Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Use the park page to learn about local hiking, nature, trailheads, trail and route maps, and groups that meet here. If you know something about this area. Please feel welcome to write about it here.
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is located in Northern California, just north of Redwood National Park and Humboldt Lagoons State Park.
The park features approximately 75 miles of trails designated for activities such as hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, and interpretive walks. This is one of the parks that still has the original old-growth Redwood trees which only grow in Northern California and nowhere else in the world.
We currently do not have any record of trailheads in this park.
Routes and Trails You Can Travel
We currently do not have any record of good routes in this park.
One popular trail for wildflower lovers is the Rhododendron Trail which has the Rhododendron blooming in April through June.
Climate and Weather
Caught exception: String could not be parsed as XML
Coastal weather tends to be somewhat cooler than the weather inland. If you hike along the coast, bring layers of clothing, and expect winds, even in the summer or seemingly good weather. The climate caused by the Pacific Ocean can cause quick weather changes so make sure you dress in "layers" which means that you should be able to put layers of clothing on or take them off to adjust for the weather.
Westerners began moving into the area that is now considered Northern California during the early to mid 19th centuries in a period of time called the "Gold Rush." The area around Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park began to be a popular destination for gold seekers after large gold discoveries were found in the nearby rivers, namely the very large Klamath River.
The Gold Rush marks the period in history when thriving communities made up of western settlers began living in the area.
At the turn of the 20th century, there was a lot of economic activity related to the cutting down of the old-growth Redwood trees and using that wood to build homes and many other things. At that time the scientific community began raising an alarm about the rate of the cutting down of the Redwoods. Many parks and preserves were designated for the purpose of preserving the unique California habitat for generation to come.
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park was established in 1920s as a place of recreation and preservation of the Redwood forests.
Some of the large animals that can be found at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park are black bear, Roosevelt elk, deer, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, skunks, foxes, squirrels, chipmunk, and many other smaller animals.
One amazing wildlife viewing attraction at the park is whale watching. To find out about trips planned and organized by the park, please contact the park representatives.
Some of the birds that either live in the park throughout the year, or make it a temporary home on their annual migrations are the spotted owl, marbled murrelet, and many more. There are over 260 birds that can be seen at the park at one time or another.
As the name of the park suggests, there are Redwood trees in the forest. What many people do not realize is why these trees are so precious and why there is so much effort to help preserve the old-growth forests.
The redwoods only grow in Northern California. Even if you dig up a redwood tree and re-plant is anywhere else in the world, it will not grow as well as it does in Northern California, and in most habitats it will not grow at all beyond a small size relative to the size they tend to grow in Northern California.
The reason these trees thrive here is the combination of the fog that carries moisture from the Pacific Ocean throughout the year especially during the near half-year dry season that occurs in Northern California, and the small creeks which seem to always be found in Redwood Forests. The small creeks often bring water to the sprawling roots of the redwoods.
If you can believe it, each redwood tree requires over a thousand gallons of water per day. Without the year-round fog, and the small creeks that seem to always be present in Redwood forest areas, these trees would not be able to live.
Some of the blooming flowers in the park are Western Azalea and Rhododendron.
In addition to the Redwoods, the park is home to a number of other trees and plants such as western hemlock, Douglas fir with Sitka spruce and red alder.
The coastal fog is not only a boost to the redwoods, it also creates minor sub-habitats under the redwoods. Some of the smaller trees are Tanoak, cascara, big leaf and vine maple and California bay.
There are many other species of shrubs, bushes, flowers, ferns, mosses, and lichens common to the coast redwood environment. The plants that thrive here have adapted to the harsh coastal winds common to this area.
Camping is available at the Elk Prairie Campground and the Gold Bluffs Beach Campground . For prices and availability, please contact the park as changes in weather and seasonal demand may change availability, or even cause closures.
The park is located approximately 50 miles north of Eureka and 25 miles south of Crescent City.
Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway off of Highway 101. Latitude/Longitude: 41.4072 / -124.0192