Description - Set aside in the early 1920's by the forethought of the people of California and the generosity of the Save-the-Redwoods League, Prairie Creek is a 14,000 acre sanctuary of old growth coast redwood.
Copyright: California State Parks
Lush, green vegetation in Prairie Creek Redwood SP
This park, along with Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and the National Park Service's Redwood National Park, are managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. These parks make up 45 percent of all the old-growth redwood forest remaining in California.
- Designated as a World Heritage Site & Man in the Biosphere Preserve, the park has over 280 Save-the-Redwoods League memorial groves. A visitor center and natural history bookstore are open year-round.
There are over 70 miles of hiking trails through verdant forests and along wild and scenic beaches. As the park is a preserve of uncut forest, all trails lead you through the world's tallest trees. Nowhere can you better appreciate the splendor of a ancient redwood forest. Take time to walk some of the many and varied trails. There are all-day hikes and short leisurely strolls. The terrain is relatively mild with only 800' of elevation gain throughout the park.
Watch for native Roosevelt elk in the prairie along the N.B. Drury Scenic Parkway and on spectacular Gold Bluffs Beach. Gray whale, rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, mink, otter, fox coyote, mountain lion, bobcat, and bear might also be spotted. And of course the infamous banana slug, an important and welcome resident of the forest, is readily viewable.
Over 260 species of birds have been sighted within the park boundaries. The combination of open prairie, forest, stream side woodlands, coastal headlands, beach and ocean provides a wide variety of habitats. Some species of special note include the spotted owl and marbled murrelet, both believed to be dependent on old growth forest.
Elk Prairie Campground is located in old growth redwoods, 75 campsites Vehicle limitations--MH 27' & Tir 24' Dump station
Gold Bluffs Beach Campground located on the dunes, no trees, 25 campsites, 1 outdoor solar shower, water & flush toilets. Vehicle limitations: MH 24' & No trailers
The park also has two backcountry hike/bike camps and an environmental camp. Backcountry campers are reminded they must register and park at the visitor center and must camp in the designated campsites at Butler Creek camp and Miners Ridge camp. Both camps are open all year and registration and fee payment is required.
Recreation - Prairie Creek offers hiking, mountain biking, camping, backpacking, nature study, self-guided nature trail, physically and visually impaired trails, wildlife viewing, beach combing, picnicking, a visitor center with exhibits and a nature store. Interpretive talks & guided hikes are offered on a seasonal basis.
Climate - Summers are generally mild. Fog is often encountered near the coastline, with sunny, warmer weather more common inland in the foothills. Winters are generally cool with considerable precipitation. Wear layers of clothing to accommodate cool to warm temperatures and good walking shoes. Rain protection should be included at any time of year.
Take the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway exit off of Highway 101. The visitor center & Elk Prairie Campground are located at the southern end of the Parkway. Gold Bluffs Beach Campground and Fern Canyon are accessed by Davison Road, which is, located 3 miles north of Orick off of Highway 101. 50 miles from Eureka and Crescent City.
Davison Road, the access road to Fern Canyon and Gold Bluffs Beach has vehicle limitations 8' wide and 24' long. No trailers are allowed.