ElevationAscent: 468' 143 m
Descent: -264' -81 m
High: 491' 150 m
Low: 166' 51 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)
Current trail conditions
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“A very popular forest-wonderland trail that passes Big Tree Wayside.”— Eric Ashley
Family Friendly This trail is chock full of interesting trees and groves. If the going gets too tough, it's easy to turn back.
The trail begins off of the Cathedral Trees Trail near the Elk Prairie Parking Area. From here, it's quite wide and easy to travel (this southern portion is actually part of an ADA-accessible loop). As it heads north, it immediately welcomes hikers into a heavily shaded grove.
Not too far ahead, the trail comes beside a depression that oddly lets more light down to the undergrowth. The stronger sun persists until the Big Tree Wayside where a glorious giant tree delights droves of visitors. At over 300-feet tall, it's a beautiful and imposing example of what nature is capable of.
As the trail continues past the Big Tree Wayside, it soon becomes steeper and more difficult. This second half is characterized by rolling terrain that darts around the valleys and contours as it climbs to the north. Though the trail parallels the road, it's easy to forget about any nearby traffic while enjoying the streaming light and pristine surroundings.
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Need to Know, Flora & Fauna
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Land Manager: California State Parks - North Coast Redwoods District