Miners Ridge Trail to Gold Bluffs Beach, Prairie Creek Visitor Center, Redwood National and State Parks, California

Miners Ridge Trail to Gold Bluffs Beach - 9.2 miles

Prairie Creek Visitor Center

Gold Bluffs Beach is located just south of the terminus on Davison Road

Gold Bluffs Beach is located just south of the terminus on Davison Road

Round-Trip Length: 9.2 miles
Start-End Elevation: 165' - 25' (656' max elevation)
Elevation Change: 140' net elevation loss (+1,368' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Miners Ridge Trail to Gold Bluffs Beach - 9.2 Miles Round-Trip

The James Irvine and Miner's Ridge Trail form the most direct route from Prairie Creek Visitor Center to Gold Bluffs Beach in Redwood National Park. This 4.6 mile route leads through ancient redwoods and a distinct coastal ecosystem en route to the beach. 

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

Both trails closely follow routes used by miners in the late 1800s to reach mining operations on the coast, and the protected corridors through which they pass have changed little since:

The trail begins at Prairie Creek Visitor Center and crosses Prairie Creek on long wooden bridges. Stay on the main trail artery past connections for Zig Zag and West Ridge to the Miners Ridge Trail split (.82 miles : 420').

The Miners Ridge Trail splits left and begins an undulating climb with short, steep intervals to its highest point (1.5 miles : 656'). It tilts down and begins a long, mild descent to the Clintonia Trail split (2.6 miles : 470').

The trail winds deliberately around several narrow ravines lined with large redwoods (3.25 miles) before leveling beside a wide, shallow ravine populated by Sitka spruce (3.75 miles : 265'). Salmonberry is particularly abundant on this segment. 

It quickly transitions to a coastal forest ecosystem where Sitka is the dominant tree and leafy brush fills the understory. These forests are more tolerant of saline environments and help buffer inland redwood groves from harsh coastal conditions.

The trail levels by Squashan Creek (4.25 miles) and widens to the terminus on Davison Road (4.6 miles : 25'). Turn left and walk ~70 yards to Gold Bluffs Beach.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N41 21.847 W124 01.381 — 0.0 miles : Prairie Creek Visitor Center
  • N41 21.932 W124 01.438 — .23 miles : James Irvine Trail split
  • N41 22.186 W124 01.682 — .82 miles : Miners Ridge Trail split
  • N41 22.287 W124 01.801 — 1.0 miles : Reach highpoint on ridge
  • N41 22.576 W124 02.533 — 2.0 miles : Undulating travel on ridge
  • N41 22.768 W124 02.920 — 2.6 miles : Clintonia Trail split
  • N41 22.772 W124 03.117 — 3.25 miles : Undulating descent thru forest
  • N41 22.608 W124 03.415 — 3.75 miles : Descend toward coast
  • N41 22.845 W124 03.770 — 4.25 miles : Transition to coastal forest
  • N41 23.081 W124 04.066 — 4.6 miles : End trail on Davison Road

Worth Noting

  • Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park manages over 70 miles of interconnecting trails through diverse habitats including prairies, upland forests, old growth redwood forests, coastal forests and beaches.

Camping and Backpacking Information


There are 4 developed campgrounds in Redwood National and State Parks:

There's a $35 per-night fee to camp in developed campgrounds. Cabins at Elk Prairie and Jedediah Smith are $80 (winter) and $100 (summer) per night.

Reservations are strongly recommended from May - September in all campgrounds. Click links above to learn more about each campground and check availability through ReserveAmerica.com (1.800.444.7275).


  • Permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Permits are free and issued in-person up to 24 hours in advance at the Hiouchi and Kuchel Visitor Centers.
  • Fires are permitted in the backcountry with potential seasonal and location-specific restrictions. 
  • Proper food storage is required (in provided lockers, bear canisters or by hanging). 
  • Overnight stays are limited to 5 consecutive days.

Rules and Regulations

  • Dogs are not permitted on hiking and riding trails in Redwood National Park, including trails within Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
  • There is no fee to enter Redwood National Park or access trails at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center. 
  • Day-Use Fees apply at select State Park entrance stations within Redwood National Park, including Gold Bluffs Beach ($8).

Directions to Trailhead

Prairie Creek State Park is located on Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway off Highway 101, approximately 50 miles north of Eureka, 5 miles north of Orick and 25 miles south of Crescent City.

The Prairie Creek Visitor Center is located on the southern end of the Parkway, 1.3 miles from Exit 753 on Highway 101. Follow signs from the exit to the visitor center and parking lot.

Contact Information

Redwood National and State Parks
1111 Second Steet
Crescent City, CA 95531

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
127011 Newton B Drury Parkway
Orick, CA 95555

Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center (Orick, CA)

Jedediah Smith Visitor Center (Hiouchi, CA)

Hiouchi Visitor Center (Hiouchi, CA)

Crescent City Information Center

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