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My Favorite Hikes Around Redwoods National Park

Hi guys! Long time, no talk! I cannot believe my third travel nursing contract in Medford, Oregon has nearly come to a close! Dedicating time to the blog has been a bit of a struggle working nightshift and cramming any free weekend with adventures- it's no wonder the 13 weeks have almost come and gone. In short, Oregon is basically any outdoor enthusiast's dreamland and Colton and I have been taking full advantage any chance we can. We've visited Crater Lake National Park, Bend, Mount Shasta, Redwoods National Park along with multiple trips to the coast and Umpqua National Forest.

Each and every place we've visited has been uniquely beautiful, but one of my favorite weekend getaways was to Redwoods National Park. This park contains multiple different landscapes- from deep forest trails to rocky coastal views; it would be incredibly easy to spend weeks there without running out of adventures. But, since that's not always a realistic option for most visitors, I'm going to share my absolute trails near the park!

Before we dive in, I would like to share a fact about the area that surprised me. Usually when visiting a national park, visitors get handed a map and all of the advertised hiking trails, activities, and sights are found within the bounds of that specific national park. Redwood trees, however, can be found in tons of varying locations along the northern and coastal areas of California and even southwest Oregon. Instead of the entire area being dubbed as Redwoods National Park, there are multiple state parks nearby that are just as visit-worthy, in my opinion.

My Top Pick:

Prairie Creek Redwoods Walk

(Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park)

Length: 5.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 226 feet

Trail Type: Out & Back

Difficulty Level: Easy

Dog Friendly? No

AllTrails Link: here!

Colton walking among the redwoods

All photography by Olivia Hale Photography

Prairie Creek State Park is connected to the northern border of Redwoods National Park. Located an 8 minute drive north of the California town of Orick, this trail was easily my top choice for recommendations. The formations of redwoods on various points in the trail were so incredibly picturesque, I got a kink in my neck from staring upward all afternoon.

This was actually our last trail of our weekend getaway. We were tired and I didn't download the AllTrails map like I usually do. This led to us taking a wrong turn and adding an extra 2-3 miles to our trek back. I wouldn't have it any other way though, this entire area was breath-taking and I was able to capture some of my most favorite nature photographs to date.

A short 0.4 mile detour onto Foothill Trail to Big Tree should be added to this hike. This redwood tree is over 1,500 years old, 286 feet fall, 23.7 feet wide, and 74.5 feet in circumference. Any descriptions I could attempt would fall short- this wonder can only be fully appreciated by an in-person visit.

Me (Olivia) in front of Big Tree

My Number Two:

Fern Falls via Boy Scout Tree Trail

(Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park)

Length: 5.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 938 feet

Trail Type: Out & Back

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Dog Friendly? No

AllTrails Link: here!

If you've done any research about a trip to The Redwoods, Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park has probably been on your radar. It is a short 8 minute drive northeast from the coastal town of Crescent City, California. This park is a very popular area- and for good reason! Simply driving the well maintained dirt road to this trailhead had me enchanted as we passed countless giant redwoods. It was a loud reminder of how insignificant and small we all are in this giant, beautiful world of ours.

Colton is 6 foot 4 inches tall! Talk about perspective!

It's hard to put into words how spiritual a walk in Jedidiah Smith can be. This area is the least developed and most intact old-growth forest around. There is a certain remoteness to the trail that blocks out the hustle and bustle of modern sounds. Both the trek to and from the falls is beautiful, seeming to provide different views of the trees all around you. If you're able to hike during a sunny day, the rays of light that peek through the trees are an added treat.

Because of it's popularity, I highly recommend a weekday or early weekend visit. Big crowds are guaranteed to frequent this trail which can take away from the overall experience. Colton and I visited on a Friday afternoon and only passed a few other hikers.

Read more: My Top 4 Hikes In Arches National Park

My Third Recommendation:

Wedding Rock Trail / Patrick's Point Rim Trail

(Patrick's Point State Park)

Length: 3.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 180 feet

Trail Type: Out & Back

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Dog Friendly? No

AllTrails Link: here!

Listed above is the information on Patrick's Point Rim Trail. Wedding Rock is a 0.2 mile trail, but don't let the mileage fool you- it packs a punch! Patrick's State Park is a coastal park, located an 11 minute drive north from the town of Trinidad, California. There is a daily $8 USD fee to get in, but take my word for it when I say it's totally worth it, even if only visiting for Wedding Rock Trail.

Can you spot the little human on top of Wedding Rock?!

The Wedding Rock trailhead begins at the parking lot and descends slightly before intersecting with Rim Trail, which will lead to the beach. Following the path to the left, visitors will have the opportunity to stop at multiple different vantage points to witness the Pacific Ocean crashing against the rocky shore before climbing atop Wedding Rock (if they dare). A right turn at the intersecting trail will take visitors closer to the rocky beach. We spent over an hour exploring the area. As two Ohioans, it was mind-blowing to see crabs scurrying along the shoreline and even spot two different colored starfish cling to the rocks we've come to associate with the moody NoCal and Oregon coastline.

From Ohio, like me? Read more: Top 3 Ohio Hiking Destinations

Honorable Mention:

Fern Canyon Trail

(Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park) Length: 1.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 118 feet

Trail Type: Loop

Difficulty Level: Easy

Dog Friendly? No

AllTrails Link: here!

Fern Canyon is a trail unlike any other in the redwoods areas we visited. While ferns frequent the forest floors in the Pacific Northwest, seeing them growing on a 50 foot vertical canyon wall is an entirely different story!

Fern Canyon

This trail requires maneuvering through a creek bed, (the water never passed our ankles) multiple down trees and tree stumps. While it's nothing close to what I would consider difficult, the obstacles can add time to your visit- especially because of the trail's popularity. Use the extra time to take in all the different plant life- there are multiple kinds of ferns growing here!

I could continue with my recommendations, but I wanted to include trails that all could be accomplished within a weekend visit. We were able to hike all of these trails (plus a few more) during our weekend trip. It's a jam-packed weekend, but oh so worth it! I could talk for hours about The Redwoods, but nothing will ever compare to seeing them with your own eyes. I highly encourage you to make a trip!

Curious about us? Read more: Full-Time RV Living: A Peek Into Our Home On Wheels or How I Came to Choose Travel Nursing

Have you ever visited Redwoods National Park or any of the surrounding state parks? Where was your favorite? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Want more hiking inspiration? Follow @hale.on.a.trail on Instagram for more epic outdoor adventures!

"Travel far enough, you meet yourself" -David Mitchell

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