Mountaineering on the Redwood Creek

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The captivating scenery and relaxing sounds of Redwood Creek have made this trail famous. Since the majority of the trail’s highlights are concentrated inside the first 1.5 miles, that’s where most visitors choose to stay. The gravel surface of the path is well-maintained and suitable for wheelchairs.

We recommend backpacking for those who wish to see the entire trail. In any case, the woodland’s tranquility and the nearby creek’s soothing murmur will more than makeup for any shortcomings once you get a few ways into it. Moreover, as the area along the stream is not part of the designated campground, you will need a special permit to camp there.

Overview of the Redwood Creek

Traveling today along Redwood Creek is like taking a time capsule into the past. The early results of rehabilitation initiatives by the National Park Service will be visible to modern explorers in the form of verdant, rich hillsides. Bulldozers have leveled logging routes, and the displaced soil has been redeployed upslope, where flora has recolonized rapidly.
Traditional redwood groves along rivers and streams have been replaced by second-growth trees. In addition, high gravel bars have formed due to intense erosion into the creek, and increased silt reduces the likelihood of salmon eggs surviving.
Even so, there are numerous pristine spots along Redwood Creek to enjoy. Visitors can swim in new pools, camp in the sun on gravel bars, and explore narrow side streams with high cliffs. Black bears, Roosevelt elk, flocks of mergansers, diving ospreys, scurrying minks, and otters are just some of the possible wildlife encounters. And everyone should have the opportunity to roam freely amid magnificent stands of coast redwoods, known for being “tall, straight, and gorgeous.” Visit Redwood Creek if you want to relax in the great outdoors, recharge your batteries, and keep up with the ongoing efforts to restore the valley’s fabled redwood forest.

The trail to the top

Getting to the creek and its various gravel bars is easy. Long lengths of maple and green plants provide excellent autumn color. Highly ideal camping can be found along Redwood Creek’s gravel bars, and the creek’s links to the Elam Creek and 44 Creek loops allow for multi-day excursions to be planned.

Bears are attracted to the watershed because of the abundance of food and ospreys nest near Redwood Creek. All these things together make this one of the best wilderness spots in the Park. Two bridges are put in place over Redwood Creek every summer when the water level drops, then taken down again in the fall before the rains start. Crossing the creek will be challenging, if not impossible if it is not in place. Seasoned hikers should only cross this ford. You should check the status of nearby bridges and creeks before starting.

The path leaves Bald Hills Road and travels south through a forest of salmonberry and blackberry and eventually redwood and bigleaf maple trees. At one mile (72 feet), it hugs the edge of a clearing full of brambles; at 1.8 miles (73 feet), it zigzags through tall Sitka to reach the first bridge/creek ford. Before crossing, look for orange trail markers on the west side; if the staff still needs to repair seasonal damage, you may have to force your way through thick vegetation to reach the path. After 2.1 miles, you’ll reach the McArthur Creek Bridge, where the trail narrows through the possibly obstructive bush before opening up into a level path leading to the Elam Creek Loop Trail fork (2.9 miles, 90 feet).

Southward, the level Redwood Creek Trail passes more towering redwoods and bigleaf maple trees. Most redwoods are upslope, but you can get to them in 3.65 miles and gain 150 feet of elevation by making some effort. Beyond 4.7 miles, the trail typically travels over the creek with restricted access, and the giant trees have been replaced by homogeneous and closely packed second growth. So if you aren’t headed somewhere, you can safely turn around here. At 5.75 miles, you’ll cross a 115-foot bridge over Bond Creek; at 3.23 miles, you’ll climb to an elevation of 323 feet; and at 6.9 miles, you’ll descend to cross a 235-foot bridge across 44 Creek. Again, caution is essential because the guardrails may be broken. At 7.4 miles (240 feet), the trail ascends briefly before descending through a stand of alders and arriving at the 44 Camp – 44 Creek Loop fork.

At the second bridge or ford across Redwood Creek (7.65 miles; 160 feet), follow the signs to Tall Trees Grove. When approaching the ford from the right, be sure you can see the orange trail sign on the opposite bank. Once you’ve crossed, the trail is flat to the Tall Trees Loop, ending after 7.8 miles and 160 feet. Since you’re already here, you should stroll the mile around the Park’s most giant redwoods and oldest maple groves.

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