Fern Canyon at Prairie Creek Redwoods SP
t takes a bit of work to get to Fern Canyon, but you’ll be glad you went to the trouble. From Highway 101 at Orick, drive unpaved Davison Road 10 miles to this a hidden paradise of ferns lining a narrow gorge carved out by Home Creek in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Some of the seven different types of ferns clinging to the steep cliffs are ancient species, with ancestry tracing back 325 million years. Living underneath their leafy shade are some eye-catching amphibians, including Pacific giant salamanders, which can measure nearly a foot long.
The trail follows a series of small footbridges (installed in summer) deep into the canyon. Drooping ferns create hanging gardens, miniature waterfalls pour down rock faces, and moss wallpapers every surface. The walls grow taller and squeeze tighter as you travel.
If you think this looks familiar, it’s probably becaus you saw the Steven Spielberg movie, Jurassic Park II, which includes a scene filmed within this canyon. Every curve and turn leads to another amazing view. Far too soon, the trail curves left and ascends out of the canyon, then loops back to the parking lot. More than a few Fern Canyon hikers choose to retrace their steps instead of continuing on the loop—it’s just too hard to leave this special place (and it is only a one-mile loop trail).
Remember, it’s wet here on this trail. When hiking Fern Canyon, river sandals or waterproof boots are recommended.
About Prairie Creek State Park
Prairie Creek State Park has 75 miles of trails, ranging from a 0.1-mile stroll to see Big Tree (at mile marker 127.96 on the Newton B. Drury Parkway) to multiday backpacking journeys. A chart in the park brochure lists the options. Bring water, appropriate clothing, and a park map.
Location: Davison Rd. to Gold Bluffs Beach, Gold Bluffs Beach, CA | 707-465-7354 | Fern Canyon (Prairie Creek SP) Website | 52.0 mi from Hotel
Eureka Area Outdoor Activities Guide
On foot, bicycle, motorcycle or car, so much to see and do!
Within walking distance, a short hop in your car, or a day-long driving loop with lots of stops along the way, you will find some of the most beautiful outdoor experiences in the world outside your door. Eureka, California and the Town House Motel make a great place to stay while exploring the Northern California coastal, forests, foothills and mountains by trail or winding road.
Over a dozen parks provide access to Redwood giants within an easy day drive north and south of Eureka; winding coastal roads take you to breath-taking coastal mountain and ocean views. Welcome to Eureka – are you ready for your outdoors adventure? View Eureka Outdoor Activities guide.
Hotels In Eureka California: Town House Motel
The Town House Motel - Historic Old Town Eureka, is located on the scenic Northern California Coast, home to the world’s tallest redwood trees and miles of stunning coastline. Conveniently located in downtown Eureka, the The Eureka Town House Motel is near historic Old Town, a National Historic District possessing some of the most spectacular Victorian architecture in the nation. The Morris Graves Museum of Art is a few blocks away from the Motel. Humbolt Redwoods State Park, home to the largest contiguous redwood forest in the nation, is 40 miles to the south.
Rooms feature free Wi-Fi and wired internet; wall mounted flat-screen TVs with DISH satellite service and 9 HBO channels. Rooms are equipped with refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers. Covered parking is free and dogs are welcome – and ALL calls in the 48 US contiguous states are FREE (local, 1+ and 800).Town House Motel is rated for the best value in Eureka! Guests get more for their money when compared to other hotels in Eureka. As a result, we have been a top TripAdvisor hotel for years and work very hard to earn your trust and maintain that status. Take a few moments to read our Guest Reviews and see what others have to say.