Miner's Ridge and James Irvine Trail Loop

HARD 85 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.

12.4 miles
1545 feet




mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





no dogs

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.

8 days ago

Hiked these trails in September 2015 and it is still one of my all time favorite hikes! So much to see: redwoods, fern canyon, the beach, and wildlife. We took James Irvine out from the visitor center to fern canyon. Such a beautiful and peaceful walk through the woods and fern canyon is a great place to explore. When we emerged from fern canyon through the woods and out toward the beach, we actually ran into a large bull elk taking a rest right next to the trail (we almost didn’t see him, be careful!), so we bypassed the beach trail and walked along the road to get to Miners Ridge. We were out most of the day, from around 10 AM to just about sun set, with lots of stops for photos and to enjoy the beauty around us. Highly recommend, well worth it! I would rate it moderate, rather than hard.

3 months ago

Hiked a portion of this trail on our last day in the Redwoods. Due to time constraints we were unable to complete the full trail. Whether you do a portion or the whole trail, the forest is mesmerizing! Wonderful adventure.

3 months ago

Absolute favorite hike in Humboldt so far.

5 months ago

You hike through untouched forests. It is remarkable. Go and visit this beautiful place Mother Earth created

7 months ago

Despite the heavy smoke from wildfires, this hike was absolutely amazing. It's hard to describe the feeling of walking amongst the giant redwoods with nothing but the sound of your footsteps. Ran into less than a dozen folks on the actual trails but it was little crowded near fern canyon. Highly recommended and I can't wait to explore the other trails here.

8 months ago

One of the best redwood hikes there is! You can camp halfway on the beach with a permit. I would not say the trail is hard, don't let that deter you from going on this beautiful hike.

9 months ago

Was looking for a decent hike, this one didn't disappoint. Some slight inclines but by the time you get "tired", the inclines stop. This was about a 4-6 hr hike where we dallied at the beach and Fern Canyon before hiking back.

9 months ago

This is my all time favorite hike -each section offering amazing experiences. I love gold bluffs beach! And miners ridge kicks my butt every time. I take the loop counter clockwise.

9 months ago

This is a very beautiful trail that loops past fern canyon. I definitely recommend going in the direction of Miners Ridge first to get most of the elevation over with. Accomplishing this took about 5 hours for us .. so make sure you bring water and snacks!

9 months ago

Best hike in the Redwoods

9 months 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.

10 months 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!

10 months 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!

11 months 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.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

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...

Friday, January 13, 2017

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.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

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!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

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!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

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

Sunday, August 07, 2016

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.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

As others have pointed out, great hike. The redwoods are 2,000 years old and breath taking. I had 3 of my kids with me and they also enjoyed. Not a lot of elevation gain which was nice after some of our recent hikes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Great trip!! Kind of a short hike for me but overall amazing. The old growth is great and the coast is scenic. Would recommend for sure

Friday, July 29, 2016

Started in Prairie Creek Campground and took the James Irvine to the Fern Canyon loop. Stopping at the ocean was a nice midway break to cool off and have a snack.

Monday, July 25, 2016

We did this as part of the Miner Ridge Trail. We started at the Prairie Elk Campground and it took us about 5 hours. It ended up being about 13 miles total, we took a turn that lead us over to Fern Canyon without going down to the beach. We had a lot of fun but it can be a strenuous trail. That is not to say that you shouldn't do it. You just need to allot plenty of time for breaks and sightseeing. And finally watch out for the Elk! A very large bull male stopped us on the return hike. He was grazing on the trail and although he didn't seem interested in us, we were very interested in not getting attacked since we were so exhausted at that point. Would definitely do it again if it wasn't for the 6 hour drive to get there. One day is not enough. Great place to spend a week especially if you have kids.

Friday, July 08, 2016

This was such a beautiful trail! We started around 9:30 am and hiked to Fern Canyon, walked towards the parking lot to see the ocean, then headed back on the James Irvine trail. We stopped for lunch on the bridge with two chairs. If you look off towards the side with the chairs, there's a very small waterfall down below. We got to Fern Canyon around 11:30. It was very busy, but mostly from people who parked nearby and didn't hike to it. We went on the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but the trail itself was still quiet. On the way to Fern Canyon, we only passed 2-3 groups of hikers. On the way back, we saw more hikers but it still wasn't that busy. This hike was perfect. It was mostly in the shade, was extraordinarily beautiful, and had the perfect combination of small rolling hills. Would be very nice to trail run, but it's more like 10 miles from the trailhead to Fern Canyon and back. It took us 4.5 hours including a lunch break.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Super fun

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fantastic on the out and back, but the Fern Canyon loop in the middle was a bit hectic on the holiday weekend. mostly way deader than any bay area parks or Muir Woods on a holiday. Still a pinch of mud out there in late may.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Great moderate trail with giant redwoods to check out. If you're looking to see redwoods the best trees are in the beginning of the trail. There's a beautiful fern gully at the midpoint and lots of little bridges over creeks. The only disappointment was at the end of the trail there wasn't a beautiful lookout. You can walk to the beach but not much to see.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

This was one of the most amazing trips I've been on! We chose this trail sort of last minute due to bad weather in the area we originally planned to backpack- and I'm glad we did! Hiked thru the amazing Redwoods on a fairly easy trail, camped on the beach, then came back through the Fern Gorge which was completely surreal and absolutely breathtaking! This was the first backpacking trip I've done in many years and wouldn't consider myself in top physical shape- but managed this trail like a rockstar! It's a must do, that most CAN do!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Outstanding. Do not miss.

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