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Visited: June 25, 2016
Description: Easy hike to 50 foot fern-covered canyon walls
Fun Fact: The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Walking with Dinosaurs & Dinosaurs Alive were filmed here
Length: 1 mile (lollipop loop)
Elevation: 150 feet
Duration: 1 hour, depending on how long you stay and which paths you take
Terrain: Dirt, gravel, water stream crossings
Wildlife: F*cking huge ass mosquitoes and evil ELK
Pets: Pet friendly
Best time to go: Anytime
Bring: Camera, extra shoes and socks (in case you drop your phone in water and have to risk your foot to save it), bug spray, elk spray
The first time we attempted Fern Canyon, it was a complete fail. The second time, we were able to successfully complete the canyon but were swarmed with a sea of mosquitoes. So was this hike worth it? Meh… If you’re in the area, definitely go for it just to check it out. Try not to make this your only destination (like we did) for this adventure because it may not be worth your time.
When we originally attempted Fern Canyon… we almost got attacked by elks 😱 The trail was flooded so we had to park further than expected. By the time we reached the elk-filled parking lot, the sun was setting. We couldn’t see much and didn’t know where the heck we were going. This’s what happens when you’re determined AF to accomplish a goal 😅 (lesson still not learned…)
Second time around, things were looking up! No flooding and an empty elk-free parking lot, HikeSnobs were excited to finally accomplish this escapade! The trail is pretty simple and straightforward. An easy warm up for what’s to come… which is still easy so there’s nothing to really warm up for haha.
As the trees start to surround you, the excitement level increases. Picking up our pace a bit, we trekked forward.
In less than 10 minutes, you’ll reach a stream crossing; you can either find a way across or continue towards the right. After Linda attempted to balance on a fallen tree to cross a stream, wooden planks were spotted a few yards to the right!
If you’re not sure which way to go, just keep an eye out for wooden planks to guide you in the right direction. No need to struggle across the stream since Mother Nature blessed us with the planks!
Continuing along the trail, walls of flora start to close in on you and it begins to feel like a whole other world you’ve stumbled upon. Carved out by Home Creek, it was easy for us to imagine why Spielburg chose this fern-lined gorge as a filming location for the Jurassic sequel.
Expecting (and hoping) prehistoric creatures to pop out at any moment, all we got were historic mosquitoes trying to attack us left and right! Dodging these irritating bugs were nearly impossible. The deeper we went into the canyon, the more unavoidable it became.
We quickly made our way through canyon and spent some time climbing. HikeSnobs are always ready for a camera moment! Just make sure your phone is secure when climbing this log because Alice dropped her’s in the water below…
More than half a mile in you’ll reach the end of the canyon. At this point, you can either turn back the way you came or continue up some stairs to lollipop-loop your way back. We decided to continue on the loop to avoid the mosquitoes.
Within 15 minutes we were back in the parking lot. On our way out of the park, we decided to make our adventure a little better… by driving through a few puddles, multiple times 🙂 Driving through this 10 mile, unpaved road was probably our favorite part of this adventure.
Fern Canyon left much to be desired; photos and countless articles hyped this place up for us so our expectations were too high. Maybe it was because we drove 6 hours through the night to get here and it only took us less than 30 minutes to finish the hike… maybe it was those darn mosquitoes! There was just something lacking… we expected the trail to be bigger and longer and where the f*ck were the dinosaurs? Are we being a little too (hike)snobby? Oh well, onto the next trip! 💁🏻💁🏻
- Wear long sleeves and long pants or bring bug spray
- Keep your expectations LOW
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