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Miners Ridge - James Irvine Loop - 1 member in 4 triplogs has rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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May 28 2017
JimmyLyding
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 Guides 111
 Routes 379
 Photos 4,290
 Triplogs 635

45 male
 Joined Feb 16 2007
 Walnut Creek, CA
Miners Ridge - James Irvine LoopNorthern, CA
Northern, CA
Hiking avatar May 28 2017
JimmyLyding
Hiking15.03 Miles 1,454 AEG
Hiking15.03 Miles   6 Hrs   49 Mns   2.34 mph
1,454 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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1 archive
Sep 06 2015
JimmyLyding
avatar

 Guides 111
 Routes 379
 Photos 4,290
 Triplogs 635

45 male
 Joined Feb 16 2007
 Walnut Creek, CA
Miners Ridge - James Irvine LoopNorthern, CA
Northern, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2015
JimmyLyding
Hiking13.91 Miles 1,763 AEG
Hiking13.91 Miles   6 Hrs   14 Mns   2.23 mph
1,763 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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.
Fauna
Fauna
Harbor Seal
Culture
Culture
HAZ Rides
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Aug 29 2014
JimmyLyding
avatar

 Guides 111
 Routes 379
 Photos 4,290
 Triplogs 635

45 male
 Joined Feb 16 2007
 Walnut Creek, CA
Miners Ridge - James Irvine LoopNorthern, CA
Northern, CA
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2014
JimmyLyding
Hiking15.01 Miles 1,508 AEG
Hiking15.01 Miles   6 Hrs   54 Mns   2.70 mph
1,508 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was the long hike I'd been planning on doing up in the north redwoods. I wish I hadn't taken so long to make breakfast, gotten up earlier or both....

Hiking in any seemingly endless forest can get a little monotonous, but this one really had to try. I must've walked by a thousand trees that were at least 300' tall and/or 15' in diameter. The section along Gold Bluffs Beach was pretty cool, if a bit of a slog, and its 2 miles (I overshot the entrance to Fern Canyon and the James Irvine Trail, and had to backtrack) took a lot out of me. There were thousands of velella, or by-the-wind sailors, stranded on the beach. These are 4" long clear blue jellyfish-like creatures with vertical sailes (actually a colony of hydrozoans) that commonly strand themselves in large numbers.
The brisk wind and bright sun also took a lot of water out of me so I was a little faded by the time I had backtracked on the upper beach to where I was sure the entrance to the home stretch was. Of course a bull elk appeared to block my path, but he remained resting on the ground as I gave him a wide berth.

It was 5:50 PM when I got to the mouth of Fern Canyon, and I was back at my campsite after 5.5 more miles at 7:31. That was a bit of a butt-kicker, but I didn't want to miss the campfire program on Pacific banana slugs! I wish I could've spent more time on the James Irvine Trail, but it gets dark a little early in the redwoods.
Fauna
Fauna
Banana Slug
Named place
Named place
Fern Canyon Prairie Creek
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Sep 06 2013
PatrickL
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 Guides 7
 Routes 61
 Photos 1,394
 Triplogs 396

28 male
 Joined Jan 10 2010
 Buckeye, AZ
Miners Ridge - James Irvine LoopNorthern, CA
Northern, CA
Hiking avatar Sep 06 2013
PatrickL
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,300 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles   5 Hrs      3.10 mph
1,300 ft AEG   1 Hour   8 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After finally finding the trail, I was well on my way to the beach. The first stroll through the redwoods on Miners Ridge Trail was very enjoyable. I could feel the breeze picking up which meant I was nearing the ocean. The tsunami evacuation site was also a good clue. It was bittersweet passing through Gold Bluffs Beach Campground (full the night before), but it was made up for with the section of beach along the hike. The wet sand right near the waves was easier and more comfortable to walk on than the hot, dry stuff. Lots of crab parts spread out near the water. Maybe the Jeep tracks had something to do with that (it's an established part of the California Coastal Trail)? I only passed one other person along this stretch. Finding the spot where I needed to leave the beach wasn't the easiest thing until people started spilling out from the parking area. I headed inland, through the parking lot, and into Fern Canyon. Some of the stream crossings in the canyon utilized rickety bridges made of loose, sometimes unstable logs and I was glad to make it out dry. From here, I took James Irvine Trail back to the car, completing the loop/lasso. James Irvine had even more awesome redwoods. All of them sprouted out of the lush and seemingly endless carpet of healthy ferns.
Fauna
Fauna
Banana Slug
Named place
Named place
Fern Canyon
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1 archive
average hiking speed 2.42 mph

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.

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