Fern Canyon - Hike near Orick, California
Fern Canyon, Gold Bluffs Beach, Orick, CA 95555, USA,Orick,California
41.4006261945114, -124.0658837556839
7.9 miles N of Orick, California
Address: Fern Canyon, Gold Bluffs Beach, Orick, CA 95555, USA
GPS: 41°24'2.3"N 124°3'57.2"W
Maps | Directions
State: California
Trail Length: 1.00 miles
Trail Type: Loop
Hike Difficulty: Beginner

Restrooms Streams


Fern Canyon is one of the best 1-mile hikes that you can do in California! This unforgettable location was featured in Steven Spielberg's film, Jurassic Park: The Lost World. 

Fern Canyon is located in Prairie Creek Redwoods. It's not incredibly easy to find, but the remote 8-mile drive will be worth seeing this fern laden paradise. Two stream crossings will need to be done by car, but one of these streams can be about 6 inches deep. If you don't think your car can make it, you'll just have to park and walk an extra mile.

Since this drive is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, you may see a lot of wildlife. You will most likely see a lot of elk on this drive so it's important to drive slowly on the dirt road. Also be aware of potholes along the road.

The drive is the most difficult part of this trip, so the hike is going to be a piece of cake in comparison. There is a parking lot with a vault toilet and a sign giving information about the area. The level trail begins at the top of the parking lot and leads you through a small, moss-covered forest before you reach the canyon. Be prepared to get wet during your hike because you will have to cross more streams. Don't try to find a way around the water and just have fun with it. Since the trail is relatively flat, this hike is a perfect, fun adventure for those with small children. There are a few wooden foot bridges here and there to cross some of the streams, but it is probable you will get your feet wet at some point.

Once you reach the canyon, you will have 50-foot canyon walls towering over you. These walls have lush, green plants cascading down the sides and there are fallen redwood trees, green with moss. You will possibly have to climb over or under a few logs. Along the canyon walls, there are some little waterfalls and streams that trickle down through the foliage. You will feel as if you are walking through a rainforest in Fern Canyon. No wonder a scene from the Jurassic Park movie was filmed here!

Going through the canyon itself is only about a half a mile, but the trail continues on and flattens out again into a forest. You can hike the whole loop trail or you can go back the way you came if you want to experience the canyon again (who wouldn't?).

Make sure you add this magical place to your list of places to see!

NOTE: Leave early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Bring water shoes or sandals.


2.7K Written by katelocke

Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don't feed the wildlife.

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  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors


From Orick, California

  1. Head northeast on US-101 N toward Drydens Rd/Lowell St (2.8 mi)
  2. Turn left onto Davison Rd (3.7 mi)
  3. Davison Rd turns slightly left and becomes Gold Bluffs Beach E (3.1 mi)
  4. Turn left
    Destination will be on the right
    (154 ft)
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Fern Canyon 1 courtesy of Mike Fern Canyon 1 courtesy of Mike↗
courtesy of WolfmanSF  courtesy of WolfmanSF↗ Fern Canyon Hike in California by California Through My Lens Redwood National Park: Fern Canyon by Sheety33 Fern Canyon by Benjamin Hubbard

Added by katelocke

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