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Miner's Ridge and James Irvine Trail Loop

MODERATE 266 reviews

Miner's Ridge and James Irvine Trail Loop is a 11.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Orick, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 11.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,482 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

running

beach

forest

views

wildlife

off trail

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice trail through the Redwood forest. We hiked here on a Sunday and did the Miner’s Ridge trail first. That was a good choice because we only saw 10 other hikers or so untill we reached the beach. The beach part is pretty heavy in the sand but definitely worth it. We saw some seals in the ocean and lots of birds. The James Irvine trail was much more trafficked but that could also be due to the time (early afternoon). I found the first mile of the Miner’s Ridge trail the most beautiful, after that it’s mostly “more of the same”.

Exceptional trail between Redwoods.

hiking
1 month ago

Probably one of the most beautiful hikes you will ever take. First the marvelous redwoods, then the Jurassic-like fern canyon, the expansive beach where we saw seals, two dolphins and pelicans. This is an amazing hike. Only passed 9 small groups in 22 km. We took the longer beach route, where you can stop for lunch. Lots of elk along the way.

hiking
2 months ago

Lots of variety! Trees, ferns and beach. What’s not to love! Definitely would recommend it. Not difficult for anyone in reasonable shape. Did it in just under 4.5 hrs.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked down and back up with my son on 8-16-2019. The path is in excellent condition for a long moderate hike in the beautiful redwood forest. The fern canyon loop at the bottom is breathtaking. Bring plenty of water and electrolyte drinks and healthy snacks. We took 6h at a normal pace interrupted with stops to enjoy the beautiful nature and added a 15 minute rest in fern canyon.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trails. Make sure if you walk down the beach you don't miss the camp or the day area if you get distracted by sealions! Fern canyon also has a day use area and lots of families come so expect that area to be crowded.

2 months ago

Did this trail starting at James Irvine and taking the Miner's Ridge back. Really gorgeous setting this forest looked diffrent than most other mountain forest I have been too. It looked like those unique plants could only grow in that climate near the coast. Fern Canyon was abit more of the same and both trails had similar plant environment but the Miner's Ridge trail is harder. The James Irvine trail is much flatter making it an easier trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Immaculate trail through a giant redwood forest. A great moderate day hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Incredibly monotonous, once the awe wears off, this trail is indescribably Boring. The only place the scenery changes is at and near the beach (fern canyon). The beach to trail connection is marked by a driftwood tepee to the north and the hidden campground to the south, but you can look for the creek canyons too. We would not do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

Started off on Miner’s Ridge which required a bit more energy and unfortunately didn’t have many great views. I would give it 4 stars individually. James Irvine, on the other hand, I couldn’t get enough of on the return trip after seeing Fern Canyon. The numerous great views and well routed trail easily make it 5 stars!

hiking
4 months ago

What can I say except amazing. Such a great hike with beauty everywhere. Definitely a must see.

Not too steep but beautiful and my favorite part was the fern grove. Felt like an adventure

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful route to take, relatively easy.

Nice shaded well marked Miner’s trail that travels through redwoods to the beach. It was raining by the time we got to the beach, so we pushed through that portion quickly. It is difficult to determine where to cut into the wood from the beach, so if you are doing the trail CW cut back towards the wood line after 3/4 mile to look for the trail. Fern canyon was beautiful but very busy. Your feet may get wet with all the river crossings. We had our trekking poles which helped us to keep balance, but water shoes would have helped speed up the process. I turned off my recording for the beach portion, but I believe the hike was around 14.1 miles not 11 that AllTrails stated.

5 months ago

Beautiful hike, though we went the opposite direction around the loop. Don't do what we did and overshoot the trailhead leading off the beach back inland. We had been assured we would see the campground/trailers where the trailhead was, but I love to walk in the water along the water line and we couldn't see it from that low. Added an extra 1.5 miles to our hike. Thankfully my son had a better sense of time and distance and insisted we get back to the road to see where we were. Otherwise, we might have ended up in San Francisco!

hiking
5 months ago

Great day hike, interesting terrain but nothing difficult. Long enough that we wanted a rest day afterwards. Took us slightly longer than our usual pace because we spent extra time in fern canyon and took a break at the rest area near the fern canyon parking lot/trailhead. There is no drinking water at fern canyon but there is a faucet at the campground a mile south of there. We walked down the road instead of the beach as others have mentioned; we went at a fairly dry time and there were a few small creek crossings, but aside from fern canyon (for which we brought water shoes) we managed to keep our feet dry.

hiking
5 months ago

Clear trail, overall easy hike for experienced hikers.

hiking
6 months ago

Magnificent loop trail. The return back to Fern Canyon trail from the beach is a mess however, with multiple brackish water crossings. I agree with the previous reviewer that you’re better off to just go down Davison road to Fern Canyon after exiting Miners Ridge on the way out.

hiking
6 months ago

Knocking off a star for the beach section. A section of beach looked to be washed away (3/19/19) about .5 mi. up with makeshift river from previous storms? Had to trek through coastal grassland, then cross numerous smaller streams/tide pools (some with sinking mud & sand) all the while with no signage to know where to enter for Fern Canyon. All Trails map saved me! My recommendation would be to just use Davison Rd. down to Fern Canyon parking lot.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike. Definitely not hard just long. Hills but no steep climbing. Bring water there’s no place to fill up. The trees are amazing, the air is so fresh, Spring is just starting with the Lillie’s and ferns. It’s darker under the trees so I would want to be done an hour before the sun goes down to ensure you don’t get eaten by a troll or gnome. I’m sure they live in the tree holes.

What a beautiful hike! Will do again

hiking
8 months ago

What a lovely hike. The trees are so tall, it’s really a must see! I thought the ferns along the James Irvine trail were much prettier than the scenery in Fern Canyon. So if you decide to turn around before you make it to the canyon, you won’t be missing anything. Very few people on the trail, lots of solitude. Well maintained and marked. The only thing strenuous about this hike is the distance. There is very little elevation change.

hiking
9 months ago

My absolute favorite trail. Even tho I thought my legs might fall off before we reached the end... I didn’t want it to end. Expect to spend 4-6 hours. Took us 5 and we are moderately fit for winos. I could stay lost in the beauty of this trail for days on end and never tire of it.

9 months ago

Perhaps my favorite dayhike in the world.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful trail, loved all the ferns. I definitely don’t think it is “hard”. Maybe if you are not a regular hiker or if you’re not in good shape it could be hard. I think you only gain about 500 ft or so. Best trail to get deep in the forest!

hiking
9 months ago

Stunning hike. Like stepping into a time before time. Prepare to be moved with reverence and awe at the glory of the ancient forest. Bring waders or waterproof boots for the fern canyon, unless you like wet feet. Bring lunch and eat on the beach! What a beautiful sequence to go from woods to the sea and back to the woods. Not too vertically challenging. Finished in 3 hours 50 minutes. Can be done fast if you want. Or take your time and really soak up the beauty. Either way, don’t miss this one.

11 months ago

great trail! loved it!

hiking
11 months ago

A very nice walk with amazing big Coastal Redwoods and then Fern Canyon- be prepared for water crossings. Then beach and back up into the old growth forest- just magical. We would rate this moderate only- the trail is excellent. Fern Canyon is slow going with the stream and multiple crisscrossing but great. 20 kms all up and 4 hours 43 minutes. A really lovely day out. So peaceful. Highly recommend.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful hike through spectacular redwoods. We started at prairie creek visitor center and headed toward fern canyon, which is a site to see in itself. Prepare for wet shoes if you decide to go through fern canyon instead of straight to the trail base. You’re basically walking through a creek surrounded by fern covered walls. From there we headed across the beach to the start of miners trail back toward prairie creek visitor center. Overall it took us about 6 hours to finish, which includes stopping to eat lunch and stopping for many pictures. Would definitely recommend for someone up for some adventure

hiking
Friday, October 12, 2018

Excellent trail condition with amazing views. Unique in that one sees so many different environments between old growth groves and the beach.

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