Follow these Trails to Redwood Coast Wildflowers

Field of blue lupine blooming in the sunshine with three green trees making shadows on the landscape behindWhen you visit the Humboldt Redwoods State Park in the spring, be sure to look down at the forest floor as well as up at the towering redwoods – you’ll be rewarded with all the flowers in bloom along the Avenue of the Giants and many of the Park’s trails. Some wildflowers may appear in moist shady areas as early as January (Milkmaids) and in February Redwood Violets, Redwood Sorrel, and Forget-me-Nots begin to bloom. In March, you’ll also start to see Western Bleeding Heart, Pacific Starflowers, and Siberian Candyflowers in these damp shady areas. Look for Western Dog Violets and Henderson’s Shooting Stars where sunlight reaches the moist forest floor. Although Fat Solomon’s Seals bloom only from March to May, you can see their clusters of small red berries in the fall.

The AllTrails website highlights nine Park trails best for wildflowers, and seven of those are rated as easy ones, suitable for all skill levels. Most trailheads are along the Avenue of the Giants, many near Myers Flats.

  • Rated #1, the Founders Grove Nature Trail, features many wildflowers as well as the Founders Tree, on its short 0.6 mile loop.
  • The 2.2 mile Drury Chaney Loop Trail (#3) is a flat trail in the northern part of the Park.
  • Mahan Plaque Trail – Avenue of the Giants (#8) is a flat 1 mile loop just south of the Founders Trail where wildflowers bloom among the old growth redwoods

Some wildflowers flourish in the environments near rivers and creeks. These include the Redwood Violets which you will see between February and June, while Stream Violets and Coltsfoot can be found from March to July. Trails where wildflowers grow near a stream are:

  • The 1.1 mile Rockefeller Loop Trail (#2) features the South Fork of the Eel River and the different wildflowers that grow in that habitat.
  • The longer Trail of 100 Giants (#5, 1.9 miles) and short, flat Stephens Grove Loop (#6, 0.7 miles) also feature stream-loving wildflowers along the South Fork.
  • The 1.9 mile Childrens Forest Trail (#7) crosses the Eel, and is open only when the river is low enough to bridge, usually between May and September.

Beginning in late March and April, you’ll find orchids and Humboldt Lilies appearing along the Avenue of the Giants, followed by Dogwood from April until early May. For detailed descriptions and images of each of these wildflowers, visit the Redwood National and State Parks website.

March, April, and May are the perfect months to see both our amazing redwoods and the wildflowers blooming below, so don’t wait to plan your spring getaway to the Redwood Coast, and book your stay with us at The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel. It’s easy – just click the Availability link at the top of the screen and choose the dates that are right for you!

Photo courtesy of Humboldt Lodging Alliance

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