Two days after our hike in Richardson Grove State Park we were back on the trail in Humboldt Redwoods State Park just north of our campground near Garberville. And again we were treated to fresh piles of bear poop, but this time we had double the fun! For our hike I carried a bear spray canister on my pack belt so my spouse would be more relaxed.
For a wonderful 13 mile / 1500 ft gain loop hike, try this route (reference this map): starting on Mattole Road, just past the turn off to the Albee Creek Campground, park just beyond the bridge and take the fire road gradually uphill towards Grasshopper peak. After gaining about 1,200 ft you will come to the junction at the start of the Johnson Trail Camp trail. Take that trail (For extra credit do a challenging out-and-back up to Grasshopper Peak!) and enjoy a beautiful mostly level path through the forest back down to the Rockefeller Grove of redwoods along Bull Creek. We enjoyed a peaceful lunch on the trail.
The Miller Creek bridge on the Johnson Camp Trail was destroyed by a falling redwood several years ago and has not been replaced, but it’s not difficult to traverse the dry creek bed. However in springtime be prepared to take your boots off and wade across. A winter crossing may not be safe. The other bridge on the trail, shown here, is intact. I had to admire the simplicity and effectiveness of this simple suspension bridge design.
The trail will return you to where you started but there is a network of trails through that grove so it can be a bit confusing. Keep your navigation app running (I use Gaia on my iPhone) while you enjoy the massive redwoods in the flats near the creek to avoid getting turned around!
It really doesn’t get better than this.