Big Tree Loop

Orick, California

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Most visitors to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park stop at the Big Tree Wayside and stroll to the base of the enormous tree, which can cause some congestion during the peak summer season. The accompanying traffic noise combined with the tree’s popularity makes for a less than ideal way to admire and appreciate this coast redwood icon. However, you can escape most of the crowds by taking a longer loop, even though you won’t be able to completely avoid the sound of traffic. Beginning at the Big Tree, the loop follows a section of the Circle Loop, heads south through lowland redwood groves, and returns via a trail through more stately redwoods along lushly lined Prairie Creek.

Big Tree Loop Professional Review and Guide

"Most visitors to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park stop at the Big Tree Wayside and stroll to the base of the enormous tree, which can cause some congestion during the peak summer season. The accompanying traffic noise combined with the tree’s popularity makes for a less than ideal way to admire and appreciate this coast redwood icon. However, you can escape most of the crowds by taking a longer loop, even though you won’t be able to completely avoid the sound of traffic. Beginning at the Big Tree, the loop follows a section of the Circle Loop, heads south through lowland redwood groves, and returns via a trail through more stately redwoods along lushly lined Prairie Creek."

Activity Type: Hiking, Trail Running
Nearby City: Orick
Distance: 3
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1½–2 hours
Season: The trail is open all year, except when winter storms temporarily close Newton B. Drury Parkway. Visitor use is highest during summer, which makes spring or fall a fine time to hike this easy loop.
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Prairie Creek

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Jun 2018