Trails walked in northern Redwoods

From my recent Redwoods car packing adventure, there were specific trails walked in Northern Redwoods (north of Klamath River and South of US 199) that merit additional details. The trails listed are in order of my preference – those most highly recommended at the top. The recorded tracks are in different colors: Near Hiouchi in blue, Little Bald Hills in green, Coastal to Damnation in light blue, and Klamath Overlook in dark green at the bottom (False Klamath).

Hiouchi and Mill Creek Trails (All Trails)

The TH is not well signed right off US 199 right after crossing the Smith River bridge. From there, it’s a great walk through old trees first along the river and then the creek. The trail ends at the “Grove of Titans” parking log, which can be avoided if Out / Back hike and one turns around right after Grove of Titans – which will be busy. Other than the Grove (metal grate pathway to protect the ecosystem), there were few humans. Just a beautiful quiet walk through old growth redwoods.

I hiked this out / back road to road and the total was 9.3 miles of complete enjoyment.

 Damnation Creek (All Trails)

While a short hike, this is not to be taken lightly – Probably the steepest and most challenging physically of all the hikes. I did this 2x and each time differently. The first time, I started at Crescent Beach overlook and hiked the Coastal Trail down to Damnation Creek Tr, then out to the beach.

This section of the Coastal Trail (Last Chance) allows bikes on the trail. Trail conditions were ok – some mud, some overgrown areas, but very easy to follow.

Along the Coastal Trail

The second hike was per All Trails; park on US 101 and hike right to the ocean, and then back to the car (the hardest part). This trail is highly traveled and you will have company. Getting to the beach (best at low tide) requires some slippery rock steps but easily doable.

Along this stretch closer to Damnation Creek Tr, the Coastal Trail follows the old (1920s) Redwood Highway. In parts, only spots of asphalt are visible, and others, a full road with lines and old road posts. Regardless, beautiful still.

Once closer to the beach and then at the beach, the scenery changes dramatically.

Coastal Trail to Klamath Lookout via Hidden Beach

This hike was not listed, curated in All Trails. I started at Hidden Beach TH (just a pullout off of US101), hiked down to the beach and then along the Coastal Trail to Klamath Lookout. Hidden Beach was spectacular and totally without humans. The trip along the Coastal Trail was not that interesting until Klamath Lookout, and then amazing. The Coastal Trail in places goes through grassy sections and bushes heavy along the side of the trail; hiking in the morning will soak you knees to toes – I wore water-proof shoes.

Hidden Beach was one of those little gems — great tiny beach, no humans, and great ocean vistas.

One of the better moments was walking along the Coastal Trail close to Klamath Lookout and hearing all these sounds like I was in a dog kennel. The trail is high above the beach at this point, but below was a huge colony of Sea Lions. Eventually, a couple were visible, but they could be heard for at least a mile in both directions. Then, the Klamath Lookout is amazing.

Little Bald Hills (All Trails)

Of all the hikes during the week, this was the least favorite. First, it was a drive back north to Jedediah Smith State Park – a 20 mile drive. Second, the trail is not that interesting even though there are backcountry campsites (at 1 campground). The trail goes straight up through Rhododendrons to a flat, grassy top of the hill. At best, it’s a training, conditioning trail, not much else. I turned around at the top and headed off to more interesting hikes.

Most of the Flower photos came from Little Bald Hills. The top of the hills was different and almost a complete different ecosystem than the redwoods or coast.

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