This is a family-friendly, short hike passing old-growth redwoods, maples, trillium flowers, ferns, and huge fir trees... with a small waterfall too! There are some switchbacks and an elevation gain of 200-feet to reach the falls.
Trailhead parking is located at the Elk Meadow Day Use Area - just off Davison Road, three miles north of Orick. There is drinking water, information kiosks, flush toilets, picnic tables and it has plenty of parking for vehicles of any size (busses, RV's, and trailers included).
Because of the trail's beauty, and the good parking and picnic options, many rangers recommend this as the best little hike in Redwood National and State Parks. At the parking area, there is a good chance of seeing one of the Roosevelt elk herds that live in the park.
Trillium Falls is 1/2 mile from the trailhead and is a great photo stop and turn-around point. To protect the vegetation at the waterfall please stay on the hikers' bridge.
If you want to see more of the 2.7 mile (4.3 km) loop, then continue past the falls. The trail will climb a few hundred feet again and lead you through more old-growth redwoods, past massive "chimney-trees" and you eventually will cross an old logging road. At this overgrown road, you can cut short your hike half a mile by following the grassy road downhill back to the parking lot. If you continue ahead on the trail, you will see more redwoods as you eventually drop down to in elevation. The trail will lead you north along the edge of Prairie Creek back to the Elk Meadow Day Use parking area.
- We recommend you purchase and use a good map and trail guide for your adventures in Redwood National and State Parks. Don’t rely on online maps when you are here.
- To protect the habitats, leave no trace also means staying on the developed trail. Please don’t go off-trail and make any new trails. These forests grow by the inch, and will die by your foot.
- To protect the wildlife (and you and other visitors), pets are not allowed on park trails.
- Cell coverage is very limited and cannot be relied on in an emergency. Have a plan for checking in and checking out with a friend when you are here.