Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at California Adventure isn't a ride as such. Instead, it's a wilderness-themed play area. But there's never been a real place quite like this, and it's the perfect place to let the kids work off some of their excess energy.

In it, you can do more things than you could imagine being packed into the small space. You can climb the fire lookout towers, slide down cable runs, slip through hollow redwoods, scale a rugged sideways course along a rock wall, and navigate suspension bridges. There's even a mini-zipline and a "Spirit Cave" where visitors can find out what spirit animal represents them (bear, wolf, eagle, moose, salmon, and skunk).

Redwood Creek is currently themed after the fictional Wilderness Explorers scouting organization in the Disney-Pixar film "Up."

You can find something to do for all but the smallest children, but some of the activities have height restrictions. It's also a good place for part of your group to go while the others ride Grizzly River Run next door. And it's a place to get a little peace and quiet when the park is full of people.

Characters like Chip and Dale sometimes appear at Redwood Creek for character greetings. At Christmas, this may be the place where you find Santa Claus hanging out.

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What You Need to Know About Redwood Creek

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Carlos/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0
  • Location: Grizzly Peak
  • Rating: ★★
  • Restrictions: None to go on the trails. Sequoia Smokejumpers Training Tower (zip line) has a height requirement of 42 inches (106 cm) minimum and 63 inches (160 cm) maximum. Guests must be under 13 years old to ride. Cliff Hanger Traverse Rock Climb has a height requirement of 42 inches (106 cm).
  • Ride Time: It's up to you, but the average stay is 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Recommended for: Kids up to pre-teen age.
  • Fun Factor: This isn't a ride, but some people really like playing around for a while.
  • Other Factors: Wait times are seldom long, and there's nothing to jerk you around or make you nauseous. If anyone is afraid of heights, this is a safe place to try to conquer that.
  • Accessibility: Wheelchairs enter through the usual entrance. Get a copy of the Challenge Trail map from a Cast Member to locate the accessible routes. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV
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How to Have More Fun

Rope Bridge at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
©Betsy Malloy Photography

Pick up a map on your way in. It lists six tasks that explorers need to do to get their badges. When they're completed, find the ranger to get a Senior Wilderness Explorer sticker.

Climb the Ranger Station to get a good view of Grizzly Peak.

Some parents suggest that kids should wear enclosed shoes (running shoes or sneakers).

The Boulder Bears look like a family of sleeping bears turned to stone. They make for a great photo opportunity.

Next at California Adventure: Guardians of the Galaxy is the first part of an Avengers-themed area that will open in 2020. It replaces the old A Bug's Land.

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Fun Facts

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Loren Javier/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is a California Adventure original, there since opening day in 2011. It was originally themed after the classic Disney film "Brother Bear." The theme changed to the Disney/Pixar film "Up" in 2011. "The wilderness must be explored! An explorer is a friend to all, be it plants or fish or tiny mole," says Russell in "Up."

The Millennium tree is real, a cross-section of a tree that fell in a storm in 1937.

Look for cave paintings of the characters Rutt & Tuke, the moose brothers from the "Brother Bear" film.

Comedian Patton Oswalt did a standup routine about the Spirit Cave, poking fun at the skunk as a choice for a spirit animal.

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