Humboldt’s Fern Canyon has become one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Northern California, with its 50-foot walls covered in ferns. The hike through the canyon is uniquely picturesque, much like walking through an ancient forest filled with dinosaurs.
Since many of us are currently stuck at home, there’s another way you can enjoy the scenes of Fern Canyon – by going on a virtual hike. The below video does a fantastic job illustrating the beauty of the area:
Here is the description from the YouTube page The Flying Dutchman:
Located in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, it takes a bit of work to get to the North Coast gem known as Fern Canyon, but it’s worth it. From Highway 101 at Orick, drive unpaved Davison Road 10 miles to this spectacular canyon, a hidden paradise of ferns lining a narrow gorge carved out by Home Creek. Some of the seven different types of ferns clinging to the steep cliffs are ancient species, with ancestry tracing back 325 million years. Living underneath their leafy shade are some eye-catching amphibians, including Pacific giant salamanders, which can measure nearly a foot in length, and northern red-legged frogs.
The trail follows a series of small footbridges (installed in summer) deep into the canyon. Lush, drooping ferns create hanging gardens, miniature waterfalls pour down rock faces, and moss wallpapers every surface. The walls grow taller and squeeze tighter as you travel.
Are you experiencing déjà vu? Steven Spielberg filmed a Jurassic Park II scene within this canyon. Every curve and turn leads to another Instagram-it-now (if there were reception) view. Far too soon, the trail curves left and ascends out of the canyon, then loops back to the parking lot. More than a few Fern Canyon hikers opt to retrace their steps instead of continuing on the loop—it’s just too hard to leave this special place.