Challenging Hiking Trails in Humboldt County CA

Hiking through the redwood trails is a little like encountering the Ents in Middle Earth from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. These gentle giants were ancient shepherds of the forest. No matter which trail you choose, these amazing, stately redwoods standing straight and tall reaching for the stars will, like the Ents, shepherd your way. We want to share just a few of the challenging hiking trails in Humboldt County, CA.

Allens Trail

2.5 miles

The Allens Trail is a unique one that starts off climbing a steep mile that opens up to an open area of small upland redwoods. Although the trail is not often used, seeing this old growth grove proves worthy of each step. You’ll also see a thick ground cover of ferns. If you’re looking for a trail that’s off the beaten path, this one is sure to please.

Trillium Falls Trail

2.8 miles

For a slightly longer trail that has so much to offer, take a hike along the Trillium Falls Trail. Right next to a historical sawmill, you’ll see a beautiful grove of old growth redwoods. It’s almost as if it was created as a beautiful backdrop for the sawmill workers’ pleasure. This trail offers some of the darkest and varied redwoods of all the trails as well as a beautiful small waterfall. As you move further on the trail, there are huckleberry bushes, and the forest becomes thicker with spruce trees.

Big Tree Loop

3.2 miles

The Big Tree Loop starts at the Redwood National and State Park headquarters. It may be one of the easier routes, but it’s also a spectacular hike. This loop takes the Prairie Creek Trail up to the Big Tree Area and rounds back on the Cathedral Tree Trail. This would be a great start to your hiking adventure in the redwoods. You will experience a variety of terrain and vegetation. This lush forest trail loop will take you through some of the park’s most stunning groves.

The River Trail

3.4 miles

The River Trail has a bridge across the creek from June to September. This is another trail that’s off the beaten path, and so having a map will be very helpful. You’ll cross the Bull Creek twice. Along the trail you’ll also go through some lush groves and alluvial flats (silt, sand, and muddy areas created from water flowing). 

Bull Creek Flats

10.0 miles

It’s time to take a huge leap to a longer trail—where the crown jewels of the redwoods are found. You’ll find some of the most spectacular redwoods on the Bull Creek Flats. The rich, fertile soil provides the nourishment these gentle giants crave. Just like the River Trail, you’ll experience some significant alluvial flats. Although this rich soil is great for the trees, it can become a bit mundane for hikers. The south side of the loop is the most popular regardless of the season. You will likely see people along this trail even in the rain. The north side is far less populated, where you can enjoy the quiet of the redwoods.

The Miners’ Ridge and James Irvine Loop

11.6 miles 

This redwood trail provides it all for hikers. You will walk through a variety of environments and see some of the best redwood groves. This trail is also at its best during beautiful, sunny summer days. The trail moves through a redwood-lined ridgetop to an expansive beach and on to the lush green creek side. With its popularity, there is also more traffic.

Grasshopper Mountain Trail

15.5 miles

From the shortest, easiest trails to the epic Grasshopper Mountain Trail. This trail is an out-and-back walk that starts at the Visitor Center in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It’s also a seasonal trail since a bridge over Eel River is only in place from around June through October. The trail climbs through meadows, into redwood forests, and up through thick spruce trees, and finally to the isolated peak where you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view.

Book your stay at The Redwood in Fortuna for your next redwood hiking adventure! Our clean and comfortable guest rooms, complimentary breakfast, and convenient location provide the perfect amenities for tackling these challenging hiking trails in Humboldt County, CA.

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