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Damnation Creek Trail

HARD 160 reviews

Damnation Creek Trail is a 3.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Crescent City, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 3.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,177 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

paddle sports

bird watching

running

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

washed out

no dogs

Due to a structural failure of a foot bridge approximately 1.75 miles from the Damnation Creek trailhead, the bridge has been closed to public access. The Damnation Creek Trail remains open to the bridge, but access to the beach from the trail is closed until further notice. Access to the Coastal Trail from the Damnation Creek trailhead remains open. For updates: https://www.nps.gov/redw/learn/news/damnation-creek-trail-closure.htm

hiking
7 days ago

Magical! Beautiful! Awesome hike!

hiking
bridge out
scramble
14 days ago

A hidden gem of a trail. The notices that the walking bridge is out just shy of reaching the beach should not deter you. First the trail is well marked just south of Mill Creek Campgrounds on Hwy 101. The trail starts from the parking area and climbs a little before it starts the steady decline. NOTE- You will cross the Coastal Trail. As you are hiking from the parking area you will come to a cut thru to the coastal trail which appears to be the remnants of an old costal road that was paved. Just stay on the main trail for another 100 yards and you come to actual crossing that has a sign on it. The sign warns you that the trail is closed due to the bridge being out. The trail is wide open. This is just a precaution. The descent down is steady. The trail is NOT maintained so there are many steps in step areas that are washed out and dangerous. The old growth of the redwoods are spectacular. You will hear the water crashing on the beaches below a long time before reaching the shore. You will cross two bridges. The first is fine and neat as it is moss covered. The second has lost its horizontal bracing and hand rails. The bridge is there and fine but there are no rails. One person at a time and NO jumping as the bridge is springy without the support. OR you can drop down in the creek and climb back up the other side. Then just a hundred yards to the beach The climb down to the beach is via a very narrow path with steps cut in the rock. Caution is warranted to not take a tumble. Then enjoy the secluded beach so representative on NW Pacifica coast. The trail is closer to 4.2 Miles RT. It took 1:45 to descend and 1:30 to ascend. Not bad for two 60+ year olds

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Beautiful tees

hiking
bridge out
1 month ago

Such an amazing hike, the huge redwoods are inexplicably giant and just as majestic as promised. the trail down is mostly down hill with a relatively clear trail other than roots and some narrow spots. I would not reccomend for children, only to due to the fact that the hike back up is very taxing (Mostly made up of switchbacks with steep inlcines). The last bridge is closed but my husband I crossed it very slowly and were able to make it the beach (it was totally worth the risk). There is a way to make it across without the bridge but it would be difficult if it was previously rainy or foggy the night before. Honestly, it is worth the rather dramatic evaluation difference, just be sure to bring water and some snacks to recharge. :)

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

Bridge is closed but we saw people crossing it one at a time so we decided to go for it. Kinda scary but everyone made it down and back safely. The beach was so worth the hike. Easy hike down, lots of uphill back but luckily there are a lot of flat spots so that naturally makes it a tiny bit easier.

hiking
2 months ago

Brutal hike out.....take lots of water and snacks!

hiking
bridge out
2 months ago

hiking
bridge out
muddy
off trail
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
bridge out
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Breathtaking. Everything you want to experience. Wonderful trail through a majestic grove, the inclines give you some unique base to top views of beautiful redwoods that many of the other trails in the area lack. Then you pop out onto a beach with equally amazing views down the rugged coast. Add in the fog rolling through and the relative solitude and it is easily my favorite hike of any I’ve done in the area. It is a tough elevation drop but the lack of altitude makes it not much of a problem so long as you aren’t in any hurry...I already can’t wait to come back again someday and do this one again.

recorded Damnation Creek Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Two bridges at bottom are both skeet. The last one is actually closed and looks compromised but right now the creek is low so you can just climb around the bridge and still access the beach. Beautiful trail!

hiking
bridge out
3 months ago

One of my all-time favorite hikes. We embarked a few hours before sunset and passed just one person on the way down. Mystical to wander through that region on your own. Beautiful redwoods, perfect amount of fog, so unbelievably silent, banana slugs... it's all close to perfect. The second bridge was still out during our trip down but the creek was super low and thus easy to traverse. It's worth continuing onward for the final reveal. All that said, it's a grind for pretty much the entire way back up. There are warning signs on the way down regarding the trail's return difficulty, but maybe that's what thins the herd enough to keep this path mildly trafficked.

hiking
bridge out
3 months ago

We did this trail on our way through the Redwood Forest today. The scenery was breathtaking. The Redwood Trees really are ginormous and there truly are no words to describe them! I could’ve done without the switchbacks tho! Just kidding.. they weren’t that bad!

hiking
3 months ago

We did this hike yesterday AM and managed to catch some beautiful photos with fog streaming through the trees. I can't say enough how beautiful this trail was! Not to be missed for sure! Oh and yes, the 2nd bridge is out but it's easily passable underneath while the water is as low as it is now.

hiking
3 months ago

A bit challenging but very rewarding! The ability to see the Redwoods along with the coast is a combination you can’t beat.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing hike. You will pay for the view you get on your way back up, but it is definitely worth it. Probably my favorite hike I’ve ever done. Absolutely breath taking view once you get to the end and break out of the forest right onto the pacific.

hiking
4 months ago

First part was beautiful and well kept. Towards the ocean the trail could use some work.

hiking
4 months ago

The mileage is way way off. It’s much farther.

hiking
bridge out
5 months ago

Great hike! Second bridge is out but easy to cross under. On May 1st the stream is only a trickle. Definitely 2.2 miles one way, not as short as the description. We did it in 2 hours exactly with a 10 minute break at the bottom. Beautiful trees and nice beach at the end. We were alone on the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome hike! The redwoods are massive, it was very foggy so that added some nice atmosphere. There is a sign that says “bridge closed, no beach access”, I went for it anyway, and after switch backs going down for a good 45 minutes, you get to the bridge, which is actually the 2nd bridge of the hike. It was easy to bypass the bridge by dipping down to the right of it. Once you pass the bridge, you are soon greeted by the ocean with an unreal view!! There’s a rock that has a path up on top of it, its in the water, I sat there for my lunch and say an otter! Hike back up is a bit of a workout, but well worth it!

hiking
6 months ago

Trail head is off hwy 101. Some traffic noise at the beginning that gave way to sounds of the ocean. Great view at the end of trail but we couldn’t make it to the beach as it was high tide.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail.

9 months ago

I would definitely categorize this trail as strenuous, especially for the hike back up. It starts out in the misty silence of the Redwoods and descends quite sharply. Some spots might be slightly slippery during the descent so make sure you have good shoes. The bridge at the very end is still closed but we managed to get to the beach by going under the bridge. You only need to hop across a tiny stream to get to the other side. The views of the ocean are well worth the hike! It took us about 1.5 hours to descend to the beach and slightly more to climb back up, making it a 3-3.5 hour hike if you don’t spend too long at the beach.

hiking
Wednesday, October 03, 2018

This is a short distance but vertically challenging hike, with a few sketchy spots of single track. It was really a beautiful trip through the quiet, almost "rain forest" cool coastal mist. I started out feeling a bit chilly on the descent to the rocky beach, but surely warmed up for the ascent from the ocean. This is a gem!

hiking
Thursday, September 27, 2018

This is a great hike through redwoods down to the ocean. The coordinates from AllTrails took me right to the trailhead. A sign there said the trail was closed .10 miles from the ocean, but I decided to hike in anyway. As it turns out, there are alternative ways to get to the ocean at the end of the descent. That part totally makes the hike great, descending from sunny redwood groves to a cool, fog-shrouded rocky beach. The sign at the trailhead says it is 2.1 miles to the ocean so the round-trip is 4.2 and not 3.5. (See picture). The trail starts of wide and fairly level and then begins a fairly constant descent. After 0.7 miles it crosses the Pacific Coastal Trail and that's where it really gets steep; countless switchbacks until the ocean. The whole hike took me a bit over three hours, including about 20 minutes before heading back up. I'm still getting into shape so I'm sure it's possible in less than two hours. Because of the beautiful redwood trees, so many hikes in this area are great. Damnation Creek Trail is yet another one of them, very much worth doing, particularly if you want a bit of a workout. AllTrails rates this hike as moderate, but the state park literature calls it strenuous. If someone were passing through the area and only had time for one hike, this would be a good one for it.

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