Hell's Half Acre | South Fork Trinity River
The trail, known locally as Hell's Half Acre, is one of the preeminent early spring wildflower destination in Northwest California. The main reason is its low elevation—generally below 1500 feet—but it also offers distinct alternations in slope and aspect. The trail moves from north-facing mixed evergreen forests with lush understory of shade-tolerant lilies to oak woodland-grasslands with proliferations of wildflower meadows on the south-facing hillsides. With this in mind, Allison and I paid a visit here on the spring equinox and what we found was beyond our expectations—spring is here and Hell's Half Acre is showing in all its glory. All photos by Allison Poklemba (she would not let me have the camera on this day!).
Indian warrior (Pedicularis densiflora) in the family can be easily confused with...
cream cup (Platystemon californicus)
Oregon fawn-lily (Erythronium oregonum)
The trail winds the ridgeline high above the river for the first 3 miles, eventually dropping to an old crossing that can be made in the summer once the flow has slowed.