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Hike Ocean Bluffs and Tidepools
If you ever find yourself lucky enough to be driving on Hwy 101 through the Redwoods National Forest, it is a worthy detour to stop at the Coastal Trail that ends at Endert's Beach to soak up some serious ocean time.
Endert's Beach turnoff is found just 3 miles south of Crescent City. Take the paved road until it ends at a small parking area for the trail head.
Immediately, the ocean views are absolutely stunning. The hike begins high on the bluffs that overlook the long waves that roll in from distances far, far away. The view from here is vast. You might wonder if you can see Hawaii from where you are standing. This is perhaps the best start to any trail that you have ever been on. Life feels good. If you visit in June, I can attest that you will definitely see hordes of wildflowers. I spotted wild foxgloves, indian paintbrushes, wild berries, and lupine scattered all over the place. Only the toughest plants, such as sitka spruce and red alder, can withstand growing in the harsh salty air. These plants act as a filter for the salt sensitive redwoods and without them acting as a buffer the redwoods would most likely suffer.
The trail follows the coast for about 0.4 miles and then it drops through a little (gorgeous!) valley before descending to the beach below. At the midway point of the hike, you will encounter a fork in the road with a trail sign pointing to the Creekside Trail. Make a note to return on the way out and check it out, but for now, head to the beach. You will pass up some secluded campsites (looks like fun!) before reaching the beach.
Once at the beach, take a immediate right, under the natural arch and then make your way over the miniature stream that runs over the sand. A hobo bridge of rocks and tree limbs is provided. Keep walking towards the looming haystack rock at the beach end, for this is your destination. Once there, be very careful where you step so to not disturb or damage any of the sea creatures that live in the rocky tide pools. Explore at will....or before the tide looks scary. Hopefully you came in the morning, when the tide is low. If you arrived too late in the day, the tide pools will be completely underwater and you will not seen them, but you will have visited a pleasant beach anyway.
On the hike out, take that detour at the Creekside Trail sign and hike along lovely Nickel Creek. I saw quite a few banana slugs munching on all the greenery everywhere. The forest is very, very, very lush. This trail is mainly provided for the campers to get to their secluded campsites scattered along the beach, but feel free to share in this beauty anyway.
Hike out the same way you came and admire those long ocean views one last time before you call it a day.
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This hike is listed as One-Way.
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