Copyright 2016 by Mario Vaden
Directions: Flint Ridge trailhead is very close to the large bridge where Hy. 101 crosses the Klamath River at Klamath, CA. Just south of the bridge, exit Highway 101 at exit 768. Then turn left and take West Klamath Beach Rd. for 1.5 miles and make another left at Alder Camp Road, and immediately on your left is parking. The trailhead is across Alder Camp Rd. from the parking lot. At the same intersection is a historic Douglas Memorial Bridge site with a view across the Klamath River.
National Park Service says 6 miles / moderate .... redwoodhikes.com says 9.2 and 9.5 miles
If I were working at a local motel, I would highly recommend this hike to a person or couple who have several days in the redwoods, and maybe arrived mid-day. I would let them enjoy the mixed forest entering Flint Ridge, and they could return after seeing the old growth the first couple miles. Then they could compare it to Prairie Creek or Jedediah Smith's hikes on days following.
About 1/3 the length of this trail passes through old growth coast redwoods. The hike begins winding around the east end of Marshal Pond through deciduous forest, then heads west and rises up the hillside into a remaining patch of coast redwoods that covers the hill. The highest elevation in the area is about 1000 ft., so the hike is genuinely rather moderate. After a few minutes, the beginning uses a short stretch of an old road. Just keep an eye on the pond and make sure you are wrapping around it to get to the other side. There were signs, but in case one is missing, that's a tip.
If your appetite for a hike is mainly coast redwoods, then hike the first 2 to 3 miles and make a 180 to return back to the trailhead. If you are not particular, the trail decends into ocean views and small prairies as you continue.
The trail has been described as having traffic noise. But that's questionable. One person hiking with me, noted how little traffic sound really existed. It was a foggy day and there was a light drip of water droplets. Maybe that cloaked part of the sound. It was also October, with less traffic than summer. But on that autumn day, the forest was serene.
There were also a good number of tall Douglas Fir. One near the trail was about 290 ft. tall, and the coast redwoods were even taller. Anything over 290 is superlative for that species, and this remant could hold potential for a world record, at least until every bit of it is explored. There are also Sitka spruce and western redcedar. The coastal end offers the sound of waves once you approach a Flint Ridge Campground.
I wouldn't suggest this trail for someone looking for serious redwood photography locations. It's one of those areas that is very pleasing to the eye --- beautiful. It just doesn't lend itself to compositions that are practical for prints. Otherwise, putting photography aside, this is a pleasant getaway. I realize that several trails in Prairie Creek are more majestic. But Flint Ridge would serve very well for a couple staying in one of the Klamath motels, who want a quaint destination they can reach in minutes and become alone among lovely forest. From the Holiday Inn Express motel, someone could reach and park at the trailhead in just a little over 5 minutes. It's that close.