Fern Canyon Loop Trail

EASY 72 reviews

Fern Canyon Loop Trail is a 1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Orick, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
1.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
157 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

wildlife

scramble

no dogs

Fern Canyon is a surrealistic and amazing display of primal ferns growing in a narrow 50-foot-deep vertical walled canyon. The floor is nearly all creek bed which helps provide a contrast of water, gravel, stumps and downed trunks. Fern Canyon was used for several scenes in the movie Jurassic Park 2: Lost Worlds (1997) and the BBC series Walking with Dinosaurs (2000) for very good reason. Expect slow going in the canyon. At least 5 species of fern and dozens of other plant species create an overload of color, shape, and texture. Add to the sensory mix a combination of light climbing over logs, ankle deep creek crossings, little animal surprises (amphibians and in one spot, millions of centipedes), a total lack of modern sounds (if it's not a busy day), birds, insect noises, the breeze through the trees...overall, it is an amazing experience. Drive or hike in. Hiking will make a day trip of it or if you prefer to spend the weekend, there are a number of camping options, Driving in to the park is a small adventure in itself. The road in is largely unpaved but is suitable for 2 w/d cars. These old dirt roads provide a far better visceral experience than paved streets in these forests. But be careful - the road can be narrow and has plenty of blind curves. The final leg of the road traces the coast between the narrow coastal plains and bluffs. It provides access to beach camping and several additional trail heads. Expect 2 or 3 shallow creek crossings on the way in to the canyon. The park is designated as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. The park's tree cover primarily consists of old-growth coast redwood, hemlock and Douglas fir. Sitka spruce and Red Alder provide additional forest cover. Because of frequent coastal fogs, the forest understory vegetation can get very lush and dense. Tan oaks, cascara, maples and California bay can be found on edges and grassland spaces. Western azalea and rhododendron bloom in May and June and offer bright accents and pops of color to the dense green of the forest.

1 day ago

7 days ago

15 days ago

19 days ago

Loved this place. You will get wet.

23 days ago

29 days ago

Bring a dry pair of shoes!

1 month ago

walking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

Was closed due to flood 12/18

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Best hike ever! It was kind of scary driving in to the parking lot. The road was so narrow.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome and extremely unique little trail. The only problem is it's too short and too remote. Hope to take a few friends back in the future.

hiking
7 months ago

This was probably one of my favorite hikes. went here with my girlfriend for our anniversary and had a blast. the Photos don't do this place justice, a must!

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing!!

hiking
8 months ago