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The favorite trail that I hiked in Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California is the Yurok Loop and Hidden Beach Trail. It just so happened to be the last trail I hiked while I was visiting the redwoods.
This 2.5-mile loop is not really a loop or lollipop loop. It’s two out-and-backs with a loop in the middle. The Yurok Loop portion of the trail is a lollipop loop, but it also adds an out-and-back to Hidden Beach via the Coastal Trail. The Coastal Trail overlaps with the Yurok Loop, except for the portion of the Yurok Loop that follows along the lagoon.
Finding the trailhead for the Yurok Loop/Hidden Beach
The Yurok Loop and Hidden Beach Trail in Redwood National Park begins at the Yurok Loop Trailhead. The Yurok Loop leaves from the right or north side of the Lagoon Creek picnic area, which is just shy of one mile north of the Tree of Mystery on Highway 101.
To plan my hike, I used the “Hike the Parks, Redwood National & State Parks” guide book published by Mountaineers Books and a National Geographic topographical map.
The Yurok Loop portion of this loop showcases the coastal forest. You won’t find any redwoods here, but there is plenty to see. The Yurok people have called Redwood National Park home for thousands of years. The Lagoon Creek was once the site of a Yurok Village.
As you begin the Yurok Loop to Hidden Beach Trail at Redwood National Park, you head through a tunnel of trees. Shortly after you start, about 0.1 miles, you come to an intersection, where you want to go left. A sign was there when I hiked the trail to direct me to Yurok Loop. If you go straight, you end up on the beach at False Klamath Cove.
The trail opens up and you get views of the California coast and the Pacific Ocean to your right. At mile 0.2, the Yurok Loop splits. If you go to the left, it takes you through the coastal forest of Douglas fir and Sitka spruce. If you go to the right, it takes you along the coast with views of the Pacific Ocean. I chose to go to the right so I could catch glimpses of the lagoon. But I also wanted to save the views of the California coast for the end of my hike.
I enjoyed this portion of the trail because it immerses you in the forest with the ocean being just over the hill. It doesn’t feel like you are on the coast, but you are.
At mile 0.6, the Yurok Loop intersects with the Coastal Trail. Here you want to go left, or south, along the Coastal Trail toward Hidden Beach.
Coastal Trail to Hidden Beach
As you hike along the Coastal Trail part of the Hidden Beach Yurok Loop Trail at Redwood National Park, you get glimpses of the Pacific Ocean. It starts with peaks through the trees, then it opens up to amazing views. One thing that I really love about this trail is the views you get of Hidden Beach and the California coast as you hike toward it.
Evergreens and gray sea stacks frame tan grasses and blue water with white waves. As you get closer you can see bleached white driftwood and black sandy beaches.
The trail goes back into the trees for a little way and around mile 1.1 a spur trail at your right goes down toward the beach.
Hidden Beach is my favorite part of Redwood National Park in Northern California. Flanked by two hooks in the rocky shoreline, the beach is tucked into solitude. There were a few people on the beach when I visited but the beach is large and it felt like I had it to myself.
Given that it takes a little more effort to get to, you should have the beach mostly to yourself.
Return to trailhead via oceanside
When you have finished exploring as much as you like of Hidden Beach and the California coast of Redwood National Park, hike back the way you came. But at mile 1.8 when you meet the intersection for the Yurok Loop, keep straight on the Coastal Trail to return with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean.
Here you can look out across the water where there is nothing between you and Japan. You also get views of False Klamath Rock, a large sea stack. The trail opens up even more and begins to head back inland giving you panoramic views of False Klamath Cove and the Coast Range behind it.
Yurok Loop and Hidden Beach Redwood National Park
Like I stated above the Yurok Loop to Hidden Beach at Redwood National Park is my favorite trail of my trip. The views of the Pacific Ocean and California coastline are unmatched. I also love how it felt like I had the entire place to myself.
- 2.45 miles loop
- Elevation gain and loss 254 feet
- Dogs not allowed
- Backcountry camping not allowed