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Fern Canyon Loop Trail is a 1.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Orick, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 1.1 mi Elevation gain 118 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Waterfall

Wildlife

Muddy

Scramble

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (14)
Contact
Tips

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.

Prairie Creek Redwoods SP http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=415 North Coast Redwood Interpretive Association http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=988

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park 127011 Newton B. Drury Parkway Orick, CA 95555 (707) 465-7335 (707) 465-7347 Latitude: 41.363838 Longitude: -124.020914 Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing: Summer 40-75. Cooler along the coast. Morning & evening fog is common. Winter 35-55. Dress for rain November to May. Expect to get your feet wet so bring extra shoes and socks. Park wildlife includes: black bear, Roosevelt elk, deer, coyote, mountain lion, bobcat, skunk, fox, squirrel, and chipmunk, as well as many others. There is also seasonal whale watching along the coast. Roosevelt Elk live in the immediate area of Fern Canyon and down along the 10 miles of beach. Respect them and be sure to give them space. Gold Bluffs Beach and Campground has restrooms with showers. There are 26 tent or RV sites, and three non-reserveable environmental sites. RVs more than eight feet-wide or 24 feet-long may not use Davison Road or Coastal Drive. There are no hookups or sanitation stations at this campground. No trailers allowed. 75 miles of hiking trails, bicycle trails, self-guided nature trail, accessible trails for individuals with physical or visual limitations, and backpacking are among some of the activities one can enjoy here.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (583)
Photos (603)
Recordings (394)
Completed (1506)
Brenda Rios
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
Hiking

Super easy trail. Would recommend water shoes or anything water repellent on your feet if you want to solían splash in the streams. This is the second time I’ve been here and 2 years ago they didn’t have the foot bridges seen in the photos I added so that was a super nice surprise. On a Saturday, there were lots of people on the trail but most...about 95% were wearing masks. We returned on Monday morning around 8:30am and we were the only ones there. It is a magical place.

Chengcheng Xu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

Pretty trees. You can get really close to them on this trail. But I found the scenery a bit repetitive for this distance, hence the four stars. Also, I recorded 13 miles instead of the 11.4 listed here. Plus I took James Irvine in and out by accident, which should’ve shortened the trip. So I guess the real distance is close to 13.5 at least. Something to consider when you plan your time.

View Chengcheng's Recording
Dan Wagner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 06 2020
Hiking

Really only worth walking the first few hundred yards once you enter the canyon. Decent walk if you're in the park, but temper expectations.

Mary Barkoczy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
Hiking

A very pretty and relatively easy hike. the road in was a touch sketchy at 3 points where creeks cross your path, but as long as you're careful, it's not too bad. definitely worth the trip. We purposely wore sandals that could get wet. Get there early. Was fun.

View Mary's Recording
Chris B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
Hiking

Very fun and beautiful hike. Great for kids.

Anna Czapski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingMuddy

Wear waterproof shoes. Short stroll and good for pictures. Fun rocks, salamanders, fish, and logs to climb. Good for kids and dogs.

Mark Slusar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 02 2020
HikingBugsFeeMuddyOff trailOver grownRockyWashed out
View Mark's Recording
Anna Southards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
Hiking

It was a super pretty and easy hike. The road going in was a bit scary though!

Jeremiah Dunlap
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingMuddy

Just go.

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maria dhami
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

beautiful trail. trip back in time

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Bethany Luzny
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 14 2020
Hiking

Stayed at the park and didn’t even know about these trails until the ranger recommended them. Fun space that feels like being in Jurassic park and/or a fairytale. We went on the Clintonia trail as well. A lot of signage but not always clear directions. Everything was well maintained though and it was so fun to hike for a few hours and then go back to rest with a drink on the beach at the campground.

Jessie Bridges
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 13 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Bring water shoes

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Joshua Aydelotte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 04 2020
HikingFlooded
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Keith Siddel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 04 2020
Hiking

incredibly beautiful

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Nallapati Umamahesh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 27 2020
Hiking

Nice hike

Jen L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 12 2020
Hiking

Lush and awe inspiring! Towering ferns, watrer dripping off the sides, and the stream going strong.

Mario Bustamante
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 07 2020
HikingMuddy

Elk are very close by sometimes at trailhead hell carful

View Mario 's Recording
Cathy Kennedy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Mar 04 2020
HikingMuddyScramble

I expected more green and lushness. cool hike otherwise.

Erin Osuna
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 02 2020
Hiking

Always a family favorite! Since it’s winter the wooden walkways weren’t out. I recommend wearing rain boots. You are guaranteed to have wet shoes on your hike out. Beautiful easy hike. And we saw the some big elk!

Douglas Sears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Feb 17 2020
Hiking

just getting to the trail was an adventure. I cannot imagine movie crews navigating that narrow dusty road. My appreciation for Jurassic Park movies made this a "must see", since we were somewhat close. It was worth the stop !

nayyef Hrebid
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Feb 17 2020
FeeMuddy

one of the best in the Redwood I highly recommend to do this hike early morning on the sunshine we'll be tern it like paradise

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