by Mario Vaden
Trillium Falls redwood trail is located in Redwood National Park on the west side of Highway 101, a few miles north of Orick. Turn west on Davison Rd., pass through the grassy elk viewing area and before the road enters the forest of trees ahead, make a left turn toward a small parking lot and restroom. The clearing used to be the site of Arcata Redwood Company ... the namesake of the ARCO Giant Coast Redwood.
Near parking and the restroom, take the paved paths downhill, then go right on Davison trail for mere seconds of time. Almost immediately, a small gravel path branches-off to the right at a slight angle up the hill. It doesn't look very inviting at this point, but you may be surprised in the first couple of minutes as your surroundings change dramatically.
The entire trail loop is about 2.8 miles, with several stands of beatiful old growth redwoods and stretches of smaller spruce, alder maple, huckleberry, etc.. Some parts of this trail are surprisingly photogenic. If you want a brief "shot in the arm" hike, its only 15 minutes to reach the bridge and waterfall through a lovely stand of coast redwoods. You could stop, relax and head back the same way if you choose. Or go the full 2.8 miles.
The waterfall area is particularly beautiful in autumn when bigleaf maple leaves change color and rain refreshes the stream's flow. Just a minute or two past the bridge, grows a particularly large coast redwood, with lighter bark. The trunk has very little taper, evident from the opposite side of the creek before reaching the waterfall. It's trunk peeks through in the right side of the photo below. The trunk tapers so slight, I'm curious whether it compares with Adventure coast redwood in Prairie Creek.
The fairy just happened to be there ... she let me photograph her among redwoods and at the waterfall.
If entire hikes are compared, other trails like James Irvine, Bull Creek Flats or Brown Creek may rate higher, but Trillium Falls can throw and equally impressive punch when it comes to the first 20 minutes .. say, November to June.
Don, who works at the Curly Redwood Lodge in Crescent City, says this is one of his favorite hikes.