HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. — At Redwood National and State Park, you will feel like you are in a movie.
Maybe that's because Steven Spielberg filmed parts of his popular blockbuster, "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" at Fern Canyon years ago.
One reason Spielberg was probably inspired to shoot at the Redwood National and State park was because it is one of California's only rainforests, thanks to the North Coast's moist and mild climate.
But before there was Jurassic Park, Humboldt County was also known for it's reputation as the "Avenue of the Giants." That's in large part because the tallest living organism in the world grows here. The 300 foot tall trees dominate the sky at Redwood National and State Park.
"It's a very special thing to look up at an ancient sequoia, interpreting it and pondering it," Justin Legge, an educational tour guide with Redwood Adventures, said.
But on the forest floor, the fern is king.
"Protected from the sun, tones of moisture, tones of nutrients, people can't walk on them. I could think of no better place," Legge said.
Fern Canyon is a natural wonder found nowhere else in the world.
"Biologically speaking these ferns go back hundreds of thousands of years," Legge said.
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At least a dozen different fern species cling to the wall of the canyon, feeding off the decaying matter from the forest to create a one-of-a-kind vertical wetland.
With its breathtaking scenery, you can't help but wonder how it was made.
"Geology! The coastal plate of California jutted under and shoved up the ocean plate," Legge explained.
The unique geology not only attracted ferns, but also people. First came gold miners in the 1800's, then in late 1990's, it attracted Steven Spielberg.
Thankfully you won't find dinosaurs in Fern Canyon, but it is not uncommon to come across Roosevelt elk or the lonely banana slug enjoying the waters of Home Creek.
"Redwood National and State park and places like Fern Canyon force us to remember that us humans are just a part of the universe," Legge said.
Fern Canyon is a picturesque place, it’s also a protected place worth visiting and sharing with others. But as Legge notes, the Instagram pictures just don't do it justice.