Redwoods National Park Hiking Trails We Heart in Del Norte County, California

For us, the love in the air is the misty fog dancing through an ancient redwood forest. Candlelight is beams of sun gently breaking through a thick redwood canopy we stroll under. These dreamy hiking trails in Northern California’s Redwoods National Park cast a romantic spell. Check out a few of the Redwoods National Park hikes we love…

Hike Grove of the Titans in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in Del Norte County, California

What You’ll See:

This short trail packs a punch with beautiful fern-covered understory and a trickling creek nearby. Stroll along a raised walkway past ancient arbors like El Viejo del Norte as well as Screaming Titans, two trees fused together at the trunk. With some coastal redwoods living as long as 1,500 to 2,000 years, it’s possible that some of this grove’s Titans were around at the time of the Roman Empire. 

Why We Love this Hike: 

Until somewhat recently, most of the world did not know of the Grove of Titans’ existence. This mystical walk turned out to be quite newsworthy, containing three of the 10 largest coastal redwood trees known in existence. The largest is named Lost Monarch, standing at 320 feet and 26 feet in diameter. If you are the ‘go big or go home’ type, the Grove of Titans is a must-see.

Fuel Up at the Historic Hiouchi Cafe in Hiouchi, California:

A hike through ancient history deserves a memorable meal. The Historic Hiouchi Cafe right down the road has been fueling hungry hikers for decades. Fill up on pre-hike chilaquiles or “baby pancakes,” or refuel after with a perfect diner burger.

Hike Details:

Hiking Distance: 1.7 miles

Accessible: No

Dog-friendly: No

Distance from Crescent City: 24 minutes, 6.6 miles

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Hike Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

What You’ll See:

Meander under a cathedral-like canopy along a thick carpet of ferns. Look for the gnarled black bark of the Stout Tree, the giant of the grove. If you have a sunny day, plan for a late afternoon when the forest glows with an amber haze. For the densest collection of redwoods, stick to the west end of the grove. 

Why We Love this Hike: 

Stout Grove trail is short and sweet and comes with the added atmosphere of the Smith River. We are totally enchanted by the combination of towering trees and emerald-rushing water. Plus, Stout Grove was one of the first official redwood groves, donated by Clara Stout in honor of her late husband Frank. This tender gesture helped to establish Jedediah Smith State Park.

Fuel Up at Crescent City’s Oldest Craft Brewery: 

The enchantment of Stout Grove calls for something indulgent. After your dreamy stroll, swing into Port O’ Pints Brewing for a slice of homemade cheesecake by Stella and a frosty craft beer like their award-winning ‘Stout of Jefferson’.

Hike Details:

Hiking Distance: .6 miles

Accessible: No

Dog-friendly: No

Distance from Crescent City: 28 minutes, 14.4 miles

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Hike the Boy Scout Tree Trail in Del Norte County’s Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

What You’ll See:

Boy Scout Tree Trail is named for two redwoods that melded into one proud tree resembling the two-fingered Boy Scout salute. Find your sense of wonder walking through old-growth bliss. Admire moss-draped spruce, huckleberry bushes and a peaceful mini waterfall. There is a great hillside vantage point along the trail to soak up the ancient forest. 

Why We Love this Hike: 

The trail is a bit longer than others and is set back away from one of the busier roads of Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. You float through endless old-growth redwoods without hearing traffic noise or seeing any sign of development. Boy Scout Tree Trail is a serene stroll through rich, ancient greenery. 

Fuel Up at SeaQuake Brewing Co. in Crescent City, California: 

You’ll be hungry after this hike. Bliss out on a juicy burger or signature pizza at SeaQuake Brewing. Cap off the day with one of their crafty cocktails (Chaitini anyone?) or a flight of their award-winner craft beers.

Hike Details:

Hiking Distance: 5.3 miles

Accessible: No

Dog-friendly: No

Distance from Crescent City: 20 minutes, 6 miles

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Hike the Damnation Creek Trail in Del Norte County, California

What You’ll See:

Damnation Creek Trail winds around  a towering redwood grove and ends in a tiny, rocky cove overlooking the Pacific. Along the way, you’ll amble along high bluffs and descend into rhododendrons and old growth understory. Stop and savor the rugged coastline and mysterious sea stacks in Damnation Beach cove.

Why We Love this Hike: 

The versatility is irresistible. Drift around ancient redwoods, admire thick coastal flora, and breathe in the salt air and crashing waves of the ocean. Plus, this trail is open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders so there are many ways to explore.

Fuel Up at Crescent Seafood in Crescent City, California

With the ocean air on your tongue, seafood is in order. Sink your teeth into some preeminent fish tacos. Crescent Seafood is a local favorite and is also part seafood market. Be sure to order the catch of the day to take back to your vacation rental or hotel. While you’re here, work your lunch off with a walk around the Crescent City Harbor.

Hike Details:

Hiking Distance: 4 miles

Accessible: No

Dog-friendly: No

Distance from Crescent City: 16 minutes, 11 miles

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Hike to Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwood State Park near Klamath, California

What You’ll See:

Save the redwoods for a different hike. Fern Canyon, located within the Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, is all about abundant greenery including giant ferns and mystical mosses. You’ll traverse through delicate streams along thick canyon walls wrapped in ferns. At the top of your walk, turn left for views from the canyon rim below a grassy prairie.

Why We Love this Hike: 

Hands down, we love the allure of being enveloped by towering ferns. Fern Canyon is an adventure into a lush, prehistoric garden. In fact, scenes from The Lost World: Jurassic Park were filmed there. It is a dewy, captivating escape. 

Fuel Up and Curl Up at the Requa Inn in Klamath, California

When you’re south of Crescent City, a meal at the Historic Requa Inn is a must. This century-old bed and breakfast in Klamath sources food locally, and the dining room offers a sprawling view of the Klamath River and the Pacific ocean. If the timing works, explore more of Klamath’s attractions like the Tour-Thru Tree (drive through a living redwood tree!), a scenic Klamath River jet boat tour, a redwood canoe tour, or hike a section of the California Coastal Trail from the Klamath Overlook. It’s about as bewitching as a fern-covered canyon.

Hike Details:

Hiking Distance: 1 mile (with option of 9-mile loop on the  James Irvine Trail from the park’s Visitor Center)

Accessible: No

Dog-friendly: No

Distance from Crescent City: 1 hour 15 minutes, 46 miles

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