The Outdoor Program

Spring Break Northern California Redwoods Hiking Tour

Journey South to the lush, warm forests of Northern California for spring break!  Let California native TOP Staff Members show you some of the most iconic hikes in the region as you enjoy the comforts of front-country campsites and long rambles through the stunning Redwoods.  Hiking and sightseeing opportunities will include:

Fern Canyon: “A couple beautiful “fern canyons” are found along the North Coast, but the Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is undoubtedly the most awe-inspiring. Five-finger, deer, lady, sword, and chain ferns smother the precipitous walls of the canyon. Bright yellow monkeyflowers abound, as well as fairy lanterns, those creamy white, or greenish, bell-shaped flowers that hang in clusters.” –California State Parks

“Fern Canyon is located in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This spot offers hiking into a box-shaped canyon with fern-covered walls up to 80 ft. high. The prehistoric feel offered by the dense fern cover led the makers of Jurassic Park to film scenes here. An easy hike through the canyon and up a nearby ridge offers spectacular views of the canyon below.” –National Geographic

James Irvine Trail“The quintessential redwood trail, this moderate hike travels along Godwood Creek through majestic forests to end at the world-famous Fern Canyon and Home Creek. You will easily spend 4-5 hours traveling through the enormous old-growth trees that line this historic access route to Gold Bluffs Beach mines and camps.”  -National Parks Service

Miner’s Ridge Trail“This trail follows the route used by gold miners in the mid-1800s. It follows a ridgeline that allows the heart to pump, and offers breathtaking views of coastal forest and steep ocean bluffs.” –National Parks Service

Gold Bluff Beach: “Nestled in the dunes along a beautiful 10-mile stretch of wild beach, Gold Bluffs Beach is a great choice for both those seeking a fun-filled family vacation and the peace of solitude and dazzling sunsets. It is also a starting off point for lots of recreational opportunities, whether strolling the beach, fishing, or watching wildlife (elk and grey whales are commonly seen.)”  -California State Parks

Boy Scout Tree Trail: With an abundance of huge trees set in an interesting progression of different environments, the extraordinary Boy Scout Tree Trail is not so much a hike as a showcase of the world's best redwood scenery. The trail feels wonderfully remote and is one of the most pristine old-growth trails in existence; there are only about three other trails in the world where you can walk through old-growth redwoods for five miles or more without hearing traffic noise or seeing any sign of development.” –

Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail: “The most popular site in the park to observe an old growth redwood forest is undoubtedly the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, located off of Bald Hills Road.”

“Situated around the dedication site of Redwood National Park, this moderate walk winds through stands of old-growth redwood, Douglas-fir, and tanoak. A brochure at the trailhead corresponds to marked posts along the trail and guides you along this historically significant route. In spring, rhododendrons and azaleas abound, and during the autumn months, vine and big-leaf maple reveal their bold colors.” –National Parks Service

The Humboldt Lagoons: “Part of a string of lagoons between Eureka, California, and the Oregon border, Humboldt Lagoons State Park includes Big Lagoon Beach, Dry Lagoon (which is actually a marsh) and portions of Stone Lagoon. Here at the sandy, windswept edge between forest and ocean, birds and marine mammals thrive. Forested areas contain Sitka spruce and a few ancient redwoods. Save the Redwoods League has helped protect almost 1,900 acres here.” –

Food, camping equipment and transportation provided by TOP!  Just bring your personal equipment, sun screen and a passion for exploration as we embark on this week long quest to explore some of the most unique and breathtaking natural wonders in the world!

Mandatory Pre-Trip Meeting:Wednesday 3/13/13, 7 PM in CRC 113 (the TOP Office)
Instructors:Jacob Schroeter, Rob Healy
Date: 3/25/2013-3/29/2013
Location: Elk Prairie Campground, 6 miles North of Orick, CA
Time: TBA
3/25: Drive to camp site
3/26: Hike out of camp along James Irvine Trail, through Fern Canyon, down the beach to Gold Bluffs and back via the Miners Ridge Trail.
3/27: Drive to Jedediah State Park and the Boy Scout Tree Trail, returning to camp after.
3/28: Drive to Lady Bird Johnson Grove and hike the Humboldt Lagoons.
3/29: Depart for Evergreen Campus
Participant Limits: 10
Expenses and Fees: $325
Registration Cutoff: 3/13/13, 7pm