My weekly ramble
Fern Canyon, Humboldt County
My family and I visited this magical place in June while doing a road trip through Northern California and Oregon. We camped in Patricks Point State Park, about 25 miles south of the canyon and I rode my bike all the way up. It is not easy to get here, but it is totally worth it! Coming from the south we turned left of Highway 101 onto Davison Road. You have to make a quick stop to watch the Roosevelt elks hanging out on Elk Meadow. There are lots of them, I’m actually pretty sure that the population of elks in this area is greater than that of people.
Than you proceed on the road and after about half a mile the pavement stops and you have to drive/ride up a very steep hill. I had to walk my bike for a bit and my husband pulled me with the car for about a mile. Our kids had a blast seeing their parents doing irresponsible things! The Golden Bluffs Road then continues for about 10 miles. You have to stop at the gate of Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, but if you paid the daily fee for another state park, you don’t have to pay again. That’s one of the advantages of the state park system. From the gate it’s about 3 more miles to the trailhead that brings you to the canyon. You are still driving or riding on gravel and you have to cross a couple streams, which being on a bike can get your feet wet.
You drive along the Golden Bluffs campground with windy sides along this beautiful beach and you can see more elks hanging out between the tents and the food storage boxes.
Once we reached the trailhead, we only had to walk about a quarter of a mile until you arrive at this grandiose divide in the cliff. It’s stunningly beautiful. Carved by a meandering stream, the walls shoot straight up 30+feet. They are covered with an emerald curtain of micro ferns that are kept moist by fog and waterfalls. Its beauty takes your breath away.
You can walk a loop that’s about a mile long, but we only walked in and back out the same way. This place is so much fun for the kids to walk across tiny streams and to climb over the fallen trees. “The prehistoric ambience led to the canyon being used as a filming location for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs and IMAX’s Dinosaurs Alive!“ (Wikipedia) If you’re going to Northern California, this is definitely worth exploring!