Rellim Ridge

Old logging road trail has its ups and downs

You don’t have to be into the up-and-down rhythm of Rellim Ridge Trail for long before massive redwood stumps bear witness to its logging road past and sprawling branches of Sitka spruces highlight the look of its newer woods.

Still, considering its history, the trail that basically connects Howland Hill Road to Hamilton Road doesn’t give up its secrets easily. Take the “panoramic views of Crescent City” promised in a Redwood National Park Trail Guide. Second-growth redwoods now pretty much block those westward vantage points.

In addition to the old-growth stumps (some of which still bear loggers’ marks) the width of the trail is further evidence of the timber harvesting that began a century and a half ago. Look closely and you’ll occasionally see signs of old fencing from the logging companies’ cattle and sheep-raising ventures.


  • THE HIKE: An 8.2-mile round-trip through mixed woods that still feature vestiges of long-ago logging.
  • HIGHLIGHTS: Massive old-growth stumps dot this wide trail. Still alive are Sitka spruces with incredible networks of branches, including a full-size specimen rising straight out of a redwood stump.
  • SWEAT LEVEL: Level stretches are at a premium along this up-and-down trail, so periodic rest stops may be necessary.
  • GETTING THERE: From the north, start at the pull-out on Howland Hill Road next to a closed gate for a road to the Outdoor School (about a quarter-mile after the road turns to dirt southeast of Crescent City). A sign mentions only the school, but walk the road for a little less than half a mile, pass one unmarked trail to the right, then reach Rellim Ridge Trail, which is marked.

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