This is one of the first rides we documented at Dirty Freehub, circa 2014. Unbeknownst to us then, it has all the qualities of a 5 Star route. Anchor points. Varying terrain. Natural beauty.
This ride showcases Prairie Creek Redwoods state park and Redwood National park. You will ride through meadows where Roosevelt Elk graze and amongst giant redwood trees. You will ride along a creek and on old abandoned logging roads. We really like this route!
From the visitor center, go south towards the Elk Prairie campground. At the far end of the campground, you will find the Davison trail. It kind of starts as a paved road, then gravel road, then a wide single track trail. The Davison trail is an old logging road, the grade is mostly flat and smooth. Keep your speeds in check as this is a multi-use trail. As you pass Elk Prairie and Elk meadows on your left look for Roosevelt elk, the largest elk species in North America. **Read More
At ~ mile 4.5 cross Highway 101 and turn back north, still following the Davison trail. In a couple of miles the trail will connect with Lost Man Creek road, open to vehicle traffic. At mile 6, there is a picnic area and a gate. From here it is an old logging road that has been converted to trail.
The picnic area is very picturesque and peaceful, thickly wooded, with Lost Man Creek flowing right past. Not much water flowing this late in the season, but still nice enough to have a soothing babbling quality. The creek is lined with moss covered maple and alders, with a bed of ferns underneath.[Way Points]
For miles 6 to 10, the Lost Man trail is within Redwood National park. There are several groves of old growth redwoods along the way. There is also a steep but short climb in this sector: 1.3 miles with 800 feet of gain, an average gradient of 10%. Some pitches are steeper than that!
Just past mile 11, the trail leaves the park proper, but parallels the eastern boundary. This is Holter ridge and an active logging area. We did not encounter any logging trucks, but be mindful. This area is typically closed to bikes mid June to November.
At mile 17, you intersect Bald Hills road. The route goes right, but you may want to detour to the left by ~ 0.5 miles to Redwood Creek overlook.
Redwood Creek Overlook is a vista off of Bald Hills Road in Redwood National Park. It’s one of the best places to go during what could be called storm clearing weather. Under such circumstances, it is not uncommon to find strands of clouds draped against ridges of redwoods. [The Northcoast Photographer]
The descent of Bald Hills road starts moderate and then gets steep. An average gradient of 11% for 2 miles. Part way down we stopped, and Captain O put a lit spit on his glove hand, and touched the rotor. Sizzle!! (We do not recommend that you try this!)
Between miles 20 and 21, at the hairpin turn, there is the Lady Bird Johnson grove trail. It’s worth the stop and the short hike. 1.4 miles in length.
Bald Hills road eventually intersects Highway 101. Ride this northfor 1.3 miles (use caution) and then re-connect to the Davison trail and make your way back to the visitor center.
We recommend the use of a red blinky light for both Bald Hills road and Highway 101.
If you plan on stopping at the Lady Bird Johnson grove, bring a bike lock. The trail is only 1.4 miles in length, something that can be done in mountain bike shoes.
The Holter ridge section of the trail, from miles 11 to 17 is seasonally closed (mid early June to mid November) due to logging. See the National Park website for specific details.
Photo credit to Stuart Perillo. (Thanks!!)
Adventure / Gravel Route
Moderate. Due to elevation gain / distance ratio exceeding 1.0.
When we like to ride this …
Our preference, is outside of the tourist season. Spring can be particularly beautiful.
Food / Water
Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road
Blue = single track
For help with GPS files, the RideWithGPs mapping app and to learn how to download our routes for free, see the “Using Our Rides” page.