Carruthers Cove

Length 2.2 mi · Climbing 580 ft
California > Redwood National and State Parks > Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Carruthers Cove


Carruthers Cove is a really quiet, secluded beach, even by Prairie Creek standards. It can be reached by a short descent on a section of the Coastal Trail. The scenic beach, which is mostly visited by locals, is strewn with big boulders.

The area appears to naturally lack redwoods and is mostly covered with coastal spruce forest.

Click map to show all trails and roads
Part of the Trail Map of Redwood National and State Parks (Redwood Hikes Press, 2016)

Hike description

Here’s the trailhead location in Google Maps and Google Street View.

Start on Coastal Drive. It’s easy to miss the trailhead; there’s just a small pullout and a tiny sign that says "Coastal Trail".

The short trail descends through lush, shady spruce woods. Near the bottom, the woods give way to dense brush, including some stinging nettles, overgrowing the trail.

The Carruthers Cove Trail

The trail ends at a scenic driftwood-strewn beach. Among the driftwood is at least one huge bleached redwood stump. To your left is a collection of large boulders that you can walk among if the tide isn’t too high. If the tide isn’t too high and you can get past the boulders, it’s usually possible to continue down the beach, past some larger boulders, all the way to the Ossagon Trail.

It’s tempting to make a loop by returning on the Ossagon Trail and Drury Parkway, but the combination of high-speed traffic and no shoulder on the twisty section of Drury Parkway makes it too hazardous for walking.

Instead, return the way you came. After walking around on the beach, it’s striking how cool and quiet the woods are. The climb is a little steep but it’s short.

Carruthers Cove


© 2014 David Baselt