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The Best Hikes in Redwood National and SP National Park

34 Triplog Reviews in the Redwood National and SP National Park
Most recent of 17 deeper Triplog Reviews
2 mi • 76 ft aeg
This loop hike is very kid friendly and one for folks of all ages and abilities. The attraction is the ability to see the enormous redwoods in a less popular area and the opportunity to take a dip in the Smith River. The Stout Grove was named for lumberman Frank D. Stout, founder of Knapp, Stout & Company—one of the largest lumber companies in the world in the 1870s and 1880s. Upon his death in 1927, his wife, Clara, donated the 44-acre grove to Save the Redwoods League, which helped establish the Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park in 1929.

There are a a few spurs off the loop (and probably some social trails), so take whichever looks interesting and fun. See if you and your loved ones can, by joining hands, encircle one of the redwoods. And be sure to make it to the Smith River to see who's best at skipping rocks. I need some serious practice!
15.03 mi • 1,454 ft aeg
I thought this would be a nice way to crown a long weekend at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. It was a great trip, but the weather wasn't very good. The park seemed busier this year than it has been the previous 3 years. I think a lot of that is because there aren't as many recreation opportunities in the Sierra Nevadas as there have been in recent years.
Anyways, I saw a lot of people on this hike, including some knuckleheads who had fixed hammocks to small redwoods right next to the trail. This is not only illegal, but very harmful to redwoods. The rest of the hike was cool. It was overcast and kinda dark most of the day. It was more difficult to get to the actual edge of Western civilization this year because the myriad creeks that drain the redwood forests have created a narrow swampy band that divides the actual beach from the dunes.

It was a great way to finish a great trip.
4.39 mi • 847 ft aeg
The Ossagon Trail is one of my all-time favorites because of the varied vegetation. The old growth forest at the beginning gives way to a young Sitka spruce forest below it. Finally, a riparian area separates the steep ridge from the beach which itself transitions from stunted spruce to open dunes before finally reaching the ocean. The beach was epic this year because of the elk. There were about a dozen cow elk with a few pregnant ones all hanging out between the western end of the trail and the edge of Western civilization. This hike is one that I'll do again and again because it offers so many different things to enjoy.
7.12 mi • 851 ft aeg
I really enjoyed this hike because I got to travel up the beach due to the low tide. Weather was outstanding as usual, and this hike provided the right amount of exercise and scenery after a punishing hike the day before in the Siskiyou Wilderness.
I paid attention to the Sitka spruce on this trail because of their colossal cousins next to my campsite in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This isn't a good trail to see old growth redwoods, but there are a few near the trail head.
The best part was on the beach north of the Ossagon Trail's western end. Low tide exposed sea anemone and barnacle, and allowed me to venture a good distance up the beach. The tide was coming in as I returned south to the trail, and anyone who was an hour behind me on the same route would probably end up with more of an adventure than they bargained for.
That day was a good day.
2.82 mi • 545 ft aeg
I didn't expect much from this hike, but it was a nice workout with some big trees. This is an area that I would expect to be crawling with tourists if the Redwood National and State Parks were closer to large population centers, but the Bay Area and Portland are both 6 hours away. Good for me and anyone else who has fallen in love with this area. I can't wait to go back next year!
13.91 mi • 1,763 ft aeg
This is one of my favorite hikes. It's amazing to think that most of California's north coast was once cloaked in old growth redwoods and its attendants like this remote paradise.
I did a similar loop last year when I took Miner's Ridge all the way down to the coast, but I took the Clintonia Trail north to James Irvine Trail then continued down to Fern Canyon. Fern Canyon was extremely busy. I was amused by a kid loudly exclaiming "To The Beach!!!" after his parents became tired of forcing nature on their family. Anyone who gets into the water here had better be a Navy SEAL or there's going to be a rescue situation.
I had lunch near the surf, and saw quite a few seals. Or at least the same seal(s) over and over as they hunted through the surf zone with no concern for the rough surf and rip currents.

I wondered when I would next see this place. What a spot, and I hope to get back there again next year. Hopefully this area spends the next 6+ months being inundated with rain because that's the only thing that can heal the scars left by the drought.
2.86 mi • 100 ft aeg
A different hike around Elk Prairie. This loop is different from my short hike the day before because the trails immediately south of Elk Prairie face the sun through the forest's edge in the afternoon instead of plunging into the inky darkness of an old growth redwood grove with a 600' ridge to the west and north of EP.

At least that's what happens until the Cubs beat the Royals in the World Series, and the earth starts spinning on a different axis.
0.57 mi • 300 ft aeg
I liked the interpretive signs. This trail is the remnant of an old logging road that formerly wound down to US Hwy 101, but it doesn't go very far. That's too bad because this is a pretty cool area. I heard whispers that this area is slated for a new trail so we'll see. Redwood forests are bright and sunny up in the high country (relatively speaking) unlike the gloomy groves along Prairie Creek.
3.58 mi • 281 ft aeg
I was feeling lazy after spending the early afternoon reading so I did this loop through the heart of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The Prairie Creek Trail parallels the Drury Parkway, but it's far enough away to not be noticeable. The section of Prairie Creek north from the visitor center area is a classic old growth redwood forest. It's dark, flat and dank. Big Tree sounds like a nice destination, but there have always been people standing in front of the tree posing for an endless barrage of future Facebook posts. It seems like more of a social experiment than a natural wonder.
I walked back to my campsite by the visitors center, but luckily my money was safe because it was closed.
1 mi • 76 ft aeg
This is a nice little hike through an extremely impressive redwood grove. Some people think this is the nicest old growth redwood grove in existence. Old growth groves are easier to photograph because more light reaches the forest floor. Groves with smaller trees growing close to each other can be downright gloomy.
I took a short detour to lay eyes on the Smith River for the first time. The river looked like it would be easy to swim in on a warm late summer day, but I declined.
Some knucklehead was walking off-trail among the giants, and it was all I could do to not say something.

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