Prairie Creek Redwoods

15 June 2022
Miner’s Ridge and James Irvine Trails
(12 miles, +1,700/-1,700 feet).

Yesterday we arrived in Arcata, an extremely cute town that is home to Humboldt State. We will be staying here for a few days as we explore some of the state and national redwood parks.

Since we could leave all our stuff in the AirBnB, today felt more like a hiking day than an auto-tour day. We left early for Prairie Creek Redwood State Park for a pair of trails that took us through giant redwood groves, down by the beach, past Fern Canyon, and back up into the redwoods.

Bridge into the redwood groves
Hey these maples are pretty cool too!
Redwood sideband
Western starband
Having fun!
Another lovely bridge
Coastal monkeyflower
White inside-out flower
Andrews’ Clintonia
Western Solomon’s plume
Northern red belt

The Miner’s Ridge trail took us high up and then back down to a road that runs parallel to the beach. I think there is a trail on the beach itself, but we couldn’t find it so we just walked the road. We had to cross a couple of streams and there were some very nice meadows along the way, including areas that are apparently used by tourists to get themselves in trouble.

Pacific Sanicle
Broadleaf lupine
Springbank clover
Cut-leaved crane’s-bill
Pale flax
Don’t mess with mama

The road took us back to Fern Canyon, which was pretty. But we didn’t feel like walking in the water upstream, so we just stuck to the James Irvine trail which climbs the ridge above the canyon.

More nice redwoods
Half cookie ponders a root ball
A much rounder version of The Prince

We did not realize how long this hike would take, so we didn’t bring any food. Fortunately, there was a little grocery store in Orick on the way back to Arkata where we could get snacks!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Christina says:

    This is one of my favorite places in the world. My husband (Francis!) and I camp in Prairie Creek every few years in the off season. We last went towards the end of 2020. We took the same hike, Miner’s Ridge trail out to the beach and Fern Canyon and back. We were the only ones on the beach eating our late lunch until a whole family of elk joined us (elk on the beach is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen). It was a 14+ mile hike and we barely made it back with enough light to see (did not bring headlamps, so that would have been interesting in a dense forest). The trail signs indicating mileage are waaay off. We thought maybe the trails have to get rerouted often because of fallen trees, but no one updates the signs? Such a fun place though!

    Liked by 1 person

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