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Elk River Trail

MODERATE 86 reviews

Elk River Trail is a 9.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Eureka, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,870 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching



partially paved




As of March 2019, Elk River Trail is closed past for the 2.5 mile mark because of impassable landslides. The BLM Arcata will repair and reopen sections of the trail in the upcoming months.

awesome day hike

3 months ago

Do NOT let the fear of a closure stop you from taking this hike! What a beautiful hike and there are bypasses in place for the slides. Well worth the time and energy to hike it to the end. The loop trail at the very end of the hike is probably the most beautiful part. Huge trees and stunning. I have over in Humboldt all my life and I am always reminded what Humboldt is all about on hikes like these. My only complaint is that they state it’s a pet friendly trail but at mile 3 there is a posted sign NO DOGS BEYOND THIS POINT. Not sure why but it was frustrating. I had my 2 dogs with me and I wasn’t going to turn around. So just be aware!

3 months ago

Beautiful hike! At the end of this map’s trail there is a 1.5 mile loop through the Old Growth Redwoods that I highly recommend and it hooks back up with the mapped trail! Makes it about an 11 mile hike. The hike gets progressively more difficult. First mile paved and wheel-chair access. First three miles kid and dog friendly. Miles 4+ and through the redwoods, recommended good hiking boots!

4 months ago

This trail is incredible, the forest transitions in many way but is overall quite dense and also historically relevant

washed out
4 months ago

So, there are actually two landslides on the Elk River Trail. The first one is pretty easy to climb over and is fairly small, it is very slick from the mud and you should be careful if you attempt to climb over. The second landslide is enormous, and pretty much the entire side of the hill came down on the trail, trees and all. It’s pretty easy to go over, if you follow the logs, which I did not the first time, and I ended up in mud to my shins. I learned the proper way on the way back though. When you come to the landslide there will be a group of 3 good sized but still young fallen redwoods, with those 3 trees you can balance beam walk up the landslide until you get to the somewhat dry part. Step off and walk about 15 feet to a single fallen tree and balance beam walk down to about where the trail would be, you should be able to see the continuation of the trail from there. You just have to climb up and under a couple of smaller fallen trees from there. If you don’t have the right shoes, or you’re not in good condition, then I wouldn’t recommend this, and there is a sign that says the trail is closed, BUT they’re not clearing this huge slide for a while and it’s the only way to get to the old growth grove. Yes, it was worth to me to deal with the mud and the fallen trees to see this grove.

5 months ago

2.5 miles in closed do to landslides

5 months ago

nice trail but closed at the 2 mile mark.

5 months ago

Nice trail close to Eureka but far away enough that I’ve never seen any transients. Lots of dog walkers. First mile is paved which is friendly for kids on bikes or scooters. Goes through a cool-looking forested area along a creek. Trail to three-mile bridge is mellow/flatish but gets very steep afterwards. Ends at small loop trail through redwood grove. There are currently landslides from winter rainfall but usually trail is in good shape. It will get muddy in winter with significant rainfall.

7 months ago

Lots of landslides. Paved walking is tedious

8 months ago

nice trail. almost made it to the loop. lots and lots of uphill. like that you could choose how difficult a hike you were wanting. goes from ada accessible to very strenuous.

9 months ago

beautiful trial. I did not know how far the trial went after 4mile bridge.

11 months ago

beautiful, enchanted, good for dogs, safe, paved part way, gets progressively more difficult, highly recommended!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I did 6 miles today. Beautiful out there. I did not see any mountain lions. But did find some bear scat. Bring your bear spray. I will be back to see the salmon spawn.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Amazing. Late fall and winter are my favorite times to hike this gem.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Super fun, wholly worth the whole hike. If the last part with most of the gain is too much for a person; 3 miles to the creek and back is much less strenuous then the last 2 miles up and back

Monday, August 27, 2018

Awesome hike

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Love this spot!!!

Monday, July 09, 2018

The trail is really nice, we have hiked it about 4 times now early in the morning and it is always peaceful and cool temperature wise. would highly recommend if you want to start your day off with a great hike

Monday, April 30, 2018

If other people and off leash dogs offend you then do this hike early on a Sun morning with rain in the forecast, you will have the place to yourself. There is a sign in the parking lot that says the trail is closed 3 miles in due to wet, muddy conditions, however we walked 3.7 miles before we turned around and the trail was in great shape, no mud, no signs indicating closure...? We’ll be coming back to during spawning season to see the salmon.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

was a gorgeous trail, for the amount of people the trails became very narrow and they're kinda of super muddy right now. my sister in law slipped on the muddy cement steps and got injured. otherwise was enjoyable

Monday, April 09, 2018


Monday, February 19, 2018

Beautiful afternoon or Sunday hike in the spring. Check along the creek at one point with a fern covered tree that you can easily climb onto! The last couple mile incline got a bit muddy, swampy, and slippery.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

It was a wonderful experience except the number of dogs off leash made it hard to walk my dogs on leash. So please if you visit with your fur friends keep your dog on leash and pick up after it :) they even have bags at the entrance

Friday, January 12, 2018

Great trail. Especially with a dog and also off leash!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Great trail! Challenging, but fun. At the 3 mile marker, there is a sign that says “dogs and bike prohibited beyond this point,” so not dog friendly the whole way.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Bring your bear spray

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Easy trail to follow. A little confusing at the end near the loop as there is no 5 mile marker and the trailhead posted at this point says "Pool Tral" with arrows up and right. Assuming some kids switched the L & P for a good laugh.

Friday, August 04, 2017

It's really 11 miles out & back with a small loop through old growth Redwoods after steeper incline.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Good for trail running. First 3 miles are dog friendly.

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