Capitol Christmas Tree

The US Capitol has a Humboldt Christmas tree. You can too from the same forest

Get a tree for free from the Six Rivers National Forest, compliments of Humboldt lodging partners

November 30, 2021

EUREKA, California — On the West Lawn outside the U.S. Capitol, a tall white fir from Northern California known as “Sugar Bear” should soon rise and shine, adorned with tens of thousands of ornaments and lights.

Within days, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is slated to light up the 84-foot-tall national tree, provided by the US Forest Service as part of a Capitol tradition that goes back 51 years.

The so-called People’s Christmas Tree began its more than 3,000-mile journey to Washington, D.C., months ago, having originated in a mountain forest in Humboldt County, known as California’s Redwood Coast and home to the world’s tallest trees.

To celebrate the season, participating Humboldt hotels will reimburse the $10 permit fee (and $2.50 online service charge) for guests who pick out their own Christmas trees from Sugar Bear’s home, the Six Rivers National Forest, a 1.2-million acre recreational wilderness featuring wild and scenic rivers, fishing, rafting, hiking, backpacking and the occasional Bigfoot sighting. (More at

America’s tallest living Christmas tree

Nearby Ferndale boasts another world famous winter holiday tradition that has drawn guests since 1934, the lighting of America’s tallest living Christmas tree.

This year, town residents will turn on the switch on the 160-foot-tall spruce, just off the picturesque Main Street, at 5:30 pm on Sunday, December 5th.

Join them for free hot cocoa and homemade cookies for the ceremony and then walk over to the Ferndale Portuguese Hall for the annual Beans & Linguica Dinner.

Can’t make the event? No worries. The tree will remain electrified for the month, during which guests can enjoy holiday shopping featuring fine Americana curios in California’s best preserved Victorian village, and meals in Old World restaurants inspired by Ferndale native and TV chef Guy Fieri.

A Christmasy ghost on the Avenue of the Giants

Other nearby natural wonders await in Humboldt County, including Redwood National Park, which protects Hyperion, the world’s tallest tree at 380 feet; and the Avenue of the Giants, where lives a rare albino redwood, a white beauty known as the Christmas Tree.

Only a handful of such forest ghosts, which lack chlorophyll, exist in the world, including this striking example in the Women’s Federation Grove. A short unmarked trail from the entrance leads to the tree, which stands next to a much larger conventional redwood. For additional directions, ask at the Humboldt Redwoods State Park visitor center in nearby Myers Flat or go here:

More Information

Humboldt County, located on US Highway 101 about 3.5 hours north of San Francisco, has been called America’s most scenic rural region by the USDA. For more press images, go to For more information, email or call 707-497-8134.