Miner's Ridge and James Irvine Trail Loop

HARD 21 reviews

Miner's Ridge and James Irvine Trail Loop is a 10.7 mile loop trail located near Orick, CA that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as difficult offers a number of activity options.

10.7 miles 1765 feet Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

views

wildlife

Beautiful loop from Prairie Creek Visitor Center down to the beach along a ridge, then about a mile along the beach before heading back through Fern Canyon and up a couple of small river valleys and a saddle. From the visitor center follow the James Irvine trail for about 3/4 mile until the Miner's Ridge trail. It begins quite straight and level, alongside a small stream and through a relatively sunny valley with no large redwoods at first, not until a mile or so when it turns up a side canyon and starts to climb the hillside. Then the trees grow large, the sunlight decreases and the surroundings take on a more mysterious aspect - this is a particularly dense, Tolkienesque part of the forest. The path winds around side canyons and up some steep slopes then after about 2 miles leaves the valley and crosses a more open area, later descending into another valley and finally meeting the scenic parkway. The scenery is monotonous in some ways but always impressive. You can walk along the beach or take the inland dirt road for about a mile north until you hit the trailhead for Fern Canyon/James Irvine trail.

2 months ago

Had a beautiful day hiking this trail from the Prairie park hq. We did the loop out Miners Ridge to the Gold Bluffs Beach and north to return by James Irvine trail.

We got lost after miners ridge ended at beach road and bushwhacked across prairie grass and dunes to the beach. Also missed connection back to the Fern Canyon trail from the beach. Outside of that the trail was very well marked.

The changing landscapes from Redwoods to the beach keep it interesting. Old growth like whoa! Majestic. Looking forward to doing this one again!

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trail. I would do it again in a heartbeat 

hiking
3 months ago

Enjoyed this hike with my family (we did the James Irvine loop). I actually like the James Irvine trail a little more. Great hike and wonderful views.

hiking
3 months ago

As others have pointed out, great hike. The redwoods are 2,000 years old and breath taking. I had 3 of my kids with me and they also enjoyed. Not a lot of elevation gain which was nice after some of our recent hikes.

backpacking
4 months ago

Great trip!! Kind of a short hike for me but overall amazing. The old growth is great and the coast is scenic. Would recommend for sure

hiking
4 months ago

Started in Prairie Creek Campground and took the James Irvine to the Fern Canyon loop. Stopping at the ocean was a nice midway break to cool off and have a snack.

hiking
4 months ago

We did this as part of the Miner Ridge Trail. We started at the Prairie Elk Campground and it took us about 5 hours. It ended up being about 13 miles total, we took a turn that lead us over to Fern Canyon without going down to the beach. We had a lot of fun but it can be a strenuous trail. That is not to say that you shouldn't do it. You just need to allot plenty of time for breaks and sightseeing. And finally watch out for the Elk! A very large bull male stopped us on the return hike. He was grazing on the trail and although he didn't seem interested in us, we were very interested in not getting attacked since we were so exhausted at that point. Would definitely do it again if it wasn't for the 6 hour drive to get there. One day is not enough. Great place to spend a week especially if you have kids.

hiking
4 months ago

This was such a beautiful trail! We started around 9:30 am and hiked to Fern Canyon, walked towards the parking lot to see the ocean, then headed back on the James Irvine trail. We stopped for lunch on the bridge with two chairs. If you look off towards the side with the chairs, there's a very small waterfall down below. We got to Fern Canyon around 11:30. It was very busy, but mostly from people who parked nearby and didn't hike to it. We went on the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but the trail itself was still quiet. On the way to Fern Canyon, we only passed 2-3 groups of hikers. On the way back, we saw more hikers but it still wasn't that busy. This hike was perfect. It was mostly in the shade, was extraordinarily beautiful, and had the perfect combination of small rolling hills. Would be very nice to trail run, but it's more like 10 miles from the trailhead to Fern Canyon and back. It took us 4.5 hours including a lunch break.

5 months ago

Super fun

6 months ago

Fantastic on the out and back, but the Fern Canyon loop in the middle was a bit hectic on the holiday weekend. mostly way deader than any bay area parks or Muir Woods on a holiday. Still a pinch of mud out there in late may.

hiking
6 months ago

Great moderate trail with giant redwoods to check out. If you're looking to see redwoods the best trees are in the beginning of the trail. There's a beautiful fern gully at the midpoint and lots of little bridges over creeks. The only disappointment was at the end of the trail there wasn't a beautiful lookout. You can walk to the beach but not much to see.

backpacking
6 months ago

This was one of the most amazing trips I've been on! We chose this trail sort of last minute due to bad weather in the area we originally planned to backpack- and I'm glad we did! Hiked thru the amazing Redwoods on a fairly easy trail, camped on the beach, then came back through the Fern Gorge which was completely surreal and absolutely breathtaking! This was the first backpacking trip I've done in many years and wouldn't consider myself in top physical shape- but managed this trail like a rockstar! It's a must do, that most CAN do!

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
1 year ago

1 year ago

Outstanding. Do not miss.

hiking
3 years ago

Got up early and took the James Irvine Trail from the ranger station about half way to the coast and cut back along the Miner's Ridge Trail. It was a beautiful morning with hardly anyone on the trail so we could really take in the fullness of the forest. For the part we traveled it was not too strenuous, and it was a bit more than 6 miles out and back. Great hike, all in all.

hiking
5 years ago

The Miners Ridge Trail is a beautiful redwood hike. We took the Miner's Ridge trail out to the beach, hiked north along the beach for a mile or so, hiked through Fern Canyon and then back along the James Irvine Trail. We didn't see a ton of wildlife but the redwoods were amazing. The elevation change wasn't bad at all and the total distance was in the neighborhood of 11.5 miles.

hiking
5 years ago

The James Irvine Trail is a beautiful redwood hike. We took the Miner's Ridge trail out to the beach, hiked north along the beach for a mile or so, hiked through Fern Canyon and then back along the James Irvine Trail. We didn't see a ton of wildlife but the redwoods were amazing. The elevation change wasn't bad at all and the total distance was in the neighborhood of 11.5 miles.