Redwoods National Forest: You Have to See Fern Canyon!
WHEN DID I GO: August 22, 2017
WHY DID I GO: USA Road Trip - driving up from Davis on the way to Crater Lake
HOW LONG WAS I THERE: 4-5 hours
WHERE DID I STAY: Crescent City KOA
Right on the Pacific Ocean! As I was making my way toward Lady Bird Johnson Trail to see some Redwoods, we started driving along the Pacific Ocean and I had to pull over. It had easily been 10+ years since I'd actually seen the Pacific Ocean and I was stoked! I hopped out of my car and went for a walk on the beach and snapped a couple pictures! I even made my way back to the ocean after seeing the Redwoods and on my way to Fern Canyon. I love water, so the more time I could spend there, the happier I would be! :-)
Oh, I saw a Black Bear. After walking around the Lady Bird Johnson Trail, I wanted to do another hike but along the water (do you see a theme here?). So as I was driving back down Bald Hills Road, I saw a sign for the "Redwoods Creek Trailhead." Perfect! I drove down the road, hopped out of my car at the picnic area and started down the trail. Immediately, I started feeling uneasy. I was hiking alone and, even though I had bear mace in the pocket of my pack (thank you Yellowstone!), every step I took made me feel more and more isolated. So, I decided to turn around and head back to my car to do another hike that would be less isolated. As I was driving back out onto the main road away from the trailhead, a small black bear crossed my path (as you can see in my super bad pictures to the right!). I was shocked! I didn't think that I would ever see a bear on this trip. Nevertheless have it coincide with a moment where I really had an eerie feeling that I shouldn't be hiking that particular trail alone. Needless to say, after seeing this little baby black bear, and being pretty damn sure momma was lurking around somewhere, I'm pretty damn happy I made the decision to turn around.
FERN FREAKING CANYON. After seeing that black bear and a ton of Elk in Elk Prairie, I headed out to the ocean. I was done with any remote hikes for the rest of the day. Though I wouldn't say I was rattled by seeing the bear, it made me realize that hiking in populated areas was a good choice around here. So, I started heading toward the ocean. On the way, a super friendly park ranger (who found out I had seen a bear and had me fill out a report!), told me about this place that I'd kind of dismissed as probably not being that interesting or scenic. I mean, ferns? C'mon people, how cool or pretty could that possibly be. Well, she convinced me to continue down the road and go check out Fern Canyon. Not only was the drive there adventurous and enjoyable (ie. lots of flooded out sections of the road where I put my 4-wheel drive to good use! Woohoo!), but I was blown away by Fern Canyon. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this! It was gorgeous! The walls of this little canyon were covered in these vibrant green ferns and you worked your way through the canyons on these little wood plank bridges! I snapped some amazing photos here and probably spent more time wandering through Fern Canyon than I did doing anything else at this place! I loved it! And if you're going to be in Redwoods National Forest, I definitely suggest you make this place a priority!
More trees? C'mon you knew I was goign to say something about this! After spending a day at the Sequoias, it really was just more trees. I probably could've broken these two parks up a little bit more, but that's fine! I'm still really happy I made it here to see the Pacific and to see Fern Canyon!