Walks and Hikes

 

Planning Your Walk or Hike

Any trail in old-growth redwooods is "the best trail". A quality experience in a few places may be better than trying to see it all.

No matter your comfort level and experience, there are walking and hiking options for you in the redwoods. For orientation and planning purposes, we consider the Klamath River as the boundary between the north and south areas of the parks. Crescent City and Hiouchi is in the north, Klamath is in the middle, and Orick is in the south. For more trip-planning information and maps you can stop by one of our visitor centers, or check out the backcountry trip planner.

Be aware that most of the trails north of the Klamath River do not have parking large enough for trailers or RVs. Many of the trails south of the Klamath River do have parking for trailers or RVs.


Start making your plans based your answers to these questions...

  • Do you have less than an hour, or a full day?
  • What is the fitness level of your group?
  • Which area of the parks are you visiting?
  • Do you need easy parking, and paved roads?
  • What are your accessibility requirements?

 

Rangers' Recommendations For Walks and Hikes


There are dozens of trails with hundreds of miles of hiking and biking opprtunities in the park. These are our top recommendations for visitors wanting to quickly find a walk in the redwoods most suited to their needs. Most (not all) of these recomendations have parking for larger vehicles like RVs or trailers - though it is important to read the recommendations for details about what size restrictions are in place for each trailhead. Our visitor centers and visitor guide and newspaper have much more information about walks, hikes, and trails.

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30 minutes or less: Big Tree Wayside
1-hour: Trillium Falls Trail Lady Bird Johnson Grove Simpson-Reed Trail
2-hours: Stout Memorial Grove Prairie Creek-Foothill Loop
Half a day: Tall Trees Grove
All day: James Irvine Trail-Fern Canyon Loop
 

What To Expect?

More than 200 miles of trails weave through a variety of environments; including prairies, old-growth redwood forests, and beaches. Elevations range from sea level to just over 3,000 feet (1,000 m). Consistently mild temperatures make year-round exploration a possibility. The parks' trails are well maintained - though weather conditions may make the trails slippery. Few trails are paved.

Due to the wet winters and the strong winds we have, large trees often fall, and they will block trails. These natural events will cause a trail closure. Find out more about current conditions.

Walking through a redwood grove on a fog-shrouded morning can be an unforgettable experience. Sounds are reduced to the musical gurgle of water trickling amongst ferns and mossy rocks. Light ebbs with the somber mist and shafts of sun hang like cobwebs. Stillness and peace weave their spells upon the respectful traveler.

 
A woman in a wheelchair on a trail.

Accessible Trails

ADA accessible trails take you through old-growth redwood forests in many locations.

North: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

  • Simpson-Reed Grove.
  • Leiffer Loop.

South: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

  • Big-Tree Wayside.
  • Elk Prairie Trail.
  • Foothills - Prairie Creek Loop.
  • Revelation Trail.

Note: The "Lady Bird Johnson Trail" in Redwood National Park is partially paved, but it has some steeper slopes and is not ADA accessible.

 

Details About Our Trails

Finding the right trail for you depends on which areas you plan go to, how long you want to be walking, and the size of vehicle you are driving.

 

What Trails Are Pet Friendly?

There are two dirt roads under old-growth redwoods that are friendly for leashed pets. But, because of the parks' wild animals like elk, bears and mountian lions, regular pets are not appropriate on park trails. Service dogs are welcome on any of our trails. Learn more about pets in the park.

 

Seasonal Bridges

In summer, seasonal foot-bridges are constructed across some waterways to allow for easier access to some of the parks' frontcountry, and backcountry highlights. Depending of the water-levels, these footbridges are installed by June and removed by October. These trails are not wheelchair accessible.

  • Redwood Creek's bridges are in the backcountry of Redwood National Park and allow for easier access to several backcountry campsites.
  • Fern Canyon's bridges are in the front-country of Prairie Creek State Park. Fern Canyon is a popular summer destination, and it will be very busy. (There are no old-growth redwoods at Fern Canyon.)
  • Smith River's bridges in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park allow for walking access to Stout Grove.

Last updated: April 30, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1111 Second Street
Crescent City, CA 95531

Phone:

(707) 464-6101

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