonder to behold.
This is not the Big Cedar Tree, but a big cedar tree. We saw this one nearby, and it was impressive in its own right. The entire forest in this area is a wonder to behold.
If you want to see an intact giant tree, you can also check out the Quinault Big Cedar.

– Craig Craker

If you go
Location: Big Cedar Tree, off of Highway 101 near Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park.
When: Anytime of year works, though we thought the fog added to the scene.
What: One of the world’s largest Western Red Cedar trees, though a ginormous chunk of it has fallen off.
Fees: None.
Kid-friendly: Absolutely. Your kids will love climbing all over this enormous tree.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Lucy says:

    Wow, that’s impressive!! I’ve never seen one in real life, but they sure look huge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 5sOnTheFly says:

    Pretty amazing, and it looks like this cedar could hold its own with the sequoias we just saw 🙂 We’re looking to visit Olympic National Park this fall, so thanks for making us aware of this must-see tree!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so much fun coming across these giant trees. By the way, I love reading about your family’s adventures. Very inspiring!

      Like

  3. The 2nd picture is great. I can see how huge it really is. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jill i says:

    I stopped by and saw that tree in late June, a few weeks after you. I continued down the trail and it sort of petered out, didn’t really seem to go anywhere. But there were some beautiful big old trees out there. I was just in the redwoods and yea, this cedar was on the same scale.

    Like

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