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Into the Enchanted Land of Forest Fairies at Fern Canyon - Redwood National and State Parks

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

Fern Canyon is...enchanting; an otherworldly adventure where Fern Gully and the pixies of folklore frolick and flit about. Go early and you may even spot them through the thick, misty fog that envelopes the canyon if you look hard enough.

Bring a pair of waterproof hiking shoes or rain boots in the winter time because when water levels are high, creek crossings can be treacherous. After about a half a mile from the parking lot a clearing will come into view, with 50-foot high fern-covered walls towering on either side. Go in search of the waterfalls other hikers had told us about, and scramble over downed phallic-shaped redwoods. And don't forget to take pause and marvel at this lush paradise every so often. It's like stepping back in time, to when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. If this scene looks familiar, it's because Steven Spielberg shot Jurassic Park 'Lost World'.

On your way back, do yourself a favor and stop by The Jonesteen Company, a local plant nursery in McKinleyville, CA that carries packaged live trees and seed grow kits from coast redwoods to giant sequoias. Whoopi Goldberg recently featured these little gems in her "Favorite Things in 2020 under $50" segment on the tv show "The View". Purchase one of these seed grow kits here and bring a little piece of California home with you, wherever that may be!

Ominous Forest Stump Through the Mist

Be sure to stop at this little roadside stand for a truly delicious treat. Paul's sells THE BEST smoked salmon jerky in different flavors that isn't like salmon jerky strips, but more like smoked lox fillets. Simply put, it was to die for. Not too salty (like many tend to be), a strong but not overpowering smoked flavor, and a flakey, buttery texture. The gentleman helping me said his family likes the garlic flavor best, and I also got the lemon pepper variety. I got a package of elk jerky for a relative and it was interesting...great flavor, tender, juicier than beef jerky and without all the fat.


Other Superb Hikes in RNP

Trillium Falls

Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Tall Trees - Permit Required


Camp at Gold Bluff Beach

This is one of my favorite campgrounds of all time because it's basically on the beach and there's something incredibly soothing about falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves under moonlight. It's also a stone's throw away from Fern Canyon so it would be easy to get an early start for a sunrise hike from this point.

Dogs are allowed in the campground and on the beach, but must be leashed. Solar-powered showers are coin operated and there are flushing toilets.


Go For a Scenic Drive on Bald Hills Road

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