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Prairie Creek Redwood State Park

127011 Newton B Drury Pkwy, Orick, California 95555 USA

  • Independent
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
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“fern canyons and redwood groves”

Dim and quiet, wrapped in mist and silence, the redwoods roof a moist and mysterious world. Park trails meander over lush ground and the walker is treated to the cool feeling and fragrance of wood and water.  A couple beautiful “fern canyons” are found along the North Coast, but the Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is undoubtedly the most awe-inspiring. Five-finger, deer, lady, sword, and chain ferns smother the precipitous walls of the canyon. Bright yellow monkeyflowers abound, as well as fairy lanterns, those creamy white, or greenish, bell-shaped flowers that hang in clusters. Ferns are descendants of an ancient group of plants which were much more numerous 200 million years ago. Ferns have roots and stems similar to flowering plants, but are considered to be a primitive form of plant life because they reproduce by spores, not seeds.  Gold Bluffs was named in 1850 when prospectors found some gold flakes in the beach sand. The discovery caused a minor gold rush. A tent city sprang up on the beach but little gold was extracted.  Gold Bluffs Beach is a beauty— eleven miles of wild, driftwood-littered shore, backed by extensive dunes. Sand verbena, bush lupine, and wild strawberry splash color on the sand. This walk explores some of the highlights of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park—Fern Canyon, magnificent redwood groves, and Gold Bluffs Beach. 

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Reviewed by
A Jaunt With Joy

  • Road Warrior
  • 119 Reviews
  • 33 Helpful
January 17, 2015
Rated 5.0

Beyond gorgeous. Bring shoes you can get wet especially if hiking fern canyon.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 757 Helpful
August 31, 2014
Rated 4.0

Fantastic park in the Redwoods system. Loads of camping and lots to do for just a day visit. You can camp among redwoods or on a prairie. There are also loads of hiking trails and simple walking paths, for every kind of hiker. Fern Canyon is a wonderful hike, but it's long and you should be a bit experienced before undertaking it. In summertime rangers hold "campfires" where they teach kids about the history of the parks and the ecology of the area.

If you have kids, you should do the Junior Ranger Program. They'll love it.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 7 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
September 16, 2017
Rated 5.0

Beautiful place and home of "Big tree" further down the street is the ranger station where they give lots of really cool information.

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Reviewed by
Mopar Miles

  • 41 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 05, 2017
Rated 5.0

Beautiful, traveled through 6/26 and got to see large Elk! We ran out of time to do the Fern Canyon hike unfortunately, wish we planned better.

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Prairie Creek Redwood State Park

127011 Newton B Drury Pkwy
Orick, California
95555 USA

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  • Independent
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms

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