Trillium Falls Trail, Elk Meadow Day Use Area, Redwood National and State Parks, California
Trillium Falls Trail - 2.7 miles
Elk Meadow Day Use Area
|Round-Trip Length:||2.7 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||65' - 390' (max elevation on loop)|
|Elevation Change:||+325' net elevation gain (+511' total elevation gain)|
Trillium Falls Trail - 2.7 Miles Round-Trip
The Trillium Falls Loop leads through ancient redwood groves highlighted by a bridge across Trillium Falls and wildlife viewing in Elk Meadow. This family-friendly trail showcases a range of forest constituents in a relatively short space including Sitka, big leaf maple, vine maple, rhododendron, huckleberry and the namesake trillium flower.
The trail begins at Elk Meadow Picnic Area. Follow the paved path to signs for Trillium Falls and veer right for counter-clockwise travel on the loop (.1 mile). The Trillium Falls Trail rises quickly into a mature redwood forest with some notably large cathedrals.
It crests and drops to a bridge across Trillium Falls under a sprawling canopy of big leaf maple (.5 miles : 158'). Scramble down for a closer look at each tier.
Climbing resumes up the far side through a diverse collection of old growth redwoods, Douglas fir, western hemlock, Sitka spruce, salal and evergreen huckleberry.
The trail crests (390') and drops across a service road (1.3 miles : 270') into a thinner understory with a chance to examine the trees' full height (1.8 miles : 185').
It winds easily down to another service road (2.3 miles); bear right then a quick left at the Trillium Falls - Berry Glen Trail split (2.4 miles). Follow signs for Elk Meadow to complete the loop (2.6 miles), and retrace your steps back to the trailhead (2.7 miles).
Extend your day by continuing on the Berry Glen Trail, which runs 3.0 miles and climbs over 1200' to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove. Berry Glen passes through contrasting old and second growth redwood forests en route to distinct upland forests along the Lady Bird Nature Trail.
- N41 19.373 W124 02.706 — 0.0 miles : Trillium Falls Trailhead
- N41 19.292 W124 02.712 — .1 miles : Trillium Falls Trail split
- N41 19.201 W124 02.962 — .5 miles : Bridge across Trillium Falls
- N41 19.091 W124 02.769 — 1.0 miles : Steady climb thru tall groves
- N41 18.881 W124 02.877 — 1.3 miles : Cross service road
- N41 18.736 W124 02.953 — 1.8 miles : Mild descent in forest
- N41 18.997 W124 02.634 — 2.3 miles Turn down serivce road
- N41 19.075 W124 02.616 — 2.4 miles : Berry Glen Trail split
- Watch for wildlife on this trail, especially along the berry-lined fringe of Elk Prairie. Avoid hiking and running alone at dusk and dawn.
- The Yurok Tribe inhabited this area for generations, and remains one of California's most populous indigenous tribes with over 5,500 members in Del Norte and Humboldt counties alone.
- Trillium Falls is an excellent choice for families and visitors with limited time or abilities.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Backcountry camping is not permitted on this trail.
There's a $35 per-night fee to camp in developed campgrounds. Cabins at Elk Prairie and Jedediah Smith are $80 (winter) and $100 (summer) per night.
Reservations are strongly recommended from May - September in all campgrounds. Click links above to learn more about each campground and check availability through ReserveAmerica.com (1.800.444.7275).
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Permits are free and issued in-person up to 24 hours in advance at the Hiouchi and Kuchel Visitor Centers.
- There are 8 designated backcountry sites. Gravel bar camping is permitted along Redwood Creek. Click here for specific site details and maps.
- Fires are permitted in the backcountry with potential seasonal and location-specific restrictions.
- Proper food storage is required (in provided lockers, bear canisters or by hanging).
- Overnight stays are limited to 5 consecutive days.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs are not permitted on hiking and riding trails in Redwood National Park, including trails within Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
- There is no fee to enter Redwood National Park or access trails at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center.
- A Day-Use Fee is required to access Gold Bluffs Beach and the Fern Canyon Trailhead ($8).
Directions to Trailhead
The Elk Prairie Day Use Area is located right off Highway 101, about 5 miles north of Orick.
From Highway 101, turn into the Day Use Area and travel .4 miles to the designated parking lot. Be mindful of elk crossing the access road.
Redwood National and State Parks
1111 Second Steet
Crescent City, CA 95531
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
127011 Newton B Drury Parkway
Orick, CA 95555
Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center (Orick, CA)
Jedediah Smith Visitor Center (Hiouchi, CA)
Hiouchi Visitor Center (Hiouchi, CA)
Crescent City Information Center