According to the official map there are not many places where you can get to the trails from Hwy 101. One good access point is at Dyerville where you can take the Mattole Road to gain access to a number of trails and parking places.
For this hike we parked at the Rockefeller Loop Trail to get access to Bull Creek Trails. From the trailhead, get to Bull Creek Trails by following the Rockefeller Loop Trail.
To access the parking area you have to find the short spur road that bears off to the left and makes a short but steep descent to the parking loop. You have to watch carefully to see the road. There is limited parking space. We visited on a Sunday in July and it was hard to find a spot.
Hiking – Outbound
Follow the Rockefeller Loop Trail to the bridge. To take the Bull Creek Trail South, cross the bridge and follow the trail up the hill to the junction. Turn right at the junction and then follow the trail to Big Trees Day Use Area. The official map gives the distance as 3.8 miles but our Garmin 62s logged it as 5.4 miles.
The trail is moderate, good for walkers who don’t mind distance but have difficulty with going up or down hill. For almost the entire trail you’ll be under the redwoods. There are occasional patches of open country and once or twice you see the creek but for the most part you are in the woods under the shelter of the giant redwood trees. There is a dearth of signs so you need to pay attention to the route although we didn’t find any perplexing situations.
Hiking – Return Leg
The day use area at the end of the trail provides a useful resting place before starting the return leg of the hike. There are sheltered picnic tables and toilets.
We took the Bull Creek Trail North for the return leg of the journey. The trail starts at the edge of the car park. For the most part the trail is self evident. At one point the official map showed the trail tracking the river through a bend in the creek but we found the trail petered out and it was easier to walk on the road. A few hundred yards further a sign directs you back onto the trail.
Although you are close to the road on this trail there are periods where you are walking in the forest with no sign of the road or the creek, and here again, there are no signs so you need to pay attention to the route.
You emerge at the end of the trail near the bridge where you started. To finish the hike simply follow the Loop Trail back to the parking area.