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Enderts Beach

Redwood National Park

July 7th, 2007

1.8 miles
260 vertical feet
Total Time: 3:08

Rating: 7/10

Directions: From Crescent City, take Highway 101 south for 2-3 miles, then turn right onto Enderts Beach Road. Follow the road all the way to the end, where there's a small parking lot. Note that you'll pass the vista point just before the parking lot. Parking is free.   View Driving Map

It was an overcast day as we prepared for the hikes in the full parking lot. There were a lot of tourists here, many of whom were just taking in the view from the nearby vista point. The lot would be nearly empty by the time we finished the hike.

Berries next to the trail

The trail follows an old road downhill from the parking lot. Quickly, you'll have great views of the Pacific Ocean below to the right. Further down the trail, you'll walk through tunnels formed by trees, very similar to the ones we saw on Vancouver Island. There are also some wildflowers and berries here, though not nearly as many as at Lady Bird Johnson Grove.

Enderts Beach from above

Hiking down to the beach

Tree tunnel

Near the bottom is a trail intersection. Straight ahead is the Coastal Trail. To the left is a trail along Nickel Creek. We took the right fork, which heads toward Enderts Beach. Along the way we passed the Nickel Creek backpacking camp. There are only 5 sites here.

Forest near the backpacking camp

We passed the camp and followed the trail as it turned left and descended steeply down to the rocks. We carefully descended the rocks past a little snake and stepped onto the sands of Enderts Beach. There's tide-pooling here at low tide. Crescent City is visible to the north. We could also hear the periodic honking of a lighthouse fog horn to the north.

Enderts Beach

Remains of a sea urchin on the beach

We settled down onto the beach for lunch and playing in the sand. As we were there the sun started coming out as we watched birds dip into the water looking for their own lunch. After a long break, we headed back up the rocks and rejoined the trail. After the short climb, we kept going straight at the trail intersection to follow the trail along Nickel Creek. This trail enters a lush green forest parallel to the creek. There are even ferns growing on the trunks and branches of several trees, high above the ground. Don't be surprised if you spot banana slugs on the ground, as we saw a few.

Ferns growing on a tree

The trail shortly gets narrower and narrower, until it becomes almost impassable. At this point we decided to turn around. I don't think the trail is well-used, as it's not even on the map at the trailhead. On our way back, we were surprised to see a man with some kind of wheeled apparatus. He said they were looking for a place to pan for gold, and said the apparatus was a sluice box. His buddy climbed up from the creek as we continued along our way, wondering if they were for real. I wasn't about to ask them any probing questions. They were probably genuine, but nevertheless it kind of freaked us out.

Trail next to Nickel Creek

In any case, we continued on up the trail back to the parking area. Just as we were leaving, a park ranger pulled into the nearly empty lot. Coincidence? Probably.

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