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Fern Canyon Hike – Northern California Redwoods

The Fern Canyon hike is a destination like no other. A canyon in the California redwood forest that is completely covered in ferns from the creek floor all the way…

The Fern Canyon hike is a destination like no other. A canyon in the California redwood forest that is completely covered in ferns from the creek floor all the way to the tops of the canyon walls.

A small gentle creek runs through the canyon and water drips down the sides of the fern walls. Steven Spielberg described Fern Canyon as “an unforgettable natural wonder” and he even decided to film parts of Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World there.

Hiking through Fern Canyon was on the top of my adventure list. Here is more info:

fern canyon hike

Details 

  • Fern Canyon Trail is about 1/4 mile from parking lot 
  • $8 cash or check for parking
  • Dogs are NOT allowed on the trail into the Canyon

Fern Canyon Hike Video

Check out my Fern Canyon California video:

The park is located in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Northern California. It is about 2 miles outside a small town called Orick. 

The drive to the Fern Canyon is beautiful in itself. You will be driving through the redwoods and along the beautiful coastline on highway 101. If you are going north form Orick you will turn left onto Davison Road about 2 miles after Orick. From here you will drive through Elk Meadow (make sure you look in the meadow and see there are any Elk) 

elk meadow prairie creek state park

Then you will start up a small gravel road.

gravel road that leads to fern canyon

The gravel road winds through the redwoods for about 6 miles.

fern canyon hike drive

You will then reach the pay station. 

pay to enter fern canyon hiking area

After paying to enter the park, the road opens up a little (you can even see the ocean)

beach in prairie creek state park

Continue about 3 more miles until you reach where the road dead ends into the parking lot and Fern Canyon hike trail head. 

parking area of fern canyon trail

*The road that you drive on to get to Fern Canyon is a very dusty and long gravel road. There are also parts of the road with very large pot holes and standing water that you have to cross.

There are no trailers allowed on the road. Also it is doable by cars but I would recommend a larger car if possible. We didn’t have to use 4×4 but some parks of the road were difficult and small cars had problems passing. 

rough road leading to the parking lot

If you car can’t make it all the way to the parking lot trail head you can park along the road and just hike down the rest of the road to reach the trail head.

Also, keep in mind that during the rainy months hikes in the canyon can be limited due to road conditions so make sure you check out the Fern Canyon Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park website before heading out.

When you reach the parking area and trail head there is a bathroom and a few picnic tables. 

bathrooms

The Trail

The hiking trail is clearly marked and is right at the end of the road you just entered on.

fern canyon hike 0.1 mile

The trail in is only about 1/4 mile before you reach the start of Fern Canyon. It is a very easy trail to reach the start of the canyon and only took a couple of minutes. 

hiking trail to canyon

When you reach the start of fern canyon you will know because you will see the stream. There will also be a little trail off to your left (James Irvine Trail) that trail will take you up above the canyon if you want to check it out from above.

james irvine trail california redwoods state park

We choose to walk right down the canyon floor. If you want to walk through the canyon like we did just start following the stream.

home creek

This stream is called Home Creek. Since it winds the entire area of Fern Canyon I would recommend that you bring waterproof shoes or boots. It also gets a bit muddy near the end of the canyon We wore rubber boots and were so glad that we did. 

fern canyon hike california redwoods

I saw of ton of people carrying their wet shoes and trying their best to stay dry. It was nice to be able to just walk right through the creek and enjoy beauty of the canyon without having to worry about our feet getting wet. 

In the summer months they do install these little foot bridges across the creek. They were nice but I would still recommend waterproof shoes.

walking bridge over home creek

Once you get into the Canyon you will be amazed. You are literally surrounded by ancient ferns 50 feet up the walls of the Canyon. I grew up in the redwoods and have seen a ton of ferns but never have I seen something like this it was amazing. 

fern canyon hike

About halfway in the canyon you will notice that there are places where there is water dripping down the canyon walls. Almost like a small waterfalls but it was a constant drip down the ferns in the creek below. 

water falls and moss on fern canyon hike california redwoods

As you go deeper into the canyon there are some downed trees that add the the beauty of the hike. You will weave around and under the trees to see even more of the canyon. This part of the trail does start getting a little bit muddy. 

downed redwood trees in the canyon

if you continue down the canyon you will reach stairs that take you to the top of the canyon where you can walk back out the trail above the canyon or you can turn around and walk back through the canyon. We went back through since it was just so pretty we wanted to see it all again. 

fern canyon end of trail

Northcoast Weather

You can see in my pictures that I am wearing a tank top since it was pretty warm the weekend that we visited. Normally in this area, even during the summer, the weather is very unpredictable and is often rainy and foggy so you might want to bring a sweatshirt or jacket just in case. 

family pic at fern canyon hike california redwoods

More About Fern Canyon 

Fern Canyon is located in the Prarie Creek Redwoods state park in Humboldt County California. It is park of the Redwood National Park and was named after the 5 species of ancient ferns that cover the canyon walls. It is a popular destination and has even be the location of filming for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Walking with Dinosaurs and Dinosaurs Alive!

ferns next to home creek fern canyon hike

Not only is the Fern Canyon hike a sight to see it is located where the redwoods meets the ocean so you get to enjoy the redwood forest on one side the the ocean on the other. There are also wild Roosevelt Elk that wander the area (if you see them just don’t get too close).

On the way to Fern Canyon there are a day use areas where you can pull out to enjoy the beach for the day and even a camping area if you decide you want to stay the weekend. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to adventure to Fern Canyon and check it off my California bucket list. I can’t wait to go back again soon! 

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Burney Falls Northern California – Visit McArthur-Burney Falls State Park

Burney falls northern California is one of the most beautiful waterfalls. Located in the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park near the small town of Burney Ca. Burney Falls is so…

Burney falls northern California is one of the most beautiful waterfalls. Located in the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park near the small town of Burney Ca. Burney Falls is so amazing to see up close.

burney falls northern california from lookout

It was even said to be called “the Eight Wonder of the World” by President Theodore Roosevelt. Burney falls is easily accessible and only takes a couple of minutes to get down the falls from the parking lot. It gets busy in the summer months so make sure you get there early.

visiting burney falls northern california

Seeing this waterfall up close was amazing and definitely worth the trip. Here is all the information.

Burney Falls Details

  • 0.3 miles to the base of the falls
  • Falls Loop (if you want to hike around the falls) 1.2 miles 
  • $10 for parking 
  • Dogs are NOT allowed on the trail down to the falls (they are allowed in the park itself)

Burney Falls Northern California Video

Check out the Burney Falls Northern California Video that I made:

Getting To Burney Falls Northern California

The park is northeast of Redding, six miles north of Highway 200 on Highway 89 near Burney. 

burney ca sign

From Redding you will take the CA-299 exit E toward Burney/Alturas. From here you will drive for about 55 miles up into the mountains until you pass through the town of Burney. After Burney, CA you will turn left onto State Highway 89/Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway/CA-89 continue for 5 miles until you see the entrance to the park on the left.

mcarthur-burney falls state park

On your way into the park you will pay $10 for day parking. 

burney falls norther california park entrance

Keep driving straight after the pay station and you will see the main parking lot on your left. If it is full, drive down the road next to the main parking area and there is additional parking.

Make sure you get there early because if all the parking fills up they do close down the park temporary. We got there at about 11:00 am and there was still quite a bit of parking spots left. 

parking at burney falls

The Trail at Burney Falls

hiking burney falls state park

Right next to the parking area is the trail head. If you go to the left you can go to the falls look out area which is about 150 feet away. From here you can see the falls and its a great spot for photos.

burney falls

To hike down to the base of the falls you will go the right. The hike down is more of a paved pathway with sections of stairs and railing almost all the way down. It is a very easy walk down and is only .3 miles so it just takes a couple minutes. 

trail down to burney falls water fall

Once about halfway down there is a small seating area and then you continue on the trail.

burney falls hike

From here on the rest of the trail you can start to see Burney Falls through the trees. 

burney falls northern california

There is another small seating area before reaching the bottom section of the trail.

burney falls trail

Once at the bottom there are dirt and rock sections that you can hike down to get right down to the water. They are a bit steep so make sure you bring some good shoes. 

burney falls flows into lake britton

Once you get down near the water it is just amazing how clear and blue the water looks. I almost felt like I was somewhere tropical.

We talked to a park ranger and he said that the water is so clean since it flows through the underground springs it doesn’t really get dirty or muddy and comes out the falls pristine and clear.  

clear blue water at burney falls

You can even feel a mist of water in the air down near the falls which was amazing since it was a warm summer day when we went. 

made it to burney falls

If you continue to the very end of the trail there is a nice viewing spot of the falls and creek below. Another perfect spot for photos. 

burney falls at the end of the trail

This is also where the 1.3 mile loop trail begins that wraps along the outer edge of the falls. We didn’t have enough time to go on the loop trail but we will be going back again soon. 

burney falls loop trail

More About Burney Falls 

The waterfall itself is 129 feet and comes from underground springs above the falls formed by ancient lava flow, then the water flows out into nearby Lake Britton.

This waterfall has a constant flow even in the summer months since it is fed by the underground springs.  The falls are a sacred place for the Pit River Indian Tribe, who have held ceremonial rituals here for thousands of years. 

Back up in the parking lot there is a visitor center, bathrooms, campground area, and even a general store with a full gift shop. 

gift shop in burney park

I bought the Burney Falls wild huckleberry taffy and I was so good. I would recommend trying it if you love taffy. 

wild huckleberry taffy

Burney Falls Camping

If you want to stay the night, Burney Falls has a excellent campground with 128 sites, restrooms and showers.

burney falls camping

You can even book one of their 1 or 2 bedroom cabins nestled in the trees. Just make sure you bring lights and your own bedding since there is no electricity. 

cabin at the mcarthur-burney state park

If you decide to stay you can also rent lake toys to enjoy lake Britton which is right below the campground. 

burney marina boat rentals

We took a quick drive around lake Britton and even spotted some kayaks and it was so pretty.

lake britton burney ca

Other spots to check out in Burney CA

Right before you get to Burney there is a really pretty vista point. You can see it right from the road so you don’t have to stop be we stopped to take some quick photos.

burney outlook

We also found some cool paintings when driving through Burney Ca on our way to Burney Falls. This one below was right when you are coming into town on the right hand side.

burney ca mural

This one below was in the middle of town on the right hand side. Parts of the Pacific Crest Trail actually go through Mcarthur-Burney Falls state park.

pacific crest trail painting burney ca

This one below was on the side of the bowling alley that we took when leaving town.

train painting burney ca

Visiting Burney Falls is something that I would recommend to anyone. It is even one of the top California Bucket List ideas.

burney falls photo from trail

Young or old it is the perfect easy hike to view a stunning waterfall. Just make sure you get there early and leave plenty of time to check out all the park has to offer.  

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Pacific Coast Highway Stops: 14 Incredible Stops Along Highway 1

Ready to experience the ultimate California Adventure? The Pacific Coast Highway road trip is one of the most popular drives in the US. Pack you bags and get ready to…

Ready to experience the ultimate California Adventure? The Pacific Coast Highway road trip is one of the most popular drives in the US. Pack you bags and get ready to experience why so many love the golden state of California and what the best Pacific Coast Highway stops are.

The pacific coast highway also called highway 1 runs almost the entire state of California from above San Francisco in a tiny little town called Leggett to San Diego along the coast line. The entire highway is about 900 miles and would take about 10 hours to drive with no stops along the way. But what fun is not stoping!

From towering trees, beautiful wineres, sunny beaches to small surf towns the best way to enjoy this route is to plan for it to take at least 3 days to a week so that you can explore everything the true California coastline has to offer. 

Top 14 Pacific Coast Highway Stops

pacific coast highway stops point reyes

#1 Point Reyes National Seashore

This 71,028-acre park preserve is located about 30 miles south of San Fransisco and includes 80 miles of coast line. It is rich in history and there are walking trails, a waterfall the goes right down onto the beach, a historic lighthouse and the icon row of trees that you must see in your visit to Point Reyes

pacific coast highway stops san francisco

#2 San Fransisco 

Everyone know about this popular city. If you haven’t visited before then be sure to check out all this city has to offer. The Pacific Coast highway will take you right over the Golden Gate Bride. Popular attractions in the City by the Bay include Fishermans Warf, Golden Gate Park, and Alcatraz. Take some time to tour around the city and maybe even ride a historic cable car.

#3 Half Moon Bay 

While there is no major attraction in this small costal town it is a must see on your road trip. Make sure you take in the amazing ocean views from Half Moon Bay state park. Stroll down main street and get lost in the seaside restaurants and shops of Pillar Point Harbor. The city of Half Moon Bay really is one of California’s seaside gems. 

pacific coast highway stops santa cruz

#4 Santa Cruz 

This well know beach town is a must stop on your Pacific Coast Highway trip. Best know for the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk and one of the best destinations for surfing. In addition to the boardwalk don’t miss out on the Santa Cruz surfing museum and Natural bridges State Park. Spend some time exploring down town since there a tons of breweries, distillers, shopping and restaurants that you don’t want to miss. 

#5 Monerey Bay Aquarium 

No road trip on PCH is complete without a visit to the one of the best aquariums in the world, Monterey Bay Aquarium. From Fish, Sharks, to Sea Otters make sure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn more about marine wildlife and see some of the sea animals up close. 

pacific coast highway stops pfeiffer burns state park

#6 Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

The rocky rugged coast along the Big Sur coastline is a must see stop. While you wont be able to go directly down onto the beach at places like the iconic McWay Falls you will not want to miss the view and capture some photos. Also one of the most photographed bridges you see when referring to the Pacific Coast Highway is Bixby Creek Bridge which you will be driving over when traveling through the Big Sur Coastline. 

#7 Hearst Castle

Located right off highway 1 in San Simeon you must visit this historic Hearst Castle. Build by William Randolph in 1919 it is now a national historic landmark. Once only available by the elites now you can tour the castle for yourself. 

best places to stop on the pacific coast highway

#8 Morrow Bay 

From discovering the nature preserve to viewing wild sea lions and sea otters you must stop and explore Morrow Bay. One of the few places where you can actually see wild sea otters playing right in the bay. Don’t forget to visit Morro rock an ancient volcanic mount at the end of Morrow Rock beach

pacific coast highway stops

#9 Pismo Beach

Know as the Clam capital of the world Pismo Beach is the perfect place to stop for some seafood. Make sure you check out Splash Cafe this popular downtown restaurant is the spot that locals and tourist go to get the best clam chowder in bread bowls. Perfect place for lunch. Also, don’t forget to checkout the Pismo Beach Sand Dunes and watch the sunset from the pier. The perfect spot for a day full of fun. 

#10 Solvang

Don’t miss out on the historic Danish village of Solvang. This tiny town is a little inland from Santa Barbara but worth the small detour. It was founded in 1911 by Danish Immigrants and still today looks like a little Danish town. It even has a windmill. Explore downtown Solvang’s eateries, wine tasting, and shopping. This little town is also surrounded by wineries. Take a walk back in time. 

#11 Santa Barbara

There is so much to do in the popular town of Santa Barbara. Know for its warm weather and beautiful beaches it is filled with mediterranean style architecture and historic sites. Make sure check out the Santa Barbara harbor and Sterns Warf at the end of State street

pacific coast highway stops santa monica

#12 Santa Monica 

You wont want to miss the Santa Monica pier, especially at night when it is lit up with over 160,000 lights. It even has a ferris wheel to ride on overlooking the ocean. Pacific park is the West Coasts only amusement park on a pier. Don’t miss out on third street promenade a walking only street that includes some of the top stores for shoppers. There is a whimsical touch and you can see an experience street musicians as you take a stroll. 

#13  Laguna Beach

Know for its perfect climate and beautiful beaches it is the perfect place to enjoy some surfing or paddle boarding. You might just want to explore the beach and tide pools. Laguna beach is the perfect picnic spot check out Heisler park for a relaxing afternoon and some of the best views of the Pacific Ocean. 

#14 San Diego

You will want to spend at least a day visiting the popular city of San Diego. Don’t miss Balboa Park full of botanical gardens, art museums, theaters, restaurants and even the San Diego Zoo. Also, make sure you take some time to see Sea World, Coronado Island, and nearby La Jolla Cove. There is so much to see and do in San Diego. 

I hope that this list of Pacific Coast Highway stops helps you to plan your perfect road tip adventure. From northern California all the way down to the very Southern part of California along beaches and coastlines it will be an adventure to remember. 

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California Bucket List Ideas: Top 15 Things You Must Do!

Looking to plan some fun adventures in California. Here are some of my favorite California Bucket list ideas to plan your next adventure in California. California Bucket List Ideas 1….

Looking to plan some fun adventures in California. Here are some of my favorite California Bucket list ideas to plan your next adventure in California.

California Bucket List Ideas

1. Visit Burney Falls

burney falls

Nicked name the “eight wonder of the world” Burney Falls is a must for your California bucket list. This 126ft tall waterfall falls down the fern covered face.

Located about 60 miles northeast of Redding, CA, the icy snow melt water is too cold to swim, but you will not be disappointed. It is only a short hike down a trail and some stair to the viewing deck. Don’t forget to take pictures, it is a sight you will want to remember.

2. Hike to The Hollywood Sign

hollywood sign

The iconic Hollywood sign can be viewed from areas all over the LA area. Its even more amazing to hike up to it and see it up close. Only a short hike from LA there are a few different trail options.

The trail is about 3 miles and takes about 2-3 hours to hike. Once you get to the top you will not be disappointed when you are looking over the hollywood sign with the LA city area in the back ground.

3. Drive Big Sur Coastline

big sur coast line

One of the most popular coastline drives in the world. If you are in California this is one road trip that you will not want to miss. Stretching 90 miles south of Carmel to Point Lobos.

You will enjoy weaving along costal cliffside with the amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. Don’t forget to make some stops along the way to take in the experience.

4. Explore Fern Canyon

fern canyon

Another must add to your California Bucket List ideas. The Fern canyon hike in the northern California redwoods. is like no other destination. Located in Humboldt county.

Once you reach the narrow canyon you will enjoy the walls around you completely covered in ferns and mosses.

5. See the Rocks Move at Death Valley

death valley

Rocks moving by themselves! Is this really possible? Yes… located in Death Valley National park these rock are unlike any other.

The rare phenomenon causes these rocks to move across the dry lakebed leaving a trail behind. Each rock can move up to 100 feet in a day!

6. See the Golden Gate Bridge from Vista Point

golden gate bridge vista point

If you have never been to the Golden Gate, you are in for a treat. The massive size and beauty of the bridge is breathtaking. Its an even more amazing view from Vista Point.

Just a short walk from a nearby parking lot, you will get a view of the Golden Gate like no other. It would be even more amazing to watch the sunset.

7. Go Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

california bucket list ideas napa valley

If you haven’t gone wine tasting in Napa Valley you need plan a trip. There is over 400 wineries in Napa Valley so you can pick and choose what wineries to visit, or take a guided wine tasting tour to multiple locations.

Napa valley not only has the best wines, you will be surrounded by beautiful view of the wine county and cute hotels. This just might be the most relaxing adventure you add to your CA bucket list ideas.

8. Walk the Cypress Tree Tunnel at Point Reyes

cypress tree tunnel point reyes

Cypress Tree Tunnel of Point Reyes is located in the Point Reyes National Seashore. The row of cypress trees has literally grown over the road to create a tunnel.

You will want to go very early in the morning to get good pictures since it gets busy. It is also so beautiful at sunset. Its such a cool and unique spot that you might want to go both times.

9. Ski or Snowboard Tahoe

ski or snowboard lake tahoe

Lake Tahoe is one of the most famed ski and snowboard destinations in the world. About 90 minutes from Sacramento Tahoe is known for beautiful scenic views of the lake.

There are many ski & snowboard resorts sprinkled around the Tahoe area. You can’t beat an adventured filled day plus a beautiful scenic view.

10. View Where Trash has Turned to Treasure at Glass Beach

california bucket list ideas glass beach

Glass beach located in Fort Bragg is one of the most popular seaside attractions in the small little beach town. There are actually three glass beaches.

Each one of them were former dump sites where people pushed trashed over the cliff onto the beach. Through the years the beaches formed a beautiful sea glass now know as glass beach.

11. See The Largest Tree in The World

california bucket list ideas general sherman tree

In the Sequoia National Park stands that tallest tree in the world. The tree, called General Sherman, stands 275 feet tall, and is over 36 feet in diameter at the base.

It is only about a half mile walk from the parking lot to the tree. While the trail is short and easy you will be amazed at the massive size of this tree. Getting to visit the tallest tree in the world, that is pretty cool!

12. Eat Seafood at Fishermans Warf

california bucket list ideas fishermans warf

Right in the heart of San Fransisco, you can really enjoy the sea side experience and taste some of the best seafood around all while enjoying the beautiful view of the bay.

Locate within walking distance to pier 39 and other popular San Francisco attractions. You don’t want to leave the San Fransisco experience off your California bucket list.

13. Walk Up Salvation Mountain

salvation mountain

Get inspired at Salvation Mountain. Located in southern California about an hour from palm springs. Created from the imagination of one man wanting to pass on the message of gods love.

It has been 28 years  in the making and is a colorfull sight to see. There is a parking lot right next to the mountain, so it is very easily accessible.

14. Watch the sun set at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

sunset cliffs

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park area is a 68-acre park on the western edge of Point Loma. The cliffs overlook the pacific creating the perfect backdrop to watch the sunset.

Sunset cliffs is an amazing point that really makes you stop and think while enjoying the rugged cliffside views at sunset.

15. Visit Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier

santa monica pier california

To really enjoy the California vibe you will not want to miss out on a trip to the Santa Monica Pier. Located right on the pacific ocean you can walk out onto the pier that offers, restaurants, an arcade, events, and a even an amusement park.

Whats better than riding your favorite rides right on the pacific! You can also explore the fun town of Santa Monica a popular beachside town.

California Bucket List ideas

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