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 sanctuary of old growth coast redwood.
Prairie Creek offers hiking, nature study, wildlife viewing, beach combing, picnicking, a visitor center with exhibits and a nature store.
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.
50 miles north of Eureka and 25 miles south of Crescent City on Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway off of Highway 101.
The visitor center and 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.
Summer 40-75. Cooler along the coast. Morning and evening fog is common. Winter 35-55. Dress for rain November to May.
Mostly old growth forest of coast redwood, western hemlock and Douglas fir with Sitka spruce and red alder near the 10 miles of sandy coast line. Because of prevalent coastal fog, the understory of the forest is very dense. Tanoak, cascara, big leaf and vine maple and California bay can be found on edges of prairies. Ground cover is dense with a wide range of species and varieties of shrubs, bushes, flowers, ferns, mosses, and lichens common to the coast redwood environment. Western azalea and rhododendron bloom in May/June and offer bright accents to the dense green of the forest. The Rhododendron Trail is a favorite for seeing this showy display.
Park wildlife is both abundant and varied including such animals as black bear, Roosevelt elk, deer, coyote, mountain lion, bobcat, skunk, fox, squirrel, chipmunk and many others.
The park consists of old growth redwood including prairies and 10 miles of scenic Gold Bluffs Beach .
Designated as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.
Over 280 Save-the-Redwoods League memorial groves.
Campgrounds: Elk Prairie, Gold Bluffs Beach, Environmental, and three hike/bike campgrounds.
Wildlife viewing includes Roosevelt elk, whale watching, and interesting birding (spotted owl, marbled murrelet, and 262 more animal species).
Picnic areas in the redwoods and on the beach.
Cal-Barrel Road (scenic drive; motorhomes and trailers prohibited.)
75 miles of hiking trails, bicycle trails, self-guided nature trail, accessible trails for individuals with physical or visual limitations, backpacking.
Visitor Center with exhibits open year round.
Nature Store open year round.
Interpretive talks and guided walks (seasonal).