Hiking Though Lush Fern Canyon

When it comes to natural beauty, California is blessed with an abundance of riches. So much in fact that many of its state park like Pfeiffer Burns in Big Sur, Crystal Cove in Laguna Beach, and Prairie Creek Redwoods in Orick easily rival the scenery of numerous national parks in America. To reach Prairie Creek Redwoods, you take a spectacular coastal route, Highway 101, north of Trinidad (a small beach community definitely worth a visit) to Orick and then take a twisting dirt road, Davison Road, through groves of mega-sized redwoods to reach the remote sands. Those in the know booked the campsite on Gold Bluffs Beach while others should drive to the end of the dirt road to the Fern Canyon parking lot. As the name implies, Fern Canyon is a gulch with steep walls covered in glistening ferns, rivulets of water dripping down like a soft sprinkler system. On the short walk over to the canyon, trunks of spruce and red alder are covered in moss, giving you a hint that you’re in for a treat. Enveloped in this sanctuary of green, you walk as far as you like, crossing a stream on logs numerous times, before simply returning. But don’t just jump back into your car. Head over to the beach, where we spotted a buck elk with huge antlers gnawing at the sea grasses. Yes, Prairie Creek Redwoods is home to a large elk herd. A nice bonus!
A big thanks to Humboldt County for a great week of traveling! I’ll be back on Monday with one more blog from my trip, the surprisingly good Humboldt County wine.