Trillium Falls Trail – a real gem of the Redwood National Park

Trillium Falls Trail – a real gem of the Redwood National Park

Location: Redwood National Park, California
Round Trip: 2,8 miles loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
GPS Coordinates: N 41 19.440 W 124 02.621
Visitor’s Information Open: all year round

No Pass Required

The Trillium Falls Trail is one of the most popular trails in the Redwood National Park, and that is not only due to an easy access to it, but also to the features it is offering to its visitors. This 2,8 miles loop, which is one of the newest trails in the Park (finished in 2002) will take you through a majestic old-growth redwood forest and show you the fascinating Trillium Falls.

The adventure starts already at the parking area, located at the end of Davison Road, which is adjacent to the trailhead. This parking area is a wonderful viewing point for watching the elks browsing at the Elk Meadow, which is located just below this parking area. Long time ago the Elk Meadow was just a site of a sawmill that belonged to Arcata Redwood Company. Later, with the creation of the Redwood National Park, this sawmill was taken away and the clearing, left on its place, was restored to a meadow, covered by grass, where Roosevelt elk may often be observed.

It’s a miracle, by the way, that this part of the old-growth redwood forest, which has the width of only a quarter-mile, through which the Trillium Falls Trail circles, was preserved from logging. This is only due to the program, protecting the old redwood trees by Save the Redwoods League.

So, starting at the parking lot, take one of the access trails leading to the junction with the Davison Trail. Walking along the Davison Trail, look for the signs not to miss the right turn to the Trillium Falls Trail. At the beginning you will see only dense understorey and some ordinary trees like California hazel, some alders and big leaf maple trees. But very soon the trail starts going up the hill, so you’ll have to climb some switchbacks uphill through some incredible massive redwood trees. Some of them are standing along the trail like ancient giants, guarding the way to some Fairyland.

In approximately half a mile the trail reaches the metal bridge over the creek, which serves like a viewing platform for the visitors. The amazing view of the Trillium Falls from this vantage point is really fascinating. A little ten-foot waterfall, filled with rocks, covered by green moss, and surrounded by high ferns and some maple trees. A marvelous sightseeing.

At this point a lot of visitors turn back to the trailhead, forgetting that the main attraction of the Trillium Falls Trail is not the waterfall but huge, awe inspiring redwood trees, and they miss the real grandeur of the ancient forest which opens in front of the visitors after the trail crosses the logging road.

The forest, through which the trail runs, has quite a number of redwood groves named for some people or families, contributed greatly to the Redwood National Park. Some of them have commemorative benches with signs.

The last part of the trail (about one third mile), leading north, will take you again through an ordinary forest, which is though still simply beautiful. The trail from here will take you downhill until the junction with Davison Trail, which will lead you to the trailhead and the parking lot.

The only disadvantage of this easy, pleasant hike is that a close proximity to the Hwy 101 results in some noise, which can be heard from time to time, especially at the parts of the trail, which are located closer to the highway.


Photo: Roman Khomlyak
Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska
Information: Svetlana Baranova

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