1 Damnation creek Trail – Upper Section
Del Norte Redwoods State Park is much more than the land of high bluffs, fog, and lane closures between Klamath and Crescent City. There are some nice redwood groves in this park, with many trees over 300 feet in height. The Damnation Creek Trail really shows off what the park has to offer. Parking for this trail is on the west side of US 101 and I strongly suggest entering and exiting the parking area while traveling south as the northbound lanes include a passing lane with very fast traffic. The trail is not associated with Damnation Creek until the very end. Instead the trail winds down a separate valley just to the south of Damnation Creek valley.
The upper section of the trail has some big diameter trees and nice rhododendron displays in May and June. Here are a couple pics of the rhododendron on the upper section of this trial.
2 Damnation Creek Trail – Middle Section to Lower Section
There is a remarkable grove with tall redwoods in the middle section of Damnation Creek Trail. This grove is along and below the intersection of the Damnation Creek Trail with the Coastal Trail. The redwoods are beautiful but end abruptly at about 500 feet elevation above the ocean where the bluffs get extremely steep. When near the edge of the redwood habitat the air carries the smell of the ocean, waves can be heard, and the blue ocean peeks through tree trunks and crowns.
Below is a Coastal Trail / old coastal highway road marker for the grove, apparently erected in 1925. The grove honors Henry Solon Groves – “forester, educator, and administrator”. This marker is toward the south side of the canyon.
The coastal trail circles the entire canyon, and the Damnation Creek trail winds down along the north side. The redwoods are quite spectacular in the late afternoon, with their lower trunks shading each other but with the tops lit up by the setting western sun. The view from the tops of these redwoods must be spectacular.
Here are some views of redwoods in this canyon from the Coastal Trail as well as from the Damnation Creek trail below the Coastal Trail.
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