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Fern Canyon Area, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
KEYWORDS:   Old growth Redwood Forest, Sitka Spruce forest, Beach
Prairie Creek is an old growth coast redwood forest with a population of elk, wonderful trails, and a huge empty beach. Some locations may look familiar if you have seen Jurassic Park, the movie.

The conifers closest to the coast are all Sitka spruce, Picea sitchensis. On the Miner's Ridge Trail, redwoods do not occur until about a mile inland. Sitka spruce are also spreading west into the dunes.

TRAILS:   It takes quite a bit of driving on a rock road to get to the Fern Canyon loop trail. The trail itself is very flat while you are in the bottom of the canyon, but somewhat slippery and filled with road hazards like fallen branches and trees. It is completely worth any hardship, however. Standing next to the wall of the canyon in July, you may be annointed by a soft rain, even on a sunny day.

Here is an interesting loop, inside the area of the polygon::
  • Miner's Ridge Trail, west, starting from the trailhead on the rock road immediately north of the Gold Bluffs Beach campground parking lot (yellow X on the map)
  • Clintonia Trail, north
  • James Irvine Trail, north west
  • Fern Canyon Trail, west
  • Coastal Trail or road, south, back to the starting point.
The whole loop is about seven miles, and took over three hours to hike.The trails are well signed. There is plenty of elevation gain and elevation loss along the way.

California State Parks: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
this park is crumb clean...
Redwood Hikes: Trail Map
National Park Service: Hiking Trails, Redwood National and State Parks
Some of the exquisite ferns now clinging to Fern Canyon's shadowy 30-foot cliffs are ancient species whose ancestry can be traced back 325 million years
CNPS CHAPTER AREA: :   North Coast

AREA OF THE POLYGON::   1,601 acres
DENSITY::   0.101 native species per acre
Thanks to  John H Malpas  for contributing this great place.