If you are heading towards Northern California, I’d totally recommend staying a few days in or around Crescent City. From there you can access the Redwoods National and State Parks and some amazing hikes to the coast. We enjoyed another one of our favorite days of hiking around here. In one day, we fit in:
- Fern Canyon Trail
- Seeing the Roosevelt Elks
- Whale Watching off of Requa Road
- 4 Mile Roundtrip Hike of Damnation Creek Trail
From what I understand, there are a few “fern canyon” trails around the Northwest. The lush green walls on either side, while wading through water is magical, as if you are entering a portal to a fertile new world.
This particular Fern Canyon hike begins after driving down an 8 mile dirt road through Prairie Creek State Park. We were happy to find out that our National Park Pass worked here as well. The hike itself was very short, probably only a half-mile round trip, but it took us over an hour because we stopped to take many pictures, balance on fallen trees, and explore as much as we could. For kids, it’s a natural playground.
On our way back to Crescent City, we pulled off on the side of the road to gaze at the Roosevelt Elk, grazing in the tall grass. Isaac took so many photos and videos; he’s always the one most amazed by wildlife. These animals were truly stately with furry antlers growing in.
We were fortunate enough also to catch some action of grey whales off the coast off of Requa Road. Our binoculars came in handy here!
And the climax of our day was an amazing hike down and back up Damnation Creek Trail. We ran most of the way down through Redwoods and ferns, sun splattering through the leaves above. Running through the woods is one of our favorite things to do as a family. We just feel so . . . alive. Can’t think of a better word.
The private coastal access and views at the end of the trail were magnificent. We didn’t see the steps to take in getting down from the rocky cliff, so we maneuvered down our own crazy way, which was still fun.
We spent a while gazing at the sunset, tidepooling a bit, and just talking. Nothing like nature backdrops for great conversation. The hike back up was steep and steady, but the kids are total troopers now, no complaints. Amazing, memorable day for sure. (Thanks, again, Doug Laity for the recommendation!!)