After walking the Ah-Pah Trail along the bed of a former logging road, exploring the short Little Creek Trail, and hiking the Moorman Pond Trail among stunning redwoods, we stopped to check out one unique redwood in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park that had us scratching our heads a bit!
The Corkscrew Tree isn’t just one twisted redwood, but several redwood trees that twisted around each other like a corkscrew.
A short, 0.1 mile out-and-back trail called the Corkscrew Tree Trail passes moss covered trees and bright green ferns as it leads to the base of a weird conglomerate of intertwined redwood trunks. But when you’re actually standing at the base of the tree, you can’t really see the corkscrew effect very well. The view is better when you’re a little further away from the tree and you can see the Corkscrew Tree reaching up into the sky.
Know Before You Go
- The Corkscrew Tree is located just north of the Big Tree Wayside and Cal Barrel Road on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, a park of the Redwood National And State Parks complex.
- Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is located off Highway 101 at 127011 Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, Orick, California 95555, 50 miles north of Eureka and 25 miles south of Crescent City in Humboldt County.
- The 14,000 acre California state park protects sandy beaches, open meadows grazed by a herd of Roosevelt elk, a canyon dripping in lush ferns, 75 miles of trails, and stands of the world’s tallest living trees, the coast redwood. It was used as a filming location for Jurassic Park.
- Download the Prairie Creek State Park Map.
- There are two campgrounds at Prairie Creek Redwoods that take reservations year-round: Gold Bluffs Beach Campground and Elk Prairie Campground. The latter has accessible cabins for rent with heaters and lights but no kitchen or bathroom. Each cabin has two single over double bunk beds and you must bring your own bedding. No pets and no smoking in the cabins.
- Dogs must be on a leash no more than six feet long and must be confined to a tent or vehicle at night. Except for service animals, pets are not allowed on trails.
- Two sections of the 1,200 mile California Coastal Trail run through Prairie Creek Redwoods: a 6.0 mile section from Carruthers Cove Trailhead to Gold Bluffs Beach and an 11.0 mile section from Gold Bluffs Beach to Kuchel Visitor Center in Orick.
- Big Tree Trail, Prairie Creek Trail, Revelation Trail, and Elk Prairie Trail are the accessible trails within Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks joined with Redwood National Park to form Redwood National and State Parks in 1994. Today, the four parks’ combined 133,000 acres contain 45 percent of California’s old growth redwood forest. They have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and form a portion of the protected California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve. They are the only parks in the California State Parks system that accept the Federal Access Pass discount.