Lady Bird Johnson Nature Loop, Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trailhead, Redwood National and State Parks, California
Lady Bird Johnson Nature Loop - 1.4 miles
Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||1.4 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||1,345' - 1,425' (max elevation on loop)|
|Elevation Change:||+80' net elevation gain (+121' total elevation gain)|
Lady Bird Johnson Nature Loop - 1.4 Miles Round-Trip
The Lady Bird Johnson Nature Loop tours an upland forest where old growth redwoods mix with large fir and hemlock. Lady Bird Johnson dedicated Redwood National Park at this site in November 1968, and the grove was dedicated in August 1969 in recognition of her devotion to environmental causes.
Commericial logging quickly followed the rush to support new communities and infrastructure, and redwood was highly sought for its quality and workability.
By the early 1900s old growth redwood forests had been significantly reduced and many remaining tracts were held by private interests.
In 1917 conservationists Madison Grant, Henry Osborn and John Merrian were inspired by National Park Service head Stephen Mather to evaluate the state of redwood forests.
Enthralled by the grandeur but deeply concerned by the extent and pace of logging, they founded the Save the Redwoods League in 1918 to preserve these rapidly vanishing forests. This progressive organization aimed to acquire private tracts and reassign them under state protection.
The League and state of California collaborated on fundraising and acquired thousands of acres along Prairie Creek in 1923. Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park was established in 1925 with a donation of 125 acres, and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park was created in 1929.
Redwood National Park was established in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to protect 58,000 acres of jointly managed state and federal property. RNSP was expanded by 48,000 acres in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter to include significant portions of the Redwood Creek watershed.
Today Redwood National and State Parks covers 131,000 acres, 39,000 of which are considered true old-growth forest. This figure represents 45% of all protected old growth redwood forests remaining in California.
The Lady Bird Johnson Nature Loop leads through an upland forest where growing conditions are less favorable for redwoods. These higher, drier slopes and ridges are more exposed to harsh winds and have poorer soil than sheltered valleys, riparian corridors and alluvial flats at lower elevations.
Redwoods at this elevation may only reach 200' compared to 300'+ in their preferred habitat. Here redwoods share space with equally tall fir and hemlock, and a thinner understory dominated by rhododendron, azalea and salal.
The Berry Glen Trail splits off the loop and runs 3 miles and 1200' down to the Elk Meadow Day Use Area. Consider this extension for a long day hike or one-way shuttle.
- N41 18.207 W124 01.101 — 0.0 miles : Lady Bird Johnson Trailhead
- N41 18.369 W124 01.251 — .25 miles : Begin loop travel
- N41 18.550 W124 01.501 — .75 miles : Easy travel is upland forest
- N41 18.536 W124 01.539 — .82 miles : Berry Glenn Trail split
Camping and Backpacking Information
Backcountry camping is not permitted on this trail.
There's a $35 per-night fee to camp in developed campgrounds. Cabins at Elk Prairie and Jedediah Smith are $80 (winter) and $100 (summer) per night.
Reservations are strongly recommended from May - September in all campgrounds. Click links above to learn more about each campground and check availability through ReserveAmerica.com (1.800.444.7275).
- Permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Permits are free and issued in-person up to 24 hours in advance at the Hiouchi and Kuchel Visitor Centers.
- There are 8 designated backcountry sites. Gravel bar camping is permitted along Redwood Creek. Click here for specific site details and maps.
- Fires are permitted in the backcountry with potential seasonal and location-specific restrictions.
- Proper food storage is required (in provided lockers, bear canisters or by hanging).
- Overnight stays are limited to 5 consecutive days.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs are not permitted on hiking and riding trails in Redwood National Park, including trails within Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
- There is no fee to enter Redwood National Park or access the Lady Bird Johnson Nature Trail.
- A Day-Use Fee is required to access Gold Bluffs Beach and the Fern Canyon Trailhead ($8).
Directions to Trailhead
The Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trailhead is located 2.6 miles off Highway 101 on Bald Hills Road. Bald Hills Road is located just north of Orick, and .5 miles south of the Elk Prairie Day Use Area. Drive cautiously and watch for wildlife on this steep, winding road.
Redwood National and State Parks
1111 Second Steet
Crescent City, CA 95531
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
127011 Newton B Drury Parkway
Orick, CA 95555
Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center (Orick, CA)
Jedediah Smith Visitor Center (Hiouchi, CA)
Hiouchi Visitor Center (Hiouchi, CA)
Crescent City Information Center