Bull Creek (Humboldt County)

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Bull Creek
Old-growth redwood forest of the Bull Creek floodplain
Country United States
State California
Region Humboldt County
 - coordinates 40°15′36″N 123°59′15″W / 40.26000°N 123.98750°W / 40.26000; -123.98750 [1]
Mouth South Fork Eel River
 - elevation 272 ft (83 m)
 - coordinates 40°20′57″N 124°00′04″W / 40.34917°N 124.00111°W / 40.34917; -124.00111Coordinates: 40°20′57″N 124°00′04″W / 40.34917°N 124.00111°W / 40.34917; -124.00111 [1]
Basin 41 sq mi (106 km2)

Bull Creek is the largest Eel River tributary drainage basin preserved within Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The basin contains the world's largest remaining contiguous old-growth forest of coast redwoods.[2] Bull Creek flows in a clockwise semi-circle around 3373-foot (1028-meter) Grasshopper Mountain[3] to enter the South Fork Eel River approximately 1.5 miles (2.5 km) upstream of the South Fork confluence with the Eel River.[4]


Early attempts to preserve individual redwood trees and small groves of trees led to an improved understanding of the interdependence of forest ecosystems. Species important to the centuries-old coastal redwood trees include aquatic plants and animals within adjacent streams. The entire Bull Creek drainage basin is protected within park boundaries to avoid upstream water quality changes detrimental to aquatic residents of the floodplain where the largest trees grow. Redwood trees control the rate of erosion within the drainage basin. Large-diameter, rot-resistant trunks of fallen redwood trees may resist erosion more effectively than the friable upper Cretaceous marine sedimentary and metasedimentary bedrock of the drainage basin.[5]

Founders Grove on the Bull Creek flood plain was within 9,400 acres (3,800 hectares) purchased in 1931 by the Save the Redwoods League. Timber on land upslope of Founders Grove was harvested in 1947. Heavy rains in December 1955 washed soil, rocks, and debris from the deforested slopes; and this debris flood felled three hundred trees with trunks more than 4-foot (1.2 m) in diameter within the downslope grove. Four hundred more large trees were felled from the grove by the Christmas flood of 1964. Most of the remainder of the Bull Creek watershed was subsequently purchased by Save-the-Redwoods League to encourage upslope forest management practices more similar to natural processes.[6]


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Bull Creek
  2. ^ "Humboldt Redwoods State Park". Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Grasshopper Mountain
  4. ^ DeLorme California Atlas and Gazetteer (1st edition) (2008) ISBN 0-89933-383-4 map 38
  5. ^ Strand, Rudolph G. Geologic Map of California:Redding Sheet (1962) State of California Resources Agency
  6. ^ Hewes, Jeremy Joan (1992). Redwoods. New York: Smithmark. pp. 183&184. ISBN 0-8317-7381-2.

See also[edit]