Fern Canyon Trail – Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Fern Canyon California

Image thanks to Redwood Parks Conservancy

Fern Canyon Trail is one of the most photographed trails in California, and if you’re visiting Humboldt County, chances are good that it is on your bucket list. Here are the top 5 things you should know before you arrive:

  1. Permits are Required – As of May 2022, permits are required (May 1st to September 30th) to visit the Fern Canyon Trailhead. Don’t let this change your plans though because a day-use fee is easy to get and relatively inexpensive. At the time of this posting, a pass could be obtained within 24 hours with $12 cash or check payment (cards not accepted).
    1. Apply for a permit by scrolling down to the bottom of the official park page.
  2. You’ll Get Wet – You’ve likely seen photos of foot bridges winding through the amazing canyon, but don’t count on staying dry. You’ll need to cross a stream to access Fern Canyon and this is not an ADA trail. That said, wear your water shoes.
  3. No Pets – We’re sorry, but Mr. Pickles will need to sit this one out.
  4. What to Pack – There are no services (including cell phone reception) or potable water, so you’ll want to pack a snack and your water bottle. Don’t forget to remind your hikers to pack-out everything brought in, which means all wrappers and uneaten food.
  5. Road Warning – Davidson Road is a winding dirt road that crosses multiple streams on the way to Fern Canyon’s parking area. RVs, low-clearance vehicles, and anyone with a trailer will get stuck.

Hopefully, you weren’t scared away after reviewing our tips because Fern Canyon really is an amazing experience for the entire family. It is just over 90 minutes from the Redwood Riverwalk Motel (see map), which makes it the perfect day trip for those visiting Humboldt County. If you have any questions about obtaining your day use permit, call the park at 707-464-6101, or email them direct at Redw_Social_Media@nps.gov before your visit.

Thanks for reading, we look forward to seeing you soon!

The Redwood Riverwalk Team

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