© Ron Niebrugge
Travelers on Highway 1 can't miss Battery Point Lighthouse near Crescent City
Mix rocky beaches, ocean fog, ferny undergrowth and California coast
redwoods and you have the Redwood Highway. Follow Highway 101
(the Redwood Highway) all the way to the Oregon border to discover this
portion California coast. Visitors may explore numerous state
parks, national forests and Redwoods National Park without the usual
There are many more redwoods than people here but those who call this
coast home work in lumber mills, on fishing boats, small crafts
businesses. In the deep forests and backwoods areas, some tend
Some of the highlights of this destination incude:
Avenue of the Giants (roadway lined with
California redwoods), Battery Point Lighthouse, Punta Gorda Lighthouse,
Cape Mendocino Lighthouse
Luffenholts Beach, Agate Beach, Mad River beach...and many more
California State Parks:
Richardson Grove State Park, Smithe
Redwoods State Reserve, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Azalea State
Reserve, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods
State Park. Patrick’s Point State Park
Redwoods National Park
Ferndale, Eureka, Arcata, Crescent City, Garberville, Shelter Cove, Trinidad
SCENIC DRIVES: If you want to escape crowds, wander through
redwood forests, explore empty beaches, eat fresh seafood and
photograph lighthouse, take this scenic trip to the most northwestern
coast of California. This trip weaves from forest to coast all
along the 101 route, passing through or near many state parks and
beaches. Campers have endless choices for overnight stays; those
looking for lodgings will find a wide array of small hotels, motels,
cabins and bed and breakfast inns along the way.
Prepare to be humbled by coast redwood trees – the tallest of the
tall reach over 300’. Ancient and silent, these forests are like
none other. With ferns and flowering trees for undergrowth,
ever-present fog and streams of filtered light, the coast redwood
stands provide a serene and calming landscape to refresh the
soul. The oldest trees are more than 2000 years old.
As you travel north along the coast, chances of rain and fog
increase. In the winter months, you can count on some rain and
fog, all part of the experience on this drive.
The trip starts with a drive-through redwood tree near Leggett,
followed by a string of state parks with lovely redwood stands and
trails for hikers. Six miles north of Garberville, The Avenue of
the Giants runs parallel to 101, offering a stunning view of these
The next stretch of 101 offers access to miles of trails in
Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Continue to northward to Eureka
where the road returns to the coast.
SIDETRIP: Ferndale is a short drive from 101 and well
worth the trip as a primary destination. The restored Victorians
and quaint, unhurried atmosphere draw visitors from all over and many
of the most attractive mansions are now B&Bs.
Eureka is the largest city on this coast, having grown as a center
for the mining and lumber industries, a source of great wealth to the
city at one time. Many historic buildings remain.
SIDETRIP: Highway 299 follows the Trinity River eastward – a lovely drive all the way to I-5.
Continue to follow the coast, stopping to enjoy the crowd-free
beaches, Redwood National Park, and the gorgeous stretch of road at
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
Stay on 101 and have your camera ready as you approach Crescent
City and its famous lighthouse. Imagine a tidal wave big enough
to destroy a good part of this fishing town – it happened in
1964. Explore the rest of the coast to the state border or head
inland to one of the state parks for a final farewell to the stalwart
SIDETRIP: Take Highway 199 past Crescent City to follow a scenic drive along the Smith River all the way to the Oregon border.