Hikers Will Need a Permit to Visit Fern Canyon Beginning this Summer. Here’s How to Get One.

Humboldt’s Fern Canyon has become one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Northern California, with its magnificent 50-foot walls covered in ferns. Now, due to its growing popularity, hikers will need a permit to see the beautiful destination within in the Redwood National Park.

Beginning May 1 and lasting through September 30, permits will be required to enter all locations within the Gold Bluffs Beach Day-use area, including the popular Fern Canyon parking area. Permits will be free and will be available online only on the Redwood National and State Parks website. A day-use fee of $12 (cash or check only) will be charged upon entry, or visitors can also use their California State Parks or National Park Service Day-use passes.

The Gold Bluffs Beach Day Use-area and Fern Canyon is one of the most visited areas within Redwood National and State Parks. Unrestricted access to this location during peak summer months has caused public safety concerns and an increase in resource damage.

The implementation of a permit system will allow Redwood National and State Parks to provide a high-quality visitor experience by reducing overcrowding  in parking lots and trail systems. In addition, a permit system during peak summer months will allow for the protection of natural resources while providing adequate access for Law Enforcement and Emergency Services to provide responses during emergencies.

“Fern Canyon, with its cascading walls of several species of ferns in all shades of green, captures the hearts and imaginations of thousands of visitors every year. Redwood National and State Parks is responsible for ensuring that the experience that visitors have today is consistent with the experience that visitors have been able to experience in the past. With the exponential growth in visitation at Fern Canyon, park managers are charged with developing solutions that will allow us to protect both the quality of our visitors’ experience while also ensuring the protection of the natural, cultural and historical resources that they have come to see. We feel that this pilot permit program will accomplish this, allowing for the legacy of our park lands to be enjoyed in perpetuity for current and future generations.” – Erin Gates, Deputy Superintendent of Redwood National and State Parks and North Coast Redwoods District, California State Parks.

On Wednesday March 16th at 6pm, a virtual information session will be hosted by Redwood National and State Parks to provide the public an opportunity to learn more about this pilot program. To attend this virtual information session, register here: https://bit.ly/PilotPermitProgram. Information covered during this information session will include a discussion of why this permit pilot program is being launched, and how it will help create a more safe and enjoyable visitor experience while also better protecting the natural resources in this area.

Permits to access to Gold Bluffs Beach Day-use area and Fern Canyon will be required May 1st – September 30th. Permits will not be required from October 1st – April 30th. Access to the popular Fern Canyon area using the James Irvine Trail from Prairie Creek Visitor Center will not require a permit.

For more information and to reserve a permit for Gold Bluffs Beach Day-use are and Fern Canyon this summer, visit https://www.nps.gov/redw/index.htm.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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