The eight of us left Fern Canyon and drove back over to the Kuchel Visitor Center where we picked up our trailer. From there it was a short drive over to Elk Prairie Campground. We pulled into our site and set up camp. It didn’t take long before the bikes came out and the kids began to explore. We fixed dinner and then Wyatt and I rode the Davison trail over to Elk Meadow where we watched a herd of Roosevelt elk as the sun set.
Friday morning we woke up and headed down to Patrick’s Point SP to go see some tide pool pools. On our way out we had to wait for this bull to mosey out of the road.
Patrick’s Point is a smaller park at around 640 acres, but protects some diverse communities. Our first stop was Sumeg Village, a replica village of the Yurok people. It consists of three daily houses, a sweat house, dance pit, three changing houses and a redwood canoe. It is still used for ceremonial purposes by several groups of indigenous people.
Around 30 minutes before low tide over to Palmer’s Point to see its tide pools. Quite a few harbor seals serenaded us with their barking as we descended to the tide pools. The kids spent around an hour hunting some of the myriad creatures living within the pools.
We next hiked down to Agate Beach and spent another hour or so before heading back to our campsite for the evening.
Saturday morning Wyatt, Colter, Zane, and I rode out on our bikes with the plan to bike the Cal-Barrel Road. We arrived at the entry to the Newton B Drury Parkway and found the gate closed. We rode back to the ranger station and found to our delight that the drive through the spectacular redwood grove was closed to cars all day! The four of us rode back to the campsite where we told the others of our good fortune, packed a lunch and all headed out to bike.
The eight of us biked up the parkway with plenty of stops to gape at the trees. It was our second chance to bike without cars on the trip! Surprisingly it was not near as crowded as I anticipated. We had a great ride before turning back towards camp.
My eye had looked at the map trying to connect trails using the Drury Parkway to form a loop. It looked as though we could connect the parkway to the Ossagon Trail, head down the California Coastal Trail to the Davison Road, and finally take the Streelow Creek Trail back to the campground. I estimated it was around 15 miles. Wyatt was my only recruit to tackle it.
We enjoyed the parkway and then had a great time careening down the Ossagon Trail to the coast. The Coastal Trail proved a little difficult to follow in places and we had to “hike a bike” until we found the tread again. The ride ended up being about 20.4 miles in length and took a bit longer than planned, but we had a great time nonetheless.
We fixed dinner and then Jen wanted to head out for a bit with me on the bikes. We explored the trails until dark finally forced us back to the campsite.
Sunday morning we took down the campsite. We decided at the last minute to see if there were any campsites available in Yosemite, and amazingly we were able to pick up a cancellation for two nights in Yosemite Valley. We made the long drive south to Modesto were we spent the night in a hotel, ready the next day to head into Yosemite.
See it Yourself: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is managed jointly with Del Norte Coast State Park, Jedediah Smith State Park, and Redwood National Park to protect 105,000 acres of spectacular forest and coast. Seventy-five miles of trail wind through the park and herds of Roosevelt elk roam the forest. Two campgrounds service the park, Gold Bluffs along the coast and Elk Prairie in dense forest. Reservations are strongly encouraged as these campgrounds often fill.