Fern Canyon

Gold Bluffs Beach Day-Use & Fern Canyon Trailhead Reservations

Explore a stunning two-story canyon covered in ferns and the coastal bluffs of Gold Bluffs Beach!

Reservations are required May 15th to September 15th in order to visit Gold Bluffs Beach Day-Use Area including Fern Canyon Trailhead. This is effective as of May 2022. Reservations are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis and can be reserved up until 11:59 pm (PST) the day before. We highly recommend booking your reservations in advance.

The reservation period has changed for the 2023 season. Reservations will be required May 15th to September 15th. Reservations are not required September 16th to May 14th. Visitors are still required to pay the day-use fee. 

Plan Ahead & Prepare

✓ Fees

Although the online reservation is free, day-use fees are required at Fern Canyon and will be collected at the Gold Bluffs Beach kiosk. You may pay using $12 cash/check (no cards are accepted), America the Beautiful Passes, California State Park Annual Pass or Poppy Pass, or a current park campground reservation. Visitors with a current Gold Bluffs Beach Campground reservation do not need to apply for a permit.

✓ Accessibility

Fern canyon is not a wheelchair accessible trail and pets are not permitted. Service animals are welcome. Pets are allowed at the nearby Gold Bluffs Beach if they are on a 6-foot leash.

✓ Trail

Expect to get your feet wet! Fern Canyon is a 1-mile ‘lolly-pop’ loop with an elevation gain of 150 feet taking at least 30 minutes. Visitors also have the option to hike a quarter of a mile into the canyon and turn around for a shorter adventure. 

Bring your water shoes! There is no trail inside of Fern Canyon and you must cross the stream to experience the canyon. Even with seasonal footbridges in the summer, visitors often get their feet wet. Expect to get your feet wet!

✓ Reception

Fern Canyon is in a remote area of the park. Cell reception is not guaranteed.

✓ Accommodations

Fern Canyon Trailhead has pit toilets, picnic tables, trash cans, and beach access. There is no potable water or concessions at the trailhead. Remember to bring water and food with you!


Accessing Fern Canyon via Davison Road (30+ minute drive)

• Davison Road is a 7.5-mile windy, dirt road and is recommended for passenger vehicles only. Trailers and large RVs are prohibited.

• Parking is not available along Davison Road if you are unable to secure a permit to Fern Canyon. Vehicles parked along Davison Road will be subject to citation.

• There are two stream crossing you will have to drive through 1.3 miles from the Fern Canyon Trailhead. Be prepared to cross the streams in your vehicle or walk the additional 1.3 miles. High clearance, 4-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended, especially in the early summer.


Looking to picnic, fish, etc. on Gold Bluffs Beach?

Apply for the Gold Bluffs Day-Use Permit. This permit allows you to park at the Day-Use parking area only. 


No reservations available? 

Prepared visitors can take an all-day hike to Fern Canyon! Park at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park near the visitor center and hike into Fern Canyon via the James Irvine Trail (4 to 8-hour hike, 10 miles round-trip)


Learn more about Fern Canyon on the Redwood National & State Park website.



Email [email protected] or call the park's general information line at (707) 464-6101 

*please be advised that this phone number is not always staffed and your best place for information regarding your permit will be either the email confirmation or website.


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Make a Reservation

One reservation per vehicle. For multiple vehicles, please make multiple reservations. 

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