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Walked from Caspar RV and back- 25 kms- via the lighthouse on the way home. The waterfall loop is up and down but quite beautiful. After the loop we added on the North Trail home, just for exercise and a change of route. Out and back is ok but loops are better.

November 2018 - We hiked the semi paved 2.0 mile bike section (4 mile round trip) in heavy rain and enjoyed the trek. The hiking surface held up wet and we even encountered 5 sets of hikers along the way. If it’s raining and you want a nice hike, then this trail is for you.

Beautiful trail! North side is more scenic than south side, so if you fear you might not make it across because of the removal of the bridge after September, consider only doing the north side. However, although bridge was out in November, river was easily crossable by foot, so we did the full loop. Trail is very shaded so wear warm clothes in fall and winter.

Great trail! Well maintained

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous hike through the forest. There are NO ocean views despite the photos here, so please keep that in mind. It was beautiful anyway and we were almost the only ones hiking on a Saturday.

GO IN TO THE PARK! The GPS directions will take you to a private road.

Super quick walk to the sinkhole, and beautiful views from the cliffs.

hiking
2 months ago

Fern Canyon Trail is by FAR, THE MOST beautiful forest I have ever had the pleasure of walking through. Breathtaking and magical are the words to describe these enchanted woods. I’ve gone twice, one on a clear sunny day and the other when foggy and rainy. Hands down it was so mystical being there in the fog and light rain. I was waiting for a fairy to jump out at me from out of the mist! Nothing short of a mystical fairytale awaits you when visiting this dreamlike forest!

Great views and nice trail!

A little bit of everything .... you will want to saunter this trail and strain your neck looking up at great Giants along the way ... can make you feel quite small ... and humbled in the presence of these 2000 year old trees .... worth the time and energy to experience it .... the river sections would be amazing when the water is running but beautiful non the less ...

Trail/Time of Year: Fern Canyon to Falls Loop during February 2018 and July 2018

Parking: Pay for parking (less than $10). Parking at the trailhead is very competitive every time we go. Many people walk in from further parking options (.25-.5 miles).

Terrain: Flat near the beginning. Entire trail is shaded. Most of the trail fits three people side-by-side comfortably. Approaching the waterfall the trail does thin and you will have to practice trail sharing etiquette. We seem to run into some mud at the start no matter what time of year we go. Short up and down changes in elevation as you near the waterfall. Left fork has maybe 3 short sets of stairs and is .7 miles. Right fork is 1.6 miles (we haven’t taken the right fork yet).

Child friendly: We believe so – although we take our kids hiking often and they know what to expect. We took our 3, 5, and 9-year-old and all walked the entire trail with some breaks. There was some complaining near the end and they fell asleep 5 minutes later on the drive home. No steep cliffs and the water is very shallow - do not let kids play at the top of the waterfall where it is slippery and a dangerous fall. Bring lots of waters and snacks and ensure the kids do not litter.

Modern Conveniences: Benches near mid-trail with bike rack. Bathroom at start of trail.

Humidity/Temperature: Temperate. Mid 50s during winter. Low 60s to 70s during other months.

Water Consumption: Bring lots of water. The trail isn’t dry or hot but it is long. If you have LifeStraw or similar product you will have constant access to water.

Trail Traffic: We typically run into people every 20-30 minutes depending on the day of the week. Everyone is very friendly and all just seem happy to be enjoying nature. You will typically find pairs or small groups of people at the waterfall. People tend to stop and eat here.

Cleanliness/maintenance: Occasional napkin on the side of the trail. We have never seen plastic bottles or cans which always gives us hope that people are decent. We have seen cigarette butts at the waterfall. If you are a smoker, wait until you leave the park to smoke. Trail is well-maintained by park staff.

Wildlife: Birds. Frogs. Lizards. We found one Gartner snake out of three separate hikes. Found a banana slug, lots of butterflies, mosquitoes, etc. Bring bug spray.

Plantlife: They call this trail Fern Canyon for a reason. Wild raspberry plants along the first half of the trail. Remember that the wildlife depends on these for food. Also remember that lots of berries + no toilets = unpleasant hike. TONS of mushrooms of several types during the rainy months – on the trail, trees, stumps, etc. Very few mushrooms during the drier months.

Landmarks: Russian Gulch Waterfall which is 36ft tall and nearly as wide. We have noticed that the waterfall has a stronger flow during the rainy season but is always flowing regardless of season. Small pool of water at base of waterfall that is too shallow to swim. Russian Gulch creek which runs along the entire trail. Trees growing out of stumps of other trees. Fallen redwoods that you can walk across (lead nowhere and not required).

hiking
2 months ago

Trail/Time of Year: Fern Canyon to Falls Loop during February 2018 and July 2018

Parking: Pay for parking (less than $10). Parking at the trailhead is very competitive every time we go. Many people walk in from further parking options (.25-.5 miles).

Terrain: Flat near the beginning. Entire trail is shaded. Most of the trail fits three people side-by-side comfortably. Approaching the waterfall the trail does thin and you will have to practice trail sharing etiquette. We seem to run into some mud at the start no matter what time of year we go. Short up and down changes in elevation as you near the waterfall. Left fork has maybe 3 short sets of stairs and is .7 miles. Right fork is 1.6 miles (we haven’t taken the right fork yet).

Child friendly: We believe so – although we take our kids hiking often and they know what to expect. We took our 3, 5, and 9-year-old and all walked the entire trail with some breaks. There was some complaining near the end and they fell asleep 5 minutes later on the drive home. No steep cliffs and the water is very shallow - do not let kids play at the top of the waterfall where it is slippery and a dangerous fall. Bring lots of waters and snacks and ensure the kids do not litter.

Modern Conveniences: Benches near mid-trail with bike rack. Bathroom at start of trail.

Humidity/Temperature: Temperate. Mid 50s during winter. Low 60s to 70s during other months.

Water Consumption: Bring lots of water. The trail isn’t dry or hot but it is long. If you have LifeStraw or similar product you will have constant access to water.

Trail Traffic: We typically run into people every 20-30 minutes depending on the day of the week. Everyone is very friendly and all just seem happy to be enjoying nature. You will typically find pairs or small groups of people at the waterfall. People tend to stop and eat here.

Cleanliness/maintenance: Occasional napkin on the side of the trail. We have never seen plastic bottles or cans which always gives us hope that people are decent. We have seen cigarette butts at the waterfall. If you are a smoker, wait until you leave the park to smoke. Trail is well-maintained by park staff.

Wildlife: Birds. Frogs. Lizards. We found one Gartner snake out of three separate hikes. Found a banana slug, lots of butterflies, mosquitoes, etc. Bring bug spray.

Plantlife: They call this trail Fern Canyon for a reason. Wild raspberry plants along the first half of the trail. Remember that the wildlife depends on these for food. Also remember that lots of berries + no toilets = unpleasant hike. TONS of mushrooms of several types during the rainy months – on the trail, trees, stumps, etc. Very few mushrooms during the drier months.

Landmarks: Russian Gulch Waterfall which is 36ft tall and nearly as wide. We have noticed that the waterfall has a stronger flow during the rainy season but is always flowing regardless of season. Small pool of water at base of waterfall that is too shallow to swim. Russian Gulch creek which runs along the entire trail. Trees growing out of stumps of other trees. Fallen redwoods that you can walk across (lead nowhere and not required).

on Bull Creek Flats Trail

3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful

Fabulous walk through the coastal woods of Little River. Worth the trip! We started at the coast (free parking) then walked through the campground to the trailhead. After walking to the first Y in the trail, we chose to hike the 1.2 miles to the Pygmy Forest, this incline was pretty steep. After viewing the Pygmy Forest - which is too cool! - we walked the 2.3 miles back which was much more gradual. There are 20 beautiful bridges to cross over creek.

Fern canon is as beautiful as it gets. We were the only people on the hike until near the end but we did go early on a Thursday. The falls were beautiful. Moderate hike as it says.

Our longest hike of our trip. Not at it's best in summer (August). Slightly tough to find the start of as not well sign posted but turn left at the bridge and pass the Tall Tree then turn left at the junction (I think sign posted Bulls Creek) to start.

This hike was long - took about 2.5 hours to get to the top and the scenary was fairly samey. Thick growth all one colour. many creeks but they were accompanied by wasps, bees, and mosquitos.

We we're hoping for some cabins along the way but there is only two (one standing) at the top of the trail. There is a toilet and camp area too which was great, however the amount of mosquitos meant we couldn't stay to sit and rest.

Instead we took a gamble and decided to create a loop with the Grasshopper trail as this one was less interesting than hoped. We'd probably suggest not doing that as it's similar to this trail but on a fire road.

I could see this being a fun hike in spring or fall when there is colour or lots of vegetation. by the end, I was more interested in if I'd hot 35k steps then on the scenery.

For a long walk I'd suggest the Bulls Creek North and South (which we also did). Almost the same distance but found it to be more interesting and have fun places on the river to stop for lunch and rest.

3 months ago

Wonderful hike! Enjoyed the loop even with temperatures in 90s.

Great little hike. I didn't feel it was quite moderate and I'm not a super fit person so that was a pleasant suprise because I was a little hesitant. took us an hour and 50 minutes to complete. we went early so not any traffic on the way but after leaving the fall more people were coming so I recommend an early hike. Such a beautiful trail and scenery. There had been a bear sighting only 1 month prior so I was freaked out a bit because of the posted signs but we were prepared.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike!

Breathtaking views at every turn. We saw a family of otters swimming and taking shelter in a cave. Go, just go!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful 10-mile loop among the big trees with lots of different scenery. Relatively easy.

Hiked mid-May 2018. Arrived after 2pm and got a spot by trail head for free but that is lucky. Mostly flat for first two miles and very pretty.

Signage is decent but a number of people we came upon said they were unsure of where they were going. The falls are great and a must-see. The remainder of the loop after the falls leads to a whole different terrain. Overall a good walk but if you are in pretty good shape not too challenging. If in average shape this is a good workout.

hiking
5 months ago

Most beautiful portion is the first mile through the old growth.

backpacking
5 months ago

So the website will tell you the trail is closed but it is not. When I finally reached a real person at the park I informed them that the website was incorrect. They didn’t seem concerned. Subsequently the backcountry camp was empty. It is beautiful. Like camping on Endor. The hiking is easy but cool and shady. We flew a small plane to Little River airport and hiked in from the Pygmy forest. I recommend parking at the top parking lot and you can avoid the inept state employees. They will never know you are there because they don’t leave the main campground on Hwy 1. We made a day hike to the beach while leaving our camp set up. Camp number 4 is the best. Nice fire pit and table and lots of interesting forest all around.

Also don’t miss the blow hole located behind the little river cemetery. It is amazing and you can climb down inside using ropes!

Gorgeous trail with lots of variable scenery and great redwoods. By our GPS watches, it was approximately 9 miles in just under 4 hours while using the AllTrails map. Mid-June had plenty of poison oak along the trail, so be sure you can identify it before you get out there.

Completed this on June 11th. So much green! I came at sunrise and there was no one on the trail at all. I paid 8 bucks at the entrance of the park for parking

This trail is awesome! Quick, easy, and beautiful along the way. Don't be scared like the previous commentor lol

The trail head is not clearly marked. I parked at the gate and walked in a little over 1/2 mile before finding an actual trail marker. After that the trail was well marked. Overall I really enjoyed this hike. Clear and well maintained road. Lots of wild life- had two separate black bear sightings on the way down. If you want to avoid the heat, I would recommend starting first thing in the morning.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful scenery but beware! Parts of trail are inches from the drop off. Russian Gulch has probably not received the memo saying that trails need to be away from the edge of ocean bluffs. Dangerous and as real as tomorrow's headlines.

on Waterfall Loop Trail

hiking
6 months ago

Loop is better taken in clockwise direction. Wear sturdy shoes and hiking pole(s) for added stability. Trail is single track, narrow, high on the canyon wall. Not treacherous but not for very young kids imo. Gorgeous scenery.

Loved the trail. Quite easy though. I preferred the north trail next to it.

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