Strenuous Hikes

These hikes vary from 10.5 to 13.6 miles in length and all have significant elevation gains.  Hikers should be in good shape and inquire locally about conditions before setting out.  With over 100 miles of trails available to hikers there is something for everyone. Whether you are interested in a short, level stroll through the lush forest or a multi-day, strenuous adventure, Humboldt Redwoods has what you’re looking for. Detailed, full-color topographical maps are available by sending $3 checkor money order and your address to:

Map Request
Humboldt Redwoods Interpretive Association
P.O. Box 276
Weott, CA 95571


A note about summer bridges:
Much of the park’s backcountry is located across the South Fork Eel River and across Bull Creek from the major roadways. The park installs summer foot bridges at the following locations to create more access points to the backcountry. These bridges generally go in by the middle of May and get taken out by early October, but late or early rains can change these dates. If your plans depend on these bridges you may want to call the park before you arrive, or check at the Visitor Center for the current status of the bridges.

Summer bridges are located at:
The Big Trees area, crossing Bull Creek
Lower Bull Creek Flats, near the Rockefeller Loop Trail, crossing Bull Creek
Women’s Federation Grove, crossing the South Fork Eel
Burlington, crossing the South Fork Eel
Garden Club of America Grove, crossing the South Fork Eel
Williams Grove, crossing the South Fork Eel


JOHNSON CAMP TRAIL OUT AND BACK
This trail climbs from an elevation of 200’ at the redwood forest floor to 1600’ at Johnson Camp, an old "tie hackers" camp where redwood was made into railroad tiesOld Cabin at Johnson Camp in the early 20th century. Several old dilapidated cabins still mark the site. This trail is a brand new route and travels through many interesting environments. When the summer bridge at Big Trees is in you will save 2.4 miles on this route – otherwise the base of Grasshopper Multiuse Trail will be your starting point. Both routes use the Bull Creek Trail South as the starting point.
Trailhead: When summer bridge is in, Big Trees area, 4.1 miles west of Ave. of the Giants on Mattole Road. When summer bridge is out use Grasshopper Multiuse Trail, 5.1 miles west of Ave. of the Giants on Mattole Road.
Length: 10.5 miles roundtrip from Big Trees, 12.9 from Grasshopper M.U.T.
Time: 4 hours roundtrip from Big Trees, 5 hours roundtrip from Grasshopper
Elevation +/-: 1400’ from Big Trees, 1600’ from Grasshopper

JOHNSON TRAIL LOOP
Similar to the out and back, this option allows a loop using Grasshopper Multiuse Trail. The route is Bull Creek Trail South to Johnson Camp Trail to Grasshopper Multiuse Trail.
Trailhead: Grasshopper Multiuse Trail, 5.1 miles west of Ave. of the Giants on Mattole Road.
Length: 10.7 miles
Time: 5 hours
Elevation +/-: 1600’

LOOK PRAIRIE MULTIUSE TRAIL OUT AND BACK
This trail climbs from the redwood forest floor, through an open prairie that offers stunning views, and into a mixed old growth douglas fir and redwood forest that is unrivalled in its beauty and diversity. This is a strenuous hike that rewards the adventurous hiker. Turn around at Peavine Ridge or follow the next hike for a long loop.
Trailhead: Base of Look Prairie Multiuse Trail, 4.0 miles west of Ave. of the Giants on Mattole Road.
Length: 7.0 miles roundtrip
Time: 4.5 hours
Elevation +/-: 2200’

Backpackers Heading OutLOOK PRAIRIE to PEAVINE RIDGE to THORNTON LOOP to HOMESTEAD
This is an all day, strenuous hike – leave early and take plenty of water! The reward for your hard work will be a stunning variety of untouched ecosystems, ranging from old growth redwood and douglas fir forests to open prairies to mixed forests with oak and madrone. Start at the base of Look Prairie Multiuse Trail for a 3.5 mile, 2200’ climb. At Peavine Ridge M.U.T. head west for 3.7 miles along the ridge top, then head back downhill by going south on Thornton M.U.T. At Albee Creek Campground head down the road a short distance and break off to the east on Homestead Trail – it’s just 1.2 miles back to the car now!
Trailhead: Base of Look Prairie Multiuse Trail, 4.0 miles west of Ave. of the Giants on Mattole Road.
Length: 13.6 miles
Time: 8 hours
Elevation +/-: 2400’

GRASSHOPPER PEAK
This is the toughest hike in the park! The reward for gaining 3100’ of elevation will be 100 mile views in all directions – at 3379’ total elevation a stunning vantage point to take in the landscape. Hikers are advised to be in good shape before attempting this hike, to leave early in the day, and to take plenty of water.
Trailhead: Grasshopper Multiuse Trail, 5.1 miles west of Ave. of the Giants on Mattole Road.
Length: 13.4 miles
Time: 8 hours
Elevation: +/-: 3100’