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Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park 'Roosevelt Elk' © David Schindler
Roosevelt Elk-Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
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USA Parks
California
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Northern California Region
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Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
PRAIRIE CREEK REDWOODS STATE PARK
PRAIRIE CREEK REDWOODS STATE PARK

Phone: 707-465-7347
Reservations: 707-464-6101
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
'Roosevelt Elk'
© C David M. Schindler 2008

Roosevelt Elk-Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
© Daniel Ewert c 2008

website

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
© Daniel Ewert c 2008

website

Set aside in the early 1920?s by the forethought of the people of California and the generosity of the Save-the-Redwoods League, Prairie Creek is a 14,000 acre sanctuary of old growth coast redwood.

Prairie Creek offers hiking, nature study, wildlife viewing, beach combing, picnicking, a visitor center with exhibits and a nature store.

This park, along with Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and the National Park Service's Redwood National Park, are managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. These parks make up 45 percent of all the old-growth redwood forest remaining in California.

Set aside in the early 1920?s by the forethought of the people of California and the generosity of the Save-the-Redwoods League, Prairie Creek is a 14,000 acre sanctuary of old-growth coast redwood. Designated as a World Heritage Site & Man in the Biosphere Preserve, the park has over 280 Save-the-Redwoods League memorial groves.

There are over 70 miles of hiking trails through lush forests and along wild and scenic beaches. As the park is a preserve of uncut forest, all trails lead you through the world?s tallest trees. Nowhere can you better appreciate the splendor of an ancient redwood forest. Take time to walk some of the many and varied trails. There are all-day hikes and short leisurely strolls. The terrain is relatively mild with only 800? of elevation gain throughout the park.

The park has two developed campgrounds. The Elk Prairie has 75 campsites that can accommodate up to 24? trailers and 27? motor homes. Elk Prairie campground is located 6 miles north of Orick on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. The Gold Bluffs Beach campground has 25 campsites and is reached by way of Davison Road, off HWY. 101, 3 miles north of Orick (vehicle size restriction apply). Both campgrounds offer fire rings, tables and bear proof food lockers with water nearby. There are rest rooms with flush toilets and hot showers. Both campgrounds are open all year. The Gold Bluff Beach camp is on first-come-first-served basis. The Elk Prairie camp can be reserved during the summer by calling (800) 444-7275.

The park also has two backcountry camps and an environmental camp. Backcountry campers are reminded they must register and park at the visitor center and must camp in the designated campsites at Ossagon Trail camp and Miner?s Ridge camp. Both camps are open all year and registration and fee payment is required.

Watch for native Roosevelt elk in the prairie along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway and on spectacular Gold Bluffs Beach. Gray whale, rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, mink, otter, fox coyote, mountain lion, bobcat, and bear might also be spotted. And of course the infamous banana slug, an important and welcome resident of the forest, is readily viewable.

Over 260 species of birds have been sighted within the park boundaries. The combination of open prairie, forest, streamside woodlands, coastal headlands, beach and ocean provides a wide variety of habitats. Some species of special note include the spotted owl and marbled murrelet, both believed to be dependent on old-growth forest.

Prairie Creek offers hiking, nature study, wildlife viewing, beach combing, fishing, picnicking, a visitor center with exhibits and a nature store.
Nature of the Area
Mostly old growth forest of coast redwood, western hemlock and Douglas fir with Sitka spruce and red alder near the 10 miles of sandy coast line. Because of prevalent coastal fog, the understory of the forest is very dense. Tanoak, cascara, big leaf and vine maple and California bay can be found on edges of prairies. Ground cover is dense with a wide range of species and varieties of shrubs, bushes, flowers, ferns, mosses, and lichens common to the coast redwood environment. Western azalea and rhododendron bloom in May/June and offer bright accents to the dense green of the forest. The Rhododendron Trail is a favorite for seeing this showy display.

Park wildlife is both abundant and varied including such animals as black bear, Roosevelt elk, deer, coyote, mountain lion, bobcat, skunk, fox, squirrel, chipmunk and many others.

14,000 acres of old growth redwood including prairies and 10 miles of scenic Gold Bluffs Beach

Designated as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseHiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
CampingPrimativeyes
Accommodation Availability Calendars


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Trails
Fern Canyon, James Irvine, Clintonia, Miners Ridge Trails Loop through Fern Canyon 1 mile round trip; via Gold Bluffs,Gold Bluffs Beach is 6.5 miles round trip with 500-foot elevation gainDim and quiet, wrapped in mist and silence, the redwoods roof a moist and mysterious world. Park trails meander over lush ground and the walker is treated to the cool feeling and fragrance of wood and water.

A couple beautiful ?fern canyons? are found along the North Coast, but the Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is undoubtedly the most awe-inspiring. Five-finger, deer, lady, sword, and chain ferns smother the precipitous walls of the canyon. Bright yellow monkeyflowers abound, as well as fairy lanterns, those creamy white, or greenish, bell-shaped flowers that hang in clusters. Ferns are descendants of an ancient group of plants which were much more numerous 200 million years ago. Ferns have roots and stems similar to flowering plants, but are considered to be a primitive form of plant life because they reproduce by spores, not seeds.

Gold Bluffs was named in 1850 when prospectors found some gold flakes in the beach sand. The discovery caused a minor gold rush. A tent city sprang up on the beach but little gold was extracted.

Gold Bluffs Beach is a beauty? eleven miles of wild, driftwood-littered shore, backed by extensive dunes. Sand verbena, bush lupine, and wild strawberry splash color on the sand.

This walk explores some of the highlights of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park?Fern Canyon, magnificent redwood groves, and Gold Bluffs Beach.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
January 17 Enjoy the Elk by BC and CC
My husband and I use to camp out with our kids here over 30 years ago, stopped by last Aug 2010 and it was just as beautiful as I remember. Trying to put a family reunion together for this year.
June 2 My other home!
Wonderful, stunning, beautiful, and peaceful! My favorit place to camp!
May 25 Beautiful and peaceful! We all loved it!
The spaces are large and as private as they get. You can hike, bike or just relax at the beach. We spent a week there and loved every minute. Beautiful park!


Area Campgrounds
Camper Corral
Hwy 101 Box 729
Klamath, CA
Kamp Klamath RV Park
1661 Klamath Beach Road
Klamath, CA
Klamath River RV Park
700 West Klamath Beach Road
Klamath, CA
707-482-2091
Mystic Forest RV Park
15875 Highway 101
Klamath, CA
707-482-4901

Directions
50 miles north of Eureka and 25 miles south of Crescent City on Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway off of Highway 101. Latitude/Longitude: 41.4072 / -124.0192

The visitor center & Elk Prairie Campground are located at the southern end of the Parkway.

Gold Bluffs Beach Campground and Fern Canyon are accessed by Davison Road, which is, located 3 miles north of Orick off of Highway 101. 50 miles from Eureka and Crescent City.

Davison Road, the access road to Fern Canyon and Gold Bluffs Beach, has vehicle limitations 8' wide and 24' long. No trailers are allowed.

USA Parks
USA Parks
California
California
Northern California Region
Northern California Region
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park