Miner's Ridge and James Irvine Trail Loop

HARD 99 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.

22 hours ago

great long hike loved fern canyon nothing like it do bring waterproof boots or water shoes or just take off your shoes to not get your socks wet also walking stick helps while crossing the logs over the creek in the canyon

trail running
8 days ago

The James Irvine - Miner's Ridge loop is great for trail running (or hiking). Approximately 10 miles total. If you enter at Park Headquarters, there's no fee. If you enter at the Fern Canyon, there's a $5 vehicle fee. From Headquarters, hop off the James Irvine to Miner's Ridge for some really fun downhill running, and then you have a little less climbing on James Irvine back to the start. There is no drinking water available once you leave Headquarters, so be sure to pack accordingly. Also, depending on the season, if the creek is running high through Fern Canyon, you're going to get wet feet.

One of my absolute favorite places to run.

9 days ago

Long but totally worth it. What a magical expenditure!

10 days ago

One of my favorites. We pack home made goodies and lose ourselves in beauty. We believe in lots of water munchies an what a amazing trails

25 days ago

Beautiful trail! Not too strenuous but definitely not easy. We went when it was raining and overcast, which was amazing but it gets a little dark the farther you get into the trees. It’s so beautiful though! You can tell about 3/4 of the way into the trail that you start descend so that you come out where the beach is. Also, I’m not sure if we strayed off the trail at all but we came out of the trail onto a “road” where there’s still trees in front of you and you can go right or left; left takes you to the beach. It isn’t clearly marked, that we could see. It’s by far my favorite hike!

26 days ago

Loved this hike! A good distance. Definitely wouldn’t consider it hard. The beach slowed me down a good bit, but made it in under 5 hours and wasn’t rushed. Tracked it to be 12.2 but I also skipped some of the useless curving around at the beach. One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. So lush and green! It was a rather quiet trail, saw maybe a dozen people but most of them were at the beach and fern canyon area. I’d do it again. Beautiful! Would be a perfect trail running route.

1 month 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.

2 months ago

This is one of the best trails in the park. We did not have time to go all the way to the beach and back so we looped around. Be aware that the posted distances are much less than the actual distance covered. Our rule of thumb is to add at least a quarter mile distance to each mile hiked.

4 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.

4 months ago

Absolute favorite hike in Humboldt so far.

6 months ago

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

8 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.

9 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.

10 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.

10 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.

10 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!

10 months ago

Best hike in the Redwoods

10 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.

11 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!

11 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!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

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.

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