California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 75

36

Wild North Coast
CRESCENT CITY

THOMAS H. KUCHEL
VISITOR CENTER
TRINIDAD

Take the roads less traveled on this stunning
coastal road trip. Escape to remote, driftwoodstrewn beaches, feel small beneath a canopy
of regal redwood giants, watch the horizon for
spouting whales, and scale a lighthouse for
unforgettable 360-degree views.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

HUMBOLDT REDWOODS
STATE PARK

Departing from San Francisco, you'll start your trip on Highway
101, crossing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge before zig-zagging along
Highway 1 northwest through Marin County. Continue through the
coastal forest of Mount Tamalpais State Park, past Stinson Beach to
Point Reyes National Seashore.

MENDOCINO

Jutting dozens of miles out into the sea, this extraordinary
peninsula is loaded with amazing discoveries, including remarkable
wildlife-it's a winter migration route for gray whales and features
deep forests, dramatic sea cliffs, and remote beaches. To get yourself
oriented, stop by the Bear Valley Visitors Center, where you'll find
kid-friendly displays, maps, and helpful rangers. The fairly flat, strollerfriendly Bear Valley Trail makes it a popular spot for a leg stretch.
Continue north along Highway 1's wild coast, where you'll discover

POINT REYES
NATIONAL SEASHORE

plenty of turnouts for photos. In about three hours, you'll reach
the charming hamlet of Mendocino, sandwiched between thick

SAN FRANCISCO

forests and a restless sea. Mendocino's dramatic location is a natural
magnet for artists, and you can often see them, easels propped and
paint palettes out, capturing the scene on their canvases. Stroll

coast, and it's worth checking out the reconstructed Yurok Village at

walk along the bluffs.

Patrick's Point State Park, which is also a fantastic hiking and camping

From Mendocino, head north on a coast-hugging stretch of
Highway 1, which will begin to point east before merging with

PHOTOGRAPH: DAVID FORMAN/GETTY IMAGES

Trinidad is the site of the first human settlement on California's north

the little streets with shops selling local artwork, then take a sunset

spot, with spectacular views of the craggy, forested shoreline.
From Patrick's Point, take Highway 101 north, and in 20 minutes

Highway 101 about 50 miles into your drive. Two hours later, you'll

you'll reach a true place of wonder: Redwood National & State Parks.

reach the impressive Humboldt Redwoods State Park near the town

A World Heritage Site protecting nearly half of the world's tallest

of Weott, where the land gets even wilder, the redwoods even taller

trees, this spectacular network of parks has dozens of soft paths

and thicker. If you're feeling adventurous, follow Mattole Road (just

letting you walk among soaring coastal redwoods. Start your visit

north of Weott), a squiggle of pavement winding west then north

at the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center, and ask about ranger-led

along the coast, for some of the wildest and most remote vistas

walks through emerald-green Fern Canyon, or where to spot resident

anywhere in California.

Roosevelt elk.

Continue north on Highway 101 (Mattole rejoins the 101 after

This spectacular road trip ends in charming Crescent City. Only

Ferndale), which leads back to the coast and through the Victorian

20 miles south of Oregon, this seafaring town is home to the 1856

seaport of Eureka, and stop in the historic coastal hamlet of Trinidad.

Battery Point Lighthouse, which sits on a tiny island that can only be

It's all about the sea here: Hike to the top of Trinidad Head to watch

reached on foot at low tide (the spectacular 360-degree view is worth

for whales, go tide-pooling at Indian Beach, or touch the starfish at

the effort!). End your trip at the waterfront to explore and greet the

Humboldt State University's Marine Lab.

locals: At Ocean World aquarium, the sea lions play catch with visitors.

75



California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
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