This trail follows Skunk Cabbage Creek to an overlook of the shoreline. It provides access to the Coastal Trail which continues northward into Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. This route leads through a dense forest and hikers must make several stream crossings.
Begin this hike at the trailhead west of Highway 101 a quarter mile north of Bald Hills Road. Follow the trail southwestward along Johnson Creek for a short distance then cross the creek and walk northward. When the trail reaches Skunk Cabbage Creek it turns westward to follow the southern bank of the stream. During the next mile the trail follows the creek and remains level.
Approximately a mile and a half from the trailhead the path crosses Skunk Cabbage Creek. Beyond this crossing the trail continues to lead westward along the northern bank of the trail. A quarter mile past the stream crossing the path turns northward, following the stream and beginning to climb. The trail crosses the stream again and continues to climb approximately 300 feet. Reaching a high point the trail turns northward to a trail junction. From this junction the left fork leads a short distance to an overlook. The right side of the split is the coastal trail that leads into Prairie Creek State Park.
Following the right side of the fork the trail begins a moderate descent of the bluff. Switchbacks lead hikers down 300 feet to the southern end of Gold Bluffs Beach. It's nearly three miles from the Skunk Cabbage Trail to Davidson Road, which leads along Gold Bluffs Beach.
Directions: From Orick, Travel northward on Highway 101 approximately 2 miles to the Skunk Cabbage/Coastal Trail access road. (It is a quarter mile north of Bald Hills Road.) Turn left and follow the access road .5 miles to the trailhead.
Elevation: 50 feet
Ending Elevation: Sea Level
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Redwood National Park, California
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