February 2001 – present
Grizzly Peak – The easiest way to find the trail is by cutting through the Grizzly Peak Air Field. You’ll see the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail on your right, just after the guest access entrance to the Grand Californian Hotel. If you approach from Paradise Pier, you’ll find the trail on your left, after you pass the mill and lift for the Grizzly River Run.
Redwood Creek opened as part of “Golden State” in 2001. As one of the original attractions in California Adventure, the trail is an expansive campsite and forest walkthrough that blends in seamlessly with the Grand Californian beside it. Like Pirate’s Lair in Disneyland, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is a quiet and scenic escape from the central park, and guests are free to roam at their own pace.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – 42″ (106 cm) for zip line and rock wall
- Duration – N/A
The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is a walkthrough adventure park inspired by the redwood forests of Northern California. Challenge Trail visitors can climb across net bridges, attend camp shows, do some rock climbing, or take a ride on a zip line. The youngest of explorers also have a chance to earn Wilderness Explorer badges (from Up) by identifying different plants, animals, and other hidden objects on a special map. The trail has tons of caves and sites to explore, including the Spirit Cave, which enables guests to discover which forest animal is their “spirit animal”. Whether you’re interested in exploring forest wildlife and plant life or looking to climb through the treetops, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has something for everyone.
MY RATING: ★★★★☆
I had always skipped over the Challenge Trail on my visits to California Adventure, in favor of roller coasters and dark rides. But once I finally decided to explore, I was thoroughly impressed. The Challenge Trail is amazingly quiet, and genuinely looks like a redwood forest campsite. There is plenty to see and do, and there are some really cool caves that are a great spot to get some shade on hot days! Next time you’re in California Adventure, stop by the trail if you can, even for just a few minutes. You’ll be amazed at this forest oasis hidden in the heart of the park.
Since the trail is a self-guided walkthrough, there is no good or bad time to visit. When you want a break from coasters, or are near Grizzly Peak, swing by the trail and take a walk beneath the redwoods.
In 2003, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail featured characters from Brother Bear to promote the film’s release. Since 2011, you can occasionally meet characters from Up (Russell and/or Dug).
There is a real redwood tree from Big Sur, CA on the trail that guests can walk right through.
Comedian Patton Oswalt did a funny bit during one of his standup routines about the Spirit Cave, poking fun at the skunk as a choice for a spirit animal.