Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park preserves some of the finest specimens of Coastal Redwoods in northern California. The park has many trails that can obviously be hiked in any combination. I was able to hike almost all of the park’s trails by doing 4 different one day loop hikes. This is a description of one of the loop hikes. The other three loop hikes are as follows:
West Ridge, Prairie Creek Trails Loop
This description starts at the trailhead on Newton Drury Parkway (260 ft elevation) and takes you north on Prairie Creek Trail parallel to the road until you reach Zigzag 2 Trail which makes a U-turn taking you quickly up the ridgeline to above 800 ft on West Ridge Trail. You will then follow the West Ridge Trail south, ultimately coming down in elevation to near the Park headquarters where you will make another U-turn heading back north on Prairie Creek Trail to reach the starting point.
From Crescent City, California, drive 25 miles south on Route 101 to Exit 765 and turn onto Newton Drury Scenic Parkway. Go 6.5 miles south to Prairie Creek Trailhead on the right (Brown Creek Trailhead is on the left).
|Hike Length||9.4 miles loop|
|Highest Elevation||850 ft|
|Lowest Elevation||150 ft|
Sign at trailhead talks about the relationship between growth rings, age of trees and weather.
Get on Prairie Creek Trail and hike north. The trail goes parallel to the road but at a distance from it.
Roots of a fallen giant and the hole through the log.
One of many bridges on the trail.
After around 2 miles, you will reach the junction with Zigzag 2 Trail. Get on this trail and follow it uphill to reach the top of the ridgeline.
At the top of the ridge, you will reach West Ridge Trail. Follow it south.
Fire hollowing out the trees.
The wicked witch of the forest (a natural formation on a tree that I happened to see).
The trail slowly goes down in elevation until it reaches the junction with many other trails including Prairie Creek Trail near park headquarters. Get on Prairie Creek Trail and follow it north.
Trail tunneling through a fallen tree.
You will soon reach the parking area where you started the hike. Ferns and mosses.