PRAIRIE CREEK REDWOODS STATE PARK
Activity: Day Hike
1+ miles, 120’ elevation gain, 45 minute duration, rated Easy-Moderate
This short, but oh so captivating hike will put you right in the middle of a movie set. You will find yourself nervously peering around for piles of baby dinosaurs to come pouring over the logs. Yes, this is the exact spot that Steve Spielberg chose for Jurassic Park 2 ’Lost World’. In one of the scenes a character couldn’t escape the horde of these little terrors and they turned the stream you are walking in red.
The truth of the matter is you have nothing to fear as far as a T-Rex chasing you through the canyon, but do beware that there could be Elk. I have heard hikers turned around by Elk. I viewed a massive Elk that left me spellbound near the large redwoods within the park just before heading to Fern Canyon. At the trailhead there was a sign warning of a recent Mountain Lion sighting. So as night was closing in on me, along with the fact that I found some strange scat, (besides Cougar there is Black Bear as well as Bob Cat in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park), I did not dally, but at the same time took in my surroundings with the wonder of a child.
The whole place was rather surreal it truly was as if you had been deposited back to prehistoric time. I took the loop clockwise. Trekking poles and waterproof hiking boots would have been helpful as the trail is muddy and slippery in spots. Once you meander along a glorious trail you will finally be dropped down onto the Canyon Floor for the main event. This is where depending on any recent rains you are likely to get your feet wet. I tried as hard as I could to keep my hiking boots dry, tip toeing across branches, maneuvering the stream and climbing over and under logs. I almost kept my feet dry…
Filled with awe and delight I traipsed through the narrow canyon. The earth smelled of mud, moss and broken branches. I spied varied and spectacular verdant vegetation growing out of the vertical 50 to 80 foot walls which appeared even higher due to the dense primeval foliage. Some of the ferns species go back many millions of years. Western Sword, Licorice, and Deer Fern, along with California Polypody and Maidenhair adorned the canyon walls. Simply amazing…
As far as the logistics of this endeavor. Getting to the trailhead is an adventure in itself. The road in is about 10 miles. It is an enchanting drive weaving through the woods much of which is well maintained dirt road. The last four miles is fraught with water filled potholes and even a spot or two that has some moving water across the roadway. Although most vehicles could probably make this trip some have turned back upon viewing the conditions. Please note that the park fee is $8 and cash might be handy incase the credit card device is not available.
Fern Canyon is a place that captivates the imagination leaving one spellbound by the serenity of God’s creation. The forest’s silence was powerful, enchanting, mesmerizing and liberating. It was everything one seeks when ’Pursing Balance Through Adventure’. To continue with me on this exploration of nature and in turn ourselves please FOLLOW, COMMENT, LIKE and SHARE. The menu above inspires travel to other marvelous places through out the West. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Need Adventure Wear: SHOP APPAREL has literally got you covered and boasts the PBTA Logo and Mantra.
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure