View Full Version : Fog in the Redwoods

18-Dec-2015, 20:06
Anyone up in NorCal, or who might know the answer to this, have any idea when there is the best chance to get fog up along 101? Especially The Avenue of the Giants or Prarie Creek, ect? I live in SoCal and would like to have a better chance of fog than just shooting in the dark and hoping. I've been through many times but don't remember when I've hit the fog although I have hit it so thick I couldn't drive. Thanks.

18-Dec-2015, 20:45
I have ridden my bicycle on the highway at night with fog so thick I could not see the lines if I was in the middle of the lane and street lights were a barely noticeable glow above! A rare experience!

Best chances: summertime mornings, especially early on when inland temps first reach into the 90's. No recent storm fronts coming through the area helps, too. A ground fog seems more rare these days. Up the Eel River Canyon (Ave. of the Giants), fog can move 60 miles inland (past Garberville) at night and move out in the morning. I have seen the fog move like a river down the Mattole River drainage...with standing waves of fog hundreds of feet tall as it rushed to the ocean.

Prairie Creek and Redwood National Park it is a little tougher to predict. But if you find a medium high fog along Prairie Creek, one can drive up Cal Barrel Road and get into the fog (the road can be iffy -- often closed). The other option if one did not want to walk up to the fog (a few different trails head up from Prairie Creek to the local ridgetops), would be Lady Bird Johnson Grove (Redwood NP) up the Bald Hills Road. Catch that place in the spring and you could get the classic Redwood-Rhody flowers-Fog combo! Call the Redwood National Park Visitor center for info if the Rhodys are blooming. I really do not keep track of them.

But sometimes you got to head down if the fog is hugging the coast -- Davidson Road to Fern Canyon, then hike the trails leaving the beach and heading up into the redwoods (James Irvine and Miner Ridge Trails, for example.) The air will not be still -- long exposures will be difficult as the fog moves thru the trees. But there is usually a point where the fog stops moving in and everything gets still for a short while...then a breeze from inland picks up and the sun may appear.

But high fog is more the norm, burning off in the afternoon.

Another place that can get hit by drifting fog is the Damnation Creek Trail (Del Norte Redwoods) as the fog off the Pacific comes up the slope from the creek. Mostly Spruces further down the slope as the redwoods do not like the salt carried up be the fog and wind.

Bill Burk
19-Dec-2015, 09:26
There's always campfire smoke in the campgrounds. Then you just need to look for campgrounds with redwoods like Big Basin. If you don't want to wait for a lucky break, you can make your own. (I mention this because I just developed some 35mm shots from a camping trip where I'd caught some diagonal morning light shooting in streaks across the road through some smoke).

19-Dec-2015, 16:09
There's always campfire smoke in the campgrounds. Then you just need to look for campgrounds with redwoods like Big Basin. If you don't want to wait for a lucky break, you can make your own...

Just don't pull a Fatali.

Leszek Vogt
19-Dec-2015, 16:23
Just don't pull a Fatali.



Drew Wiley
21-Dec-2015, 10:46
Heck. It's a rare summer day when I don't have fog at my place. But microclimates dictate where it will be and when. When it temporarily clear over on the coast, it blows across SF Bay into our neighborhood. But on the coastal hills themselves, it's often a factor of elevation, with fog predominantly until around noon before clearing, then coming back in late afternoon. The timing of the fog cycle is different down around Big Sur and Monterey. For the north coast, ask Vaughn. June and July are heaviest. It can be so thick that redwood and old growth fir forest literally become cloud forest, with it raining from the trees themselves. That's basically what redwoods are - fog collection machine which direct the water to their root system and then into the ecosystem. Things were a lot more lush, and the streams a lot more abundant before most of these trees were cut down.

Andrew Plume
30-Dec-2015, 15:25
Just don't pull a Fatali.



this one just will not go away......................strange only came back to me (yet again) the other day on here, when said M Fatali placed a 'WTB' post..............



Bill Burk
30-Dec-2015, 20:32
Took me a while.

Honest it was like this when we got there...


30-Dec-2015, 23:14
There was some light local fog the other day in the redwoods. A clear night and clear morning skies. The sun coming through the trees warmed the moisture wherever it hit on the leaves and branches, and it became fog in the cooler air. Short lived and hard to plan for!

Most of the fog I photographed in was a high fog above the trees -- lighted my scenes like a big soft box (especially nice for silver gelatin printing). Openings in the canopy would create great pools of light. Best time was around 10am to 2pm. Made me a pretty lazy photographer -- I might see more fog if I up out of the house earlier!

But fog still managed to sneak in occasionally (5x7 carbon Print);

Jim Fitzgerald
31-Dec-2015, 08:08
Let me just say that if anyone knows this area it is Vaughn. He got me lazy as well. I mean 10 am to 2 pm! What is not to like about that. Especially when shooting for carbon the light pools and shafts coming through the canopy are pure magic. It will be nice being closer to the Redwoods.