My favorite hike

Fern Canyon is all its ferny glory.
Fern Canyon is all its ferny glory.

When I am driving north on Highway 101 through Humboldt County and know my destination is the James Irvine trail at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, it’s hard to contain my excitement. This week, Orange Coast shares the history of how the trail’s namesake, James Irvine, became a generous supporter of the redwoods and reminds me that I need to visit this lush part of the world again soon.

I try to annually make a pilgrimage to Fern Canyon, a spectacular destination at the coastal end of the 6-mile James Irvine trail that winds from the meadow at Prairie Creek headquarters through spectacular ancient redwood and spruce forest.

Fern Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially in the spring and early summer when the 50-foot walls are waving with brilliant green five-finger ferns and are perpetually running with small waterfalls. I highly recommend this hike and suggest you add it to your bucket list. You won’t regret it!

To plan your visit to Prairie Creek, visit our park information page.

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About Emily Burns


Emily Burns, the League’s former Director of Science, led the research program that includes the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. She holds a PhD in Integrative Biology on the impacts of fog on coast redwood forest flora from the University of California, Berkeley.

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