Our last stop during our Redwood National and State Parks trip is Fern Canyon. Located in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Humboldt County in Northern California, Fern Canyon took its name from its California native ferns and moss that blanket its 50-feet wall canyons. Like most canyons whose deep gorges were carved by water and time, Fern Canyon was a masterpiece created by the waters of Home Creek draining into Pacific Ocean through a natural process of erosion that took millennia. As a matter of fact, some of these canyon’s ferns can be traced to be over 300 million years old. No wonder it is recognized as a World Heritage site!
Fern Canyon Loop Trail
After arriving at Fern Canyon parking lot north of Gold Bluffs Beach, we took a short walk towards the start of the Fern Canyon trail. The hiking trail loop is only half a mile and it was easy. The surrounding vegetation along the trail was extraordinarily green in early spring. The addition of moss attached to some trees, especially those struck with a little sunlight, exuded a magical effect.
The hiking trail loop is only half a mile and it was EASY. However, we were not prepared to get wet! As we were beginning to see walls of the canyon while traversing Home Creek, we also started to realize that this hike requires some wading through freezing, early spring waters, and hopping over fallen slippery logs. Fern Canyon is one of its kind though, and we have more reasons to move forward than retreat.
I was also secretly hoping to see some dinosaurs as this was a chosen movie location of 1997 Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World.
As we were moving forward towards the deeper end of the canyon hike trail, my husband and I decided to go back. This has been a fun hike, but the water started to look a lot deeper, and I was already freezing wet. There was also no one else around to call for help if we were ever in distress.
We left Redwood National and State Parks, headed South towards Eureka and turned westward at Arcata. We reached Redding and saw Mt. Lassen from a distance.
9 hours later, and we were happy to be finally back home. I didn’t get to bring home ewoks or dinosaurs though.