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South Fork - Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, CA

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Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Northern
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.76 miles
Trailhead Elevation 254 feet
Elevation Gain 569 feet
Accumulated Gain 577 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.65
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Dogs not allowed
Post the 1st photoset!
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep, Jun → 5 PM
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  7:34am - 4:47pm
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Prairie Creek Nature Trail
Prairie Creek Nature Trail
1.7 mi away
1.2 mi
110 ft
Miners Ridge - James Irvine Loop
2.0 mi away
15.0 mi
1,500 ft
Moorman - Pond Trail
2.0 mi away
0.8 mi
225 ft
Ossagon Rocks and Gold Bluffs Beach
2.6 mi away
7.0 mi
100 ft
Lost Man Creek Trail
3.5 mi away
2.0 mi
Hope Creek - Ten Taypo Loop
3.8 mi away
3.5 mi
746 ft
Ten Taypo - Hope Creek Trail
3.8 mi away
3.6 mi
Ossagon Trail
3.8 mi away
4.8 mi
838 ft
Ah Pah Interpretive Trail
4.5 mi away
0.6 mi
300 ft
Redwood National Park Waterfalls
4.6 mi away
2.0 mi
[ View More! ]
Short Old Growth Redwood Hike
by JimmyLyding

The South Fork Trail is one of the numerous short trails in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in far northern California. This trail is commonly part of a loop either with the Brown Creek and Rhododendron trails to the north or the Rhododendron and Foothill trails to the south. This description is for a short out-and-back excursion on only the South Fork Trail.

The trail head is along Newton B. Drury Parkway about a mile north from the visitor center on the east side of the road in a dark old growth redwood forest. These remarkable trees dominate for the 1/4 mile as the trail gently then dramatically climbs out of the Prairie Creek drainage. The redwoods are smaller the higher one hikes, and increasingly joined by Sitka spruce. The upper half of the trail also has a lot of dogwood and rhododendron to provide color.


Unfortunately there aren't any views on top of the ridge where the South Fork Trail ends in a 'T' at the Rhododendron Trail. US Hwy 101 is about a mile away up and over the ridge that South Fork climbs, but traffic isn't audible due to the dense forest. Return the way you came, and hopefully head out for another adventure in the great redwoods.

JimmyLyding
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    CA State Parks - Fee: typically $2-$15 per vehicle, view more information


    Directions
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    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Drive north on US Hwy 101 from Eureka, CA for 47 miles to the turnoff for the Newton B. Drury Parkway into Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Take Drury Pkwy for 2 miles to the visitors center at the north end of Elk Prairie. Continue north on Drury Pkwy for a little over a mile to the signed trail head. There are at least a dozen parking spots on either side of the road.
    page created by JimmyLyding on Jul 06 2016 7:32 pm
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