• Activities:

    Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    3.4 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    450 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

This is a gorgeous off the beaten path hike along the Eel River, just south of the more popular Rockefeller Loop. You'll cross Bull Creek and find yourself in quiet and beautiful old-growth Redwood groves. A great choice for those seeking lesser-traveled areas for serenity within the Humboldt Redwoods park.

You probably won't find as many people along this trail (which I like!) as it's unmarked and sits just south of Rockefeller Loop which draws a good number of visitors, primarily because it has the tallest trees (also definitely worth a visit!). The River Trail is a relatively short, flat hike with an ascent of only 450 ft, but it's a perfect activity that will take you along a quiet, serene path, short enough to plan additional hikes that same day.

Start by hiking clockwise along the Rockefeller Loop, along the south bank of Bull Creek until you reach an open area with a massive fallen redwood. Here, look to your left for an unmarked trail and take that down to the Creek. Cross the river over the seasonal bridge (only there from June through September - before or after these months, bring your waterproof boots and waders!). On the other side, climb up the steep bank to a really cool and quiet alluvial flat grove.

Make your way to the old-growth grove along the west bank of the Eel River. The grove is unmarked but absolutely breathtaking (and again, little foot traffic here!). Turn and head back the way you came and return to the Rockefeller Loop. If you head out early morning or early evening, you can catch the gorgeous sun rays shining through the groves, with very little noise pollution.

Pack List

  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Waterbottle
  • Dry wick layers
  • Rain jacket
  • Camera
  • Fishing rod
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Emily Kent Explorer

A girl with a photo habit who loves nature a whole lot. A Minnesota native in northern California. Other loves of mine are my two little girls, my hubby, camping, hiking, surfing, singing, cycling, swimming and a good hoppy IPA. Instagram @emilyelizabeth.115

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