Hiking in Crescent City & Del Norte County, California
Get up close and personal with majestic forests, ancient redwoods, rugged shorelines and alluring flowers. Explore ferny canyons with your partners in adventure. Put your feet to the dirt and let your spirit soar along the trails of Del Norte County.
Yurok Loop Trail
Breath in the ocean air along the vistas of Yurok Loop Trail. The 1-mile loop near the California border provides views of rock island clusters as well as a lagoon.
Tolowa Dunes Trails
Spy a Roosevelt Elk along the 5-mile Kellogg Loop within Tolowa Dunes State Park. Romp through a grassy meadow and admire ancient sand dunes along the Dead Lake Trail, a 2-mile out-and-back.
Hike Under the California Redwoods
Get lost in a mystical forest of mossy, peaceful giants. Motor down Howland Hill Road (RVs and trailers are not advised) within Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park to trails such as Stout Grove and Boy Scout Tree Trail. Ferns and clovers sprawl along the grove. There is a cascading pot o’ gold along the Boy Scout trail: Fern Falls. The waterfall is best admired in winter’s rainy season.
Amble along the Smith River on the Hiouchi Trail as the redwoods tower above you and emerald waters rush beside you. The nearby Myrtle Creek Trail is a botanical dream. Be inspired by the lush vegetation and vibrant wildflowers on this 2-mile out-and-back with bonus interpretive signs detailing the mining history of the creek. For a mini botanical expedition, check out the nearby 1-mile Stony Creek Trail. The orchids and azaleas will beckon you to photograph them.
Wander a little deeper into wooded Utopia by hiking Craig’s Creek Trail. It guides you to the enchanting confluence of the middle and south forks of the Smith River. With rushing water as your soundtrack, let your ears lead you a little further down the trail to a tranquil swim hole.
California Coastal Trail (CCT)
Take your soul on a walk to remember. Many coastal hikes along Highway 101 share scenery with redwoods and the rugged shoreline. Damnation Creek Trail is a 4-mile out-and-back that begins with lush redwoods, rhododendrons and huckleberry shrubs. It then descends into a deep fern-filled canyon and ends in a romantically rocky beach cove.
Damnation Creek Trail is part of the California Coastal Trail (CCT), an ever-growing trail system that stretches north and south of Del Norte County. Explore a tidepool with a slight detour to Enderts Beach along the 6-mile Last Chance section. Plan a multi-day backcountry CCT adventure or take in diverse scenery during a rewarding day hike.
Pick up trail maps and information at the Crescent City Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau, Yurok Country Visitor Center or the Redwoods National & State Park Visitor Centers.
Photo by Ken Morrish