Redwood Coast Hike: Damnation Creek


Beach at the end of the Damnation Creek trail




Damnation Creek trail is a special place along the Redwood Coast of northern California. The trail starts at the relatively high elevation of 942 feet and leads you, sometimes steeply towards an incredible rocky beach. 

Trailhead sign for Damnation Creek Trail

Massive fire scared Coast redwoods along the Damnation Creek Trail
As you descend you will cross an old section of Highway 101(now a section of the Coastal Trail) and shortly after the forest will shift from primarily old-growth Coast redwoods to a mix of Douglas-fir and Sitka spruce. This change of forest is pretty unique along trails in Redwood State and National Parks. Often you will either be in old-growth Coast redwood or in a near shore mixed Sitka spruce forest, with no way to link the two like Damnation Creek Trail does.

Intersection with the Coastal Trail

Massive Sitka spruce along the Damnation Creek Trail
After crossing two bridges you will start to realize that you are quickly coming to the ocean as the trail flattens out. This section is home to some very interesting and large Sitka spruce that are worth checking out. But for me the best part of the trail is the absolutely incredible beach that seems to be sunny every time I hike here.
Looking north along the beach at the end of the Damnation Creek Trail

Looking back up the Damnation Creek watershed
This short trail is definitely one of the most beautiful in northern California and gives you a taste of what the Redwood Coast has to offer. Even if you're just driving down the coast stop for a few hours and enjoy this breathtaking hike!
Beautiful Coast redwoods along the Damnation Creek Trail

I love redwoods!


Directions from Crescent City: Follow Highway 101 south for 10.6 miles until you reach the pull out on the right. If you start to head down hill then you have gone too far!
Hike Distance: 4.6 miles according to my Garmin 550

Hike Type: Out and back
Elevation Gain: 940 Feet

Highest Point: At the trailhead 

Usage: Moderate to heavy depending on season

Difficulty: 3 out of 5, fairly steep downhill is often pretty slippery

Fees: None

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