Virtual Guidebook to the Redwood National and State Parks
Elk Prairie
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park California


Early in the 20th century Elk Prairie held the last small herd of the magnificent Roosevelt elk in California. Protected since creation of the park in 1923 the species has recovered and is slowly reclaiming its former range. The prairie itself is a large natural meadow ringed with tall redwoods, home to one of the elk herds and location of the park headquarters and main campground.

Early and late in the day elk can usually be seen grazing right next to the main road. The best time to view the elk herd is late summer through early winter, when the bulls sport enormous antlers and the dominant herd bull faces off against young challengers. It seldom comes to outright conflict, usually just posturing, and the bachelor bulls spend much of their time watching the herd from the old apple orchard across the highway.



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If the tallest redwood in the adjacent forest were to fall into the meadow its top would be right here

(June 25, 2010)


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Elk Prairie in lush summer green, no elk in sight

(June 25, 2010)


Next Locality: Irvine Trail at Prairie Creek