Imagine walking through a narrow canyon covered in lush green ferns and dripping mosses. A stream runs through the middle of it all, leading you into one of the most beautiful natural wonders you've ever seen. Fern Canyon in California offers just that. 

This 1.1-mile easy trail not only takes you through coastal forests, but you'll also arrive at hidden waterfalls that are nothing short of magical.

Located in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Humboldt County, California Fern Canyon is named for its 50-foot-high towering plant walls and jaw-dropping beauty. 

It's no wonder that Steven Spielberg called it an "unforgettable natural wonder." He even chose it as the filming spot for Jurassic Park 2

To visit, you'll need to pay an $8 park entrance fee, but no permit is required to explore the canyon. 

Dogs are not allowed here due to wildlife, so you'll need to leave your pup at home.

The hike immediately begins with the soothing sounds of Home Creek as you follow it through the woods.

Since the brook flows across the path, we strongly recommend bringing a warm jacket, waterproof shoes, and an extra change of socks for after the hike. It can get chilly in the shade! 

The stream has carved out the valley over eons and the walls sprout various moisture-loving ferns and other lovely plants. 

If you visit during the winter or early spring, you can hear the trickle of water down the canyon walls.

If you're in the mood for chasing waterfalls, there are two ways you can find them.

The easiest way is to follow the trailhead. It's an easy 2.5-mile hike with a 200-foot elevation gain. 

The trail will split off. Follow it to the left to find the gushing 36-foot falls pouring into a carved out pool. You can even take a seat at one of the benches and soak up the views.

Here's a pro tip: Pack a picnic and find a seat by the falls for that perfect photo.

While you're in the area, you should also check out Gold Bluffs Beach. We can hardly believe this black sand wonder exists in California! 

Fern Canyon

Difficulty: Easy

Length: Varies by the trail you choose.

Why You Should Go: You can walk through a 50-foot-tall fern canyon that dates back 325 million years old.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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