“enjoy a challenging hike among a variety of pristine woodland environments”
The Damnation Creek Trail is one of the trails most frequently recommended by park staff, visitors, and guidebooks. It is, in fact, a really nice trail, with an 1100-foot elevation drop to add a little challenge, and a variety of pristine and very attractive woodland environments. Since it's on a west-facing hill next to the ocean, the trail is often shrouded in fog from the summer marine layer, adding considerably to the primeval old-growth atmosphere. Even if it's not fogged in, the Damnation Creek Trail makes an exceptional late-afternoon hike; when the sun is too low to illuminate other groves, leaving them in gloomy darkness, Damnation Creek's hillside is still catching the golden light of the setting sun, a splendid sight. The big drawback of this trail is the presence of Highway 101. The really spectacular redwoods are all at the top of the trail where there's also the most traffic noise. By the time the noise fades away, the redwoods are no longer as impressive. Also, although it's on a steep hillside next to the ocean, the trail is wooded so there are no ocean views. To be fair, though, ocean views aren't very common anywhere in Redwood National and State Parks.
If you are a hiking person and travel through 101 Highway then go and follow the trails of Damnation Creek. It is a bit tiring but the experience walking through trees of this height is great.
Grab some water supplies, you cameras and follow the path. You will be lead to a great end with some glorious views. Wear comfortable shoes though, otherwise you will have your feet hurt as my wife did, and this will ruin the whole experience.
This was a steep hike on the way back up but not horrible. If you follow the trail all the way to the end it opens up on a rocky coast-really fantastic. Plenty of ocean views at the end.
We only went part of the way down this trail but would have liked to have gone farther. It is a downhill hike coming in so coming back is uphill. The trailhead is unmarked but easy to find. The trees are spectacular and this is a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal without dealing with crowds or many other people. We took our dogs on leashes.
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Damnation Creek Trail
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