See "The Avenue of the Giants" with our scenic drive of the
Redwood Highway. The Avenue of the Giants is a 32-mile stretch of
road surrounded by old growth redwood forests. Trees here are so
famous, they are individually named. Follow the highway inland to
savor The Avenue of the Giants; stop for trails to special groves and
learn about these ancient wonders. You will soon see how hard it
is to ever capture their true size in a single photograph.
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.