nature trips


no dogs



kid friendly


trail running

wild flowers


Set aside in the early 1920s by the forethought of the people of California and the generosity of the Save-the-Redwoods League, Prairie Creek is a sanctuary of old growth coast redwood. Prairie Creek, situated 50 miles north of Eureka off of Highway 101, offers hiking, nature study, wildlife viewing, beach combing, picnicking, a visitor center with exhibits and a nature store. This park, along with Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and the National Park Service's Redwood National Park, are managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. These parks make up 45 percent of all the old-growth redwood forest remaining in California. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.

The road up here was very bumpy and we crossed two creeks. My Nissan Sentra was able to make it through without too much trouble. The trail took us about an hour and a half to complete. We stopped a ton to take photos of the views.

If you just want to see the fern canyon walls, you'll have to cross a creek and they're right at the start of the trail about 5ish minutes from parking.

Theres a well-sized tree you'll have to either climb over or crouch walk under. Without good waterproof shoes, and proper hiking gear, I wouldn't consider the first fifteen to thirty minutes as an "easy" hiking trail.

It was, however, well worth everything. Very gorgeous.

Easy walked big plenty of groves of the massive giants that you have come to this park for. Footing is easy going and a welcome change when done as the back half or westridge.

Excellent hike. Saw elk about 20 ft away from the trails edge. Footing can be a bit tricky at times. Amazing to be amping the Giants!

on James Irvine Trail

9 days ago

17 days ago

We just did a couple of miles because we were shirtless n time. But its a really beautiful hike with amazing trees and dense ground cover (Rhododendrons). We did it as a leisurely stroll and enjoyed it.

17 days ago

The fern walls are really cool. It's def worth the drive down.

It was one of the best views I've ever woken up to and falling asleep with the waves is great.

Super dope when it's sunny

22 days ago

One of the most beautiful hike you can stroll through in Red Canyon. Its a bit challenging because you would have to cross over trees, river banks, rocks, muds, etc. You get the point. The view of the Fern Canyons are spectacular! They are like gardens hanging of the wall.

23 days ago

very short and easy hike to see the Big Tree. Highly trafficked though.

Really enjoyed the beautiful scenery... felt like we were in Jurassic Park & Star Wars!

Best trail of it's length and top 3 of all trails in Prairie Creek. West ridge and Rhody are both great trails and the 2 Zigzags are awesome as well so this is a can't miss. Great scenery and enough to challenge most people a little. Only saw 2 other hikers up on the ridges and they were a bit lost getting separated from friends. Group hikers should stay in a group. I was surprised to see quite a few on Brown Creek trail but it's a nice flat place to take beautiful redwood pics... Highly recommend this one and I will do it again!

1 month ago

It was an amazing hike, just beautiful. I would hike it again.

Rhododendron is a great trail. I've done all of it a few times and it's one of the best Prairie Creek has to offer. CREA is the most difficult the park has to offer for a short trail and probably the least used because it doesn't connect through to any other trail. It's narrow, steep and somewhat overgrown. It appears to be some time since it has had any upkeep. I expected a dead end but to my surprise it connects to 101! If it wasn't an out and back i would rate it difficult but since you can simply turn back if it's to much I'll rate it the top end of moderate.

1 month ago

Did this today in pretty good weather. The last time I did it the rain was pouring down so i couldn't see anything. It really didn't matter because there are no views from the trail and it's probably the poorest trail in the park. It's straight as can be... The beach is awesome with some great rock formations. I was really surprised by how many footprints there were on the beach. A lot of people apparently do this trail. Not one I will do again or recommend...

Loved it.