Miner's Ridge and James Irvine Trail Loop

HARD 43 reviews

Miner's Ridge and James Irvine Trail Loop is a 12.4 mile loop trail located near Orick, California that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as difficult offers a number of activity options.

DISTANCE
12.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1912 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

views

wildlife

Beautiful loop from Prairie Creek Visitor Center down to the beach along a ridge, then about a mile along the beach before heading back through Fern Canyon and up a couple of small river valleys and a saddle. From the visitor center follow the James Irvine trail for about 3/4 mile until the Miner's Ridge trail. It begins quite straight and level, alongside a small stream and through a relatively sunny valley with no large redwoods at first, not until a mile or so when it turns up a side canyon and starts to climb the hillside. Then the trees grow large, the sunlight decreases and the surroundings take on a more mysterious aspect - this is a particularly dense, Tolkienesque part of the forest. The path winds around side canyons and up some steep slopes then after about 2 miles leaves the valley and crosses a more open area, later descending into another valley and finally meeting the scenic parkway. The scenery is monotonous in some ways but always impressive. You can walk along the beach or take the inland dirt road for about a mile north until you hit the trailhead for Fern Canyon/James Irvine trail.

backpacking
6 hours ago

Hiked up Janes Irvin and went south along the coastal trail to Gold Bluffs Beach where we camped for the night (if you get to the visitor's center in Orick early in the AM, you can get a permit to camp at Gold Bluffs in the designated hike/bike site off the main developed section).

The James Irvin section was beautiful! Plenty of things to stop and check out along the way. The James Irvin trail ends in Fern Canyon. Before connecting with the coastal trail that runs North and South. We headed north to check out the trail, but found it to be too overgrown and muddy to enjoy. We also heard the south bound section was nothing but mud, so we road walked to our campsite.

The next morning, after an evening of walking up and down the beach, we set off along Miners' Ridge trail. The first mile was also very overgrown but opened up once we got deeper into the redwoods.

Overall, this was a great trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone! You could easily know out the whole loop in a day with some dedication and good footwear, but camping on the beach was one of the high points for me.

hiking
8 days ago

18 days ago

I hiked this trail w/ my brother and two kids. We started at the park headquarters & headed towards the ocean. The first 3rd of the trail is a significant climb in elevation but the remainder of the trail is a gradual down hill. My 12 and 14 year old easily hiked the trail. It took about 2 hours from the ranger station to the camp grounds on the beach. Excellent scenery. The trail is a single track but easy to carry on a conversation w the person in front or behind. The trail ends on Davison Road where we had my mother pick us up.

Man those trees are big!

18 days ago

Whole trail is in a forest so it's cool and bring a jacket. Right before reaching the beach, there is a fern canyon loop also worth a walk. Beach was gloomy that day and there was a big pond blocked the access. Eat a big breakfast and enjoy the hiking!

23 days ago

27 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was amazing. Not many people so you could really soak in the views around you which are unbelievable. Goes from massive red woods to the beach and back. Loved this hike.

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

One of the best, if not the best, in the park. The only negative is the coastal road you have to walk on but even that is beautiful especially with the road being closed. I only came across 2 other hikers all day and they were contemplating whether to cross a pretty large stream across the road that I had just waded through. It was cold and wading through Fern Canyon with my lab was a blast. There are some great trees in this portion of the park and Fern Canyon is the gem of the park. The only reason the trail is and should be rated difficult is the sheer distance of the hike and I added another 2.8m to it. There really aren't any real steep or difficult climbs. When I left my car it was in the high 30's but got a little warmer but my feet were still numb for 10 minutes or so coming out of Fern Canyon but Altra running shoes and Darn Tough socks did their job well. The Altra Lone Peak 3.0 is the absolute best trail shoe I've ever worn and grip and drain extremely well. Highly recommend them and this trail. So far only Rhododendron can rival it...

hiking
5 months ago

Started at the Miner's Ridge trail and hiked back up to the ranger station on the James Irvine trail which was a total of 11.7 miles. This trail is not nearly as strenuous as it may seem, it's length just takes up a lot of time if taking frequent breaks for pictures, food, rest, etc. Worth every minute though as it was a true adventure. From a recent storm passing through, multiple trees had fallen on different parts of the trail. Not just small easily walked around trees but massive redwoods which at one point completely blocked the trail. This required walking up hill over large splintered pieces of wood to find where the trail resumed again. The streams cutting across the unpaved road to Fern canyon were flooded and a massive mud slide cut across this road as well so being able to maneuver around these obstacles was necessary. All in all, this trail was incredibly satisfying and exploring it is a must for anyone looking for a true adventure.

hiking
5 months ago

I worked as a park ranger at Redwood National Park and this easily became one of my favorite trails. A wonderful opportunity to see the redwoods, potentially wildlife, and Fern Canyon, one of the most beautiful areas of the park. Trails will be relatively empty except for Fern Canyon. I can't wait to get the chance to take some of my friends on this trail to explore the beauty of the Redwoods!

7 months ago

8 months ago

Had a beautiful day hiking this trail from the Prairie park hq. We did the loop out Miners Ridge to the Gold Bluffs Beach and north to return by James Irvine trail.

We got lost after miners ridge ended at beach road and bushwhacked across prairie grass and dunes to the beach. Also missed connection back to the Fern Canyon trail from the beach. Outside of that the trail was very well marked.

The changing landscapes from Redwoods to the beach keep it interesting. Old growth like whoa! Majestic. Looking forward to doing this one again!

9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing trail. I would do it again in a heartbeat 

hiking
10 months ago

Enjoyed this hike with my family (we did the James Irvine loop). I actually like the James Irvine trail a little more. Great hike and wonderful views.