Skunk Cabbage Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
11.7 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
395 m
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Directions to Trailhead

With a name like that, this hike does not sound very inviting, but the Skunk Cabbage Trail is actually quite beautiful—if you aren’t bothered by the smell. Getting its name from the abundance of skunk cabbage plants that smell when crushed or damaged, these plants are surprisingly pretty—blossoming yellow flower! If you mind your footing and don’t mind the off whiff of the skunk smell, then you will enjoy this secluded trail.

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Route Description for Skunk Cabbage Trail

Stretch your legs, get your steps in, and let the fresh coastal air fill your lungs along the Skunk Cabbage Hike. This scenic adventure offers wonderful scenes of the lush vegetation that adorns the terrain and coastal views from the trail’s end. Get a taste of what the California Coastal Trail entails as you wander this shared route through Northern California. Note this trail lacks the quintessential redwood stands but makes up for it in skunk cabbage and Douglas firs. As this path travels through the woodlands before opening to the coast, we suggest dressing in layers as insurance against the changing conditions.

Setting out from the trailhead, this hike follows the Coastal Trail- Skunk Cabbage Section. This path will guide you into the woodlands abundant with lush vegetation—bear in mind if you step on a Skunk Cabbage, the smell will linger! Though there are not many redwoods along this route, countless stumps remain from the logging operations that took place before the area was an established National Park. Wander through the canyon parallel to Skunk Cabbage Creek, and you will eventually be diverted away from the creek and up a ridge before dramatically dropping back down to sea level.

Explore the coast and enjoy the sounds of the crashing waves. After snapping a few Instagram photos, retrace your footing along the route all the way back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Skunk Cabbage Trail Trailhead

Find the trailhead off Robinson Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Skunk Cabbage Trail Elevation Graph

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Skunk Cabbage Trail Reviews

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