Fern Canyon, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is a state park, located in Humboldt County, California, near the town of Orick and 50 miles (80 km) north of Eureka. The 14,000 acre (57 km²) park is a coastal sanctuary for old-growth Coast Redwood trees.
The park is jointly managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service as a part of the Redwood National and State Parks. These parks (which includes Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Redwood National Park) have been collectively designated as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.
The meadow along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, with its population of Roosevelt elk, is considered a centerpiece of the park, located near the information center and campground. Other popular sites in the park are Fern Canyon and Gold Bluffs Beach. The park is also home to the tailed frog and several species of salmon.
A visitor center is provided with displays, wall maps and bookstore. It is along the same drive as the campground and some day-use parking is available. There is also parking along parts of the parkway, where elk may be seen; no day-use fee is required to park and leave vehicles in that area during daylight hours.
Restrooms are located near the visitor center and also nearby at the Big Tree parking lot.
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is home to Atlas Grove, an area researched and described by Stephen C. Sillett. Atlas Grove includes Iluvatar, the 3rd largest Coast Redwood. The location of Atlas Grove's Iluvatar is undisclosed to the public in order to protect its sensitive ecosystem. Other notable trees, open to visitors, are Big Tree, Corkscrew Redwood and the Cathedral Trees. Besides Coast Redwood, other tall coniferous tree species in the park's forests include Coast Douglas fir, Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock.
Many redwoods in the park have reached 300 feet (91 m) tall. Some, like Godwood Creek Giant and Gemini, are over 340 feet (100 m) high.