hiking in Northern California

Best Autumn Hiking Adventures in Humboldt County

Autumn’s peak season is hurriedly approaching with summer in the rearview mirror here on California’s North Coast. Most tourists don’t realize that the temperatures in Northern California remain at ideal levels year-round – our oceanside paradise gleefully avoids sizzling summer afternoons and frigid winter evenings. We’re still blessed with refreshingly crisp air and colorful maples, ash, and alders every autumn. The Humboldt County wilderness is naturally painted a beautiful blend of forest green, amber, marigold, and crimson, which makes hiking in Northern California one of the premier outdoor activities every harvest.

Experienced hikers, backpackers, and nature photographers naturally choose Redwood Vacation Rentals as their autumn getaway headquarters because many of our cozy, private cottages are set deep in the heart of the vast, picturesque North Coast wilderness. Take hiking in Northern California to the next level with half-day adventures at these four Humboldt County trails.

Elk River Trail

hiking in northern californiaWhile we highly encourage everyone to hike for at least two days in Redwood National Park, sometimes it’s best to avoid crowds and backpack on a genuinely peaceful trail far from civilization. The Elk River Trail, located in the Headwater Forest Reserve near the charming cities of Eureka and Fortuna, is a 9.5-mile out-and-back trail that weaves underneath towering redwoods. This serene hike features unharmed plantlife, the rushing South Fork Elk River, and occasional wildlife sightings. Local coho salmon spawn every winter in the stream, beginning in November, and majestic northern spotted owls peer down from the branches above. Some choose to turn around at the river crossing, which cuts approximately three miles from the journey.

Arcata Community Forest Loop

If you’re searching for a convenient yet breathtaking early morning hike, look no further than the Arcata Community Forest Loop. Part of what makes the city of Arcata so sensational is its proximity to premier beach breaks and lush, preserved forestry. Redwood Vacation Rentals has properties steps from the loop’s trailhead! This 3.9-mile forest loop has mammoth redwoods, rare banana slugs, and diverse plant life. Hikers of all skill levels can easily conquer the occasional inclines.

Trillium Falls Trail

The Trillium Falls Trail rests in the heart of the Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, north of Orick. This moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop features some of the tallest and thickest redwoods in the national park. Hikers have spotted families of elk, deer, and occasionally black bears – it’s imperative to remember what to do if you encounter a black bear. The trilliums don’t bloom in autumn, but the waterfall is quite beautiful when the creek is flowing generously after heavy rainfall. If you’re planning on hiking in Northern California, please don’t skip Trillium Falls.

Tall Trees Grove Loop

hiking in northern californiaThe Tall Trees Grove Loop is one of the most popular trails in Redwood National Park, so expect small crowds of hikers during peak hours. In the morning, however, the trail is sublimely quiet. You can walk directly through many fallen redwoods that have been carved to create a path for hikers. The moss-covered maple trees transform into blazing amber spectacles, and the crystal clear Redwood Creek provides the perfect opportunity for an afternoon picnic. The hike is nearly five miles in total with occasional steep inclines.

Northern California Vacation Rentals

Park Avenue Guest House

hiking in northern californiaThe Park Avenue Guest House is the ideal lodging option for those aiming to explore the Arcata Community Forest Loop. This charming, four-person home has high ceilings, warm colors, and a private deck with sweeping views of Humboldt Bay. It’s also a short drive from downtown Arcata and Humboldt State University.

Berry Glen Redwood Park Loft

hiking in northern californiaWhen you stay at the Berry Glen Redwood Park Loft, north of Orick, you’ll be less than a mile from Trillium Falls and steps from the Berry Glen Trail. This stunning two-story barn loft sleeps two and is highlighted by the interior’s brilliant scarlet-clad walls and ceilings. Wild animals often say hello on the vast, lush countryside property.

Henderson Haven

hiking in northern californiaStay in lively Eureka if you’re planning on hiking in Northern California! The Henderson Haven on D Street is only nine miles from the Elk River Trail, and it’s steps from dozens of delicious dining options. This beautiful 1,800-square foot North Coast home sleeps seven comfortably and is loaded with modern amenities, a private backyard, and a lavish walk-in shower.

Visit our extensive website to peruse our catalog of charming North Coast vacation rentals, many of which are conveniently located to the region’s premier hiking trails. Dial 1-707-834-6555 for reservations or more information.

Author: Erin Burke

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