Looking for a great trail in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California? AllTrails has 40 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 23 moderate trails in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park ranging from 1.4 to 17.1 miles and from 32 to 1,417 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!


no dogs


nature trips


bird watching



kid friendly

trail running

wild flowers


mountain biking


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.

Magnificent loop trail. The return back to Fern Canyon trail from the beach is a mess however, with multiple brackish water crossings. I agree with the previous reviewer that you’re better off to just go down Davison road to Fern Canyon after exiting Miners Ridge on the way out.

great trail and spot. trail is like a creek bed most all the way. beach is very cool.

Knocking off a star for the beach section. A section of beach looked to be washed away (3/19/19) about .5 mi. up with makeshift river from previous storms? Had to trek through coastal grassland, then cross numerous smaller streams/tide pools (some with sinking mud & sand) all the while with no signage to know where to enter for Fern Canyon. All Trails map saved me!
My recommendation would be to just use Davison Rd. down to Fern Canyon parking lot.

12 days ago

My sister and myself hiked this trail this past weekend (first weekend of March) and it was stunning. Slight elevation that may require a moment to catch your breath but completely worth it. The views are amazing. Magestic redwood trees, ferns blanketing the floor.... so beautiful. Take a lunch and enjoy.

12 days ago

Trail starts out in the redwoods, beautiful forested downhill hike, trail well maintained although had to climb over a good size tree. Saw one elk on the trail that kept moving. Wet and muddy at the bottom before the beach but it’s March. We had some rain hiking out, glad to have my poncho. Dress in layers. Would do this again but all uphill coming out.

14 days ago

I’ve done this trail four or five times now, and it remains one of my favorites in the Prairie Creek area. It floods in the winter, making the trail impassable at times, and there’s an uphill stretch on the way back that seems to last forever, but I keep going back.

Beautiful hike. Definitely not hard just long. Hills but no steep climbing. Bring water there’s no place to fill up. The trees are amazing, the air is so fresh, Spring is just starting with the Lillie’s and ferns. It’s darker under the trees so I would want to be done an hour before the sun goes down to ensure you don’t get eaten by a troll or gnome. I’m sure they live in the tree holes.

What a beautiful hike! Will do again

Great walk to see beautiful trees. We went in a downpour and it was still completely worth it and easily done

1 month ago

Really pretty, easy trail with great views of the redwoods. We were the only ones on the trail.

1 month ago

Well marked, easy to find. No one on the trail. Elk nearby. A few benches to rest along the way, very peaceful.

I don’t know why everyone is Gaga about this “trail” which isn’t even a trail. You walk through a stream that can be quite deep in spots and are rewarded with water logged ferns dripping from the walls in a small canyon. Save your shoes from getting wet and go see some beautiful ferns & tall trees on the James Irvine trail.

What a lovely hike. The trees are so tall, it’s really a must see! I thought the ferns along the James Irvine trail were much prettier than the scenery in Fern Canyon. So if you decide to turn around before you make it to the canyon, you won’t be missing anything. Very few people on the trail, lots of solitude. Well maintained and marked. The only thing strenuous about this hike is the distance. There is very little elevation change.

waterfall is mothing grand but the trailer is pretty. Saw some elk. I cycled it.

A piece of New Zealand in Cali. Still massaging my jaw.
Lots of elk. They say it's dangerous but didn't feel that way.
In winter the road can close about a mile before the canyon, so requiees more walking than in the summer. If it's a nice day you should consider walking along the beach instead of the dirt road. Better bring shoes that can get wet.

My absolute favorite trail. Even tho I thought my legs might fall off before we reached the end... I didn’t want it to end. Expect to spend 4-6 hours. Took us 5 and we are moderately fit for winos. I could stay lost in the beauty of this trail for days on end and never tire of it.

Perhaps my favorite dayhike in the world.

Beautiful trail, loved all the ferns. I definitely don’t think it is “hard”. Maybe if you are not a regular hiker or if you’re not in good shape it could be hard. I think you only gain about 500 ft or so. Best trail to get deep in the forest!

Words don’t do this hike justice, I don’t care what time of year this trail is beautiful. During the summer months they place catwalks over some of the river crossings but in the winter, it’s tree and puddle hopping which makes for a fun adventure.

2 months ago

Beautiful and a decent workout through old growth redwoods. Highly recommend this trail is added to your day!

Incredible. It can be rough at times. Some narrow passes and some fallen redwoods to climb over. If you go during the winter like me, or after rain be careful on the roots that line the trails. They can be slick. Absolutely worth it if you have the capability and the time. The waterfall was beautiful, the bridges, and the thousands of old growth sequoias make the hike feel like you’re back in prehistoric times. I’m blessed to live near here

beautiful trail, the falls are gorgeous. Mile markers would be nice for first timers. Watch your time in the winter PM. Quite a few signs of sasquatch.

Stunning hike. Like stepping into a time before time. Prepare to be moved with reverence and awe at the glory of the ancient forest.

Bring waders or waterproof boots for the fern canyon, unless you like wet feet. Bring lunch and eat on the beach! What a beautiful sequence to go from woods to the sea and back to the woods.

Not too vertically challenging. Finished in 3 hours 50 minutes. Can be done fast if you want. Or take your time and really soak up the beauty. Either way, don’t miss this one.

if you're on the south Oregon coast, you will definitely want to see this.

3 months ago

The James Irvine Trail is a great trail. The trail is long but the elevation gains aren't too bad - I did need to stop and catch my breath at two spots on the return part of this out-and-back.

Went Thanksgiving weekend and most of the trail was covered in fallen redwood needles. It's generally lined on both sides with ferns for almost the entirety of the trail. And of course you wind your way through and around giant redwood trees. This trail constantly meanders, curving thus way and that, so it never feels like slog and the view is always changing.

Near the end, or halfway point, you can head to the beach, which makes for a nice break. If you don't mind wet shoes, you can also diverge from the James Irvine Trail to another trail (Fern Gulch? Something Fern-related) to walk through a small stream that has tall, fern-covered walls that are really beautiful.

In the 5.5 hours I spent hiking this trail (I stop a lot to take pictures) I only passed maybe a dozen or so people until I got to the beach (which isn't crowded but there are people there because you can also drive to that beach).

My advice for this trail is to start early - 9 AM or so - bring a lunch, water, and snacks for the beach, and walk at a comfortable pace; I could have easily spent 8+ hours out here taking photographs and enjoying the beach. Also bring a flashlight because it gets dark right at sunset.

Also, the trail can be slippery and there are exposed roots for much of the trail. I slipped and fell at one point because I was rushing.

Good trail, very peaceful early morning just after the sun comes up

4 months ago

Love love love this place! This time of year there were hardly anyone, very peaceful.

great trail! loved it!

4 months ago

Absolutely beautiful trail. It still amazes me that you can hike through a spectacular Redwood forest and end up on the beach (and a undeveloped beach)! We recorded about 12 miles total to get all the way to the beach for lunch and then head back. Saw very few people and felt complete solitude. Amazing scenery and energy. Definitely recommend.

4 months ago

We only had a little bit of daylight left and were in the vicinity so we chose this short, beautiful trail. Only problem was you could hear the street noise (hence the 4 stars). The park service is trying to re-establish the waterfall and creek which were covered over years ago due to logging…hence the pipe that someone complained about. But we found it quite beautiful.

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