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Chetco Redwoods Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Willow bar on the Chetco River, Alfred Loeb State Park (bobcat)
Redwood needles, Redwood Nature Trail (bobcat)
Hollow redwood on the Redwood Nature Trail (bobcat)
The Chetco Giant, Redwood Nature Trail (bobcat)
The hike to the northernmost redwood grove from Alfred A. Loeb State Park (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: USFS/Caltopo
  • Start point: Riverview TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Chetco Giant
  • Hike Type: Lollipop loop
  • Distance: 2.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 520 feet
  • High Point: 470 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No
Poison-Oak

Contents

Hike Description

Alfred A. Loeb State Park was established in 1948 after land was donated by Mr. Loeb and others to create a myrtlewood preserve. There are some big sprawling myrtles here, and the hike up the state park’s Riverview Trail offers some colorful portals to the Chetco River, a designated Wild and Scenic River, to just above the state park. The Riverview Trail connects with the world’s northernmost pocket of redwoods, and a loop trail allows you to view some of these as you circle a lush bowl in a sliver of national forest. This is a healthy redwood forest, and the largest of these trees is 290 feet tall with a circumference of 34 feet and a diameter of 10 feet. The redwood grove expands beyond the trail area, and the world’s northernmost redwoods are actually more than two miles north of here. They are young redwoods, vigorously growing and spreading in range, in a clearcut that was logged many decades ago.

Take a minute to look at the old mossy myrtle trees at the trailhead. The oldest trees here are 200 years old, and the largest are six feet in diameter. Then cross the road to the kiosk, and pick up the Riverview Trail. Hike past picnic tables with a large Douglas-fir and old myrtle trees up the slope to your left. Reach a lettered post from the old nature trail, and see the Chetco River flowing serenely below. Cross a footbridge in a gully; the North Bank Road is just above you. Sprawling mossy maples reach out over the Chetco, and there may be drift boats floating downstream during winter steelhead and chinook fishing season. The trail braids briefly as it descends to another footbridge. After crossing a third footbridge, you’ll find yourself right above the river. Reach the North Bank Road, and cross it to the Redwood Nature Trailhead.

The trail here loops around a small disjunct section of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. If there is a brochure at the kiosk, take one to guide you around this interpretive trail. The redwoods here are of all ages and sizes and are at the northernmost fringe of their range. Hike up a creek and come to the loop junction. Your first redwood is straight ahead of you. Go left to do the loop clockwise. Pass through a stand of redwood saplings, and note a stump with a logging cable attached to it. You can see the North Bank Road and the Chetco River below. There are also some large Douglas-firs and sprawling myrtles in here. A spur leads back down to the road. Continuing the loop, head up the slope through a thicket of evergreen huckleberry. Loop up past a big hemlock, and switchback twice to reach your first really large redwood. Then the trail drops through rhododendron, myrtle, tanoak, and evergreen huckleberry to cross a slope of redwoods of varying sizes towering over a fairly open understory. Look upslope to see some larger trees. Descend to a footbridge over a creek, then switchback up through more redwoods. Follow the creek up to switchback past the biggest redwood on the trail, perhaps 10 feet in diameter and 800-900 years old. Hike up a slope, and then drop to switchback twice above the main creek in this lush bowl. Cross a footbridge to switchback twice in an almost pure stand of younger redwoods. After two more switchbacks, you’ll reach a massive hollow redwood that has been scorched by fire. Cross a footbridge over the creek, and reach the loop junction. Go left to return to the trailhead, and then cross the road to hike the Riverview Trail back to your car.


Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Picnic tables, restrooms, campground at Loeb State Park
  • Picnic tables, restrooms at Redwood Nature Trailhead
  • Dogs on leash

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Hiking Southern Oregon by Art Bernstein & Zach Urness
  • Oregon's Ancient Forests: A Hiking Guide by Chandra LeGue
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • 120 Hikes on the Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Day Hiking: Oregon Coast by Bonnie Henderson
  • Hike America: Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • 75 Hikes in Oregon’s Coast Range and Siskiyous by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Oregon Campgrounds Hiking Guide by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Hiking Oregon by Donna Lynn Ikenberry
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • A Walking Guide to Oregon’s Ancient Forests by Wendell Wood
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan
  • The Dog Lover’s Companion to Oregon by Val Mallinson
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dunegan

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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