Justin Garland - POST
By Justin Garland,
Redwoods Program Manager

Towering above the skyline just west of Woodside, CA, is a massive old-growth redwood. Its name is “Methuselah” and it is the oldest and largest living tree in the Santa Cruz Mountains (outside the trees in Big Basin State Park).

It’s huge. When you first see Methuselah, it’s hard to fully comprehend what you’re looking at. It’s so massive compared to the other trees in the forest it seems like it should have a different descriptor – it feels like more than just a “tree”.

After the initial shock of simply comprehending the size of this thing, you begin to really see exactly what it is you’re looking at. The sign at the foot of the tree helps, too. It estimates the tree to be over 1,800 years old. Yeah, sit with that a second.

So why am I telling you this story? Methuselah’s story is the story of our open spaces. To know these stories is to know and love this place.

Let’s take a trip through time and hear what Methuselah has to say:

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Methuselah Redwood Tree - POST
The people in this picture help give Methuselah some scale. Above the first burl, the tree measures over 14 feet in diameter. Photo: Dipika Bhattacharya, CC

How to Visit Methuselah:

Methuselah is conveniently located just a short walk off of Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard) 3.3 miles north of Sky Londa and Alice’s Restaurant and 0.5 miles south of the Caltrans’ Skeggs Vista Point.

The closest parking is across the road at El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve. Be careful crossing the road as cars can come around the corner quickly. Methuselah will be visible from the road. Pass through the gate and follow the trail to the base of the tree.

Methuselah is now owned by the California Water Service Company and they have generously allowed public access to this portion of their land. Please be courteous of their property and leave only footprints.

Happy trails!

  • John Harvey

    Except this tree is not the largest in the Santa Cruz mountains outside of big basin. The giant in Henry Cowell is larger by volume as well as a tree in Pescadero. Part of the problem is this tree is only slightly over 150’ talk. I guess if you’re speaking in terms of girth that would be true since only the father of the forest in big basin is wider.

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Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects and cares for open space, farms and parkland in and around Silicon Valley. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 75,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.

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