Prairie Creek Redwood State Park is a beautiful getaway for those seeking lush forests and a pristine coastline. In the state park there are many beautiful hikes through giant Redwood trees and Fern groves, but my favorite hike in the park by far is Fern Canyon. This short, but sweet hike is where parts of Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World were filmed. The canyon walls are covered in beautiful fern plants and when it rains, water drips down in delicate streams through the leaves.
Distance: 2 mi
Elevation: 30 ft
Difficulty Level: easy
Approximate time: 1 hour (depends largely on how long you wish to admire the canyon)
Pet Friendly: no, service animals only
Crowd levels: moderate
Best Season to go: Spring or Fall
What to bring in your pack:
1. Camera or Phone: this hike is beautiful and unlike anything you've seen before, so you will want a camera to document your experience
2. Water: Though this is a short, easy hike, it is always important to stay hydrated
3. $8.00: State Park entrance fee
4. Lunch: I would recommend going on this hike early and then stopping for a picnic after at Gold Bluffs Beach located just miles before the trail entrance
What you will see:
1. Lots and lots of beautiful ferns clinging to the walls of the box canyon, five different species to be exact: lady, deer, sword, chain, and five-fingered; there are also gorgeous mosses and small trickling streams of water.
2. Low flowing creeks with boards overlaying for you to walk across them; the USDA was very considerate when creating this trail and made this hike accessible to everyone.
3. When you're driving to the trail-head, you will see smaller trees consumed with Ivy and moss, and giant Redwoods.
4. Just miles before arriving at the trail, you will see Gold Bluffs beach, which, makes a wonderful spot for post-hike relaxation, fun, and the picnic spoken of above.
4. There is a small waterfall at the end of the short hike that is only there after rain, sadly I didn't get to see it, but I hope you all get to!
How to get there:
Heading North on the Hwy 101, take a left onto Davison Road just about two miles past Orick. Take the road all the way to the end to the parking lot and when you arrive, you will see the trail-head to the far right. Follow the trail alongside Home Creek into the Canyon.
*Note: trailers are not permitted on Davison Road.