360° VR Panoramas of the Northern California Coast, Coast Ranges, and Redwood Highway
Big River and Albion River
Inland from Little River, Mendocino County, California

Scattered across the raised coastal platforms of the Mendocino coast are areas with an ancient soil, depleted of nutrients and hostile to plant growth. Here, despite the mild climate and abundant rain, the forest grows only head high and is dominated by dwarfish varieties of cypress and pine. All around the edges of these "pygmy forests", where erosion has broken through the white soil, the redwoods and Douglas firs gow to normal height.


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Start of the nature trail at the pygmy forest in Van Damme State Park

Start of the nature trail at the pygmy forest in Van Damme State Park

Start of the nature trail at the pygmy forest in Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park, California

Date photographed: November 13, 2007
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Dwarf Bolander pine (Pinus contorta) is the largest species in the pygmy forest

Dwarf Bolander pine (Pinus contorta) is the largest species in the pygmy forest

Dwarf Bolander pine (Pinus contorta) is the largest species in the pygmy forest

Van Damme State Park, California

Date photographed: November 13, 2007
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Mendocino cypress is another dwarf tree species in the pygmy forest

Mendocino cypress is another dwarf tree species in the pygmy forest

Mendocino cypress is another dwarf tree species in the pygmy forest

Van Damme State Park, California

Date photographed: November 13, 2007
See location in Google Maps

A hint of fall color in the redwood forest on the upper Albion River

A hint of fall color in the redwood forest on the upper Albion River

A hint of fall color in the redwood forest on the upper Albion River

near Comptche, California

Date photographed: November 13, 2007
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Protected habitat along the tiny Albion River near Comptche

Protected habitat along the tiny Albion River near Comptche

Protected habitat along the tiny Albion River near Comptche

near Comptche, California

Date photographed: November 13, 2007
See location in Google Maps

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