From Black Sand Beaches to Redwoods

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The initially I became aware of the LostCoast in Northern California was 2 days prior to we showed up when our good friends informed us how this location was well-known for weed farms.

LostCoast beautiful drive

Apart from that rather vibrant image, I had no clear image of what this area incorporated– an unblemished wilderness so thick and unoccupied just a few attempted to go, stoned or not?

As the federal government chose a long time ago this area was too treacherous to construct any good roadways going through it, I figured there wasn’t much to see and focused rather of what I did understand would be at our next location in California— The giant Redwood trees.

We were basing ourselves in Ferndale in Humboldt County on California’s Pacific Coast for 4 nights.

It wasn’t our objective to check out the Lost Coast Highway, which began simply down the roadway, however to see the number of people it required to hug a redwood tree 30 minutes repel.

Ferndale, California

After showing up in Ferndale, we did a bit more research study and chose this LostCoast beautiful drive might have something worth checking out.

TheLost Coast drive extends south from Ferndale to south of Shelter Cover.

We drew up a strategy that would incorporate a 107 mile loop from Ferndale along the Lost Coast Headlands and after that around to the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwood State Park.

BeingAustralian, I was more thrilled about experiencing the redwoods than the shoreline, however I mored than happy to drive the 20 miles to a minimum of inspect it out.

At initially we chose to miss out on taking a 50- mile detour out to Black Sand Beach at Shelter Cove on the lower end of the LostCoast It would add an additional 2 hours to the currently a minimum of 4 hour long trip.

And we understood the roadway from Honeydew to Black Beach was going to be a little rough and sluggish and we had no concept what we ‘d discover at Shelter Cove.

Would it truly deserve all that additional effort?

Lost Coast California
LostCoast California

As we were taking a trip with kids too, there is just a lot whimpering you can take investing the huge bulk of the day in a confined vehicle with them.

However, as soon as we began on the Lost Coast drive and enjoyed its charm, and made great time, we chose we most likely would not get this opportunity once again and chose to drive the additional miles to Black Sand Beach and Shelter Cove.

Thank goodness we did.

The location around Shelter Cove is spectacular. I was blown away by its charm and felt I had actually been carried to the coasts of Hawaii

Lost coast California

Just when you believe you have actually seen it all, a high, windy roadway (you nearly stopped and switched off) leads you to this tropical cove.

All the true blessings were operating in our favor as it was warm, and warm and the waters extremely calm and still. Three wonderful active ingredients that hardly ever line up in this part of the world.

Unlike the majority of California, in specific from SanFrancisco down to SanDiego, this location was devoid of crowds. We virtually had everything to ourselves and would be the best peaceful brief journey numerous Californians can just dream about.

If you are a hiker and traveler, think about the adventure of the LostCoast Trail, which takes you along the beach front.

Allow us to show you the Lost Coast trip and what to anticipate.


Shop fronts in Ferndale
Shop fronts in Ferndale

Ferndale is the town where time stalled.

Meander down the primary roadway to discover lampost-lined blocks of historical Victorian design architecture that houses numerous craftsmens from artists to blacksmith, this is town Americana.

Its place sandwiched in between the Lost Coast and ancient redwood forests produces a lovely and relaxing base to explore this Humboldt County area.

You can see why this lovely town has actually been the setting for a couple of Hollywood motion pictures.

There’s a diverse mix of independent shops together with little coffee shops and great dining.

A couple of we liked searching: Paintings by Dajota Daetwiler, Ferndale Arts Gallery, Farmer’s child, Sweetness and Light, and the Golden Gait Mercantile.

Five minutes from the town of Ferndale is a long wind-swept beach, which is fantastic for strolling and playing.

Ferndale Beach, California
Beach near Ferndale

I would not suggest swimming in a lot of Northern California beaches, they are rather treacherous and will have numerous indications cautioning you of the extremely genuine threats.

TheLost Coast Headland

Lost Coast Headland
LostCoast Headland

I kept believing I might be in Australia or Ireland for much of this journey. I liked driving through the forested mountains, rolling farmlands with views out to the ocean from afar.

It was so verdant and green with a couple of farm homes occasionally and numerous pleased cows chewing lawn or resting on the side of the roadway silently viewing you drive by.

This location is likewise understood for its abundance of wildlife, consisting of bears and mountain lions.

While we didn’t see the 2 latter monsters, we did see a couple of deer and great deals of birds. My favorite was Santa’s reindeer’s chomping on the lawn along the cliff sides in Shelter Cove.

Deer along the Lost Coast, California

I informed you the Lost Coast was wonderful.

California’s Lost Coast is the most undeveloped and remote location of the CaliforniaCoast For much of the shoreline, there are no roadways at all, therefore treking through thick shrubs and high cliff faces are your only choice for exploring it.

One more enjoyable truth to contribute to the experience of a Lost Coast trip, this location is among the most seismically active in the nation!It rests on the accident of 3 plates.

Well, you understand you remain in California, there is very little you can do about that. Be alert and ready and remember of evacuation paths and tsunami indication.

We were rather rattled the eve when the sirens went off in Ferndale, for longer than we believed was “just a test.” However, nobody appeared to move or stress. I did simply calmly on the within.

The drive begins in Ferndale on the Mattole Road or “The Wildcat” which increases into the seaside hills.

It’s sloping and windy and surrounded by livestock grazing on the side of the roadway, so drive gradually and thoroughly.

The Lost Coast Drive

After a long time you concern the edge of the cliff with incredible views out over the shoreline.

The roadway then decreases to satisfy the coast and for the next 10 miles it follows the coastline. This is the only area of the Lost Coast that goes near to the coast.

Everywhere else the mountains are too expensive and high to make seaside roadways possible.

Off coast are SugarloafIsland and Steamboat Rock and other black rocks sticking out occasionally using the best resting area for seals, none of which we saw.

Lost Coast scenic drive

The light black sand nearly pleased me sufficient to adhere to our choice to not venture down to Black Sand Beach, however then maybe it lured me to keep going. Because it was just about 30 minutes later on that we decided to continue into Lost Coast area.

The path then takes you through the hamlets of Petrolia and Honeydew, where you can get fundamental products.

You can likewise detour to the Punta Gorda Lighthouse by means of a 6 to 8 mile big salami trek along beaches and cliff faces. Check the tides and make sure you have time!

FromHoneydew you can either go inland to the Humboldt Redwood State Park or continue to Black Sand Beach along the Wilder Ridge Road.

The drive from Honeydew to Black Sand Beach is high, rough and windy.

When the very first area began as gravel and a narrow winding course up the mountain I nearly pulled us out.

But there was no cell service so I might not get Google maps to reveal me the next roadway out. We needed to advance.

Pretty quickly the roadway relied on paved roadway and wasn’t as bad.

There were a couple of little gravel and one method areas along the method however few. It was simply extremely winding and took a long period of time.

There is a much shorter roadway cutting through KingRange National Conservation Area however it’s 4WD advised and while much shorter in miles Google maps informed me it was longer in time.

So we took the longer mileage along the borders of King Range National Conservation Area through a couple of little towns to drive down once again on a windy forested roadway to Black Sand Beach.

BlackSand Beach, California

Black Sand Beach, California

BlackSand Beach was the piece de resistance of the Lost Coast for me. It was an overall unforeseen WOW minute.

The large mountains sloped down to end on the black sandy cove supplying enchanting plain contrast in between the black beach, the green mountains, the still calm waters of an ocean that in this part of the world is usually rather rolling and aggressive.

The 3 mile dark pebbly sand is framed by the steepest seaside variety in the country.

The indications from the residents were not shy in letting us understand to stay a minimum of 100 feet from the water as tennis shoe waves are understood to approach and get individuals in surprise taking them out into the deep drop offs and strong currents to never ever be seen once again.

Black Sand Beach, California

As an Australian, I comprehend all too well the threats of oceans that frequently can’t be seen and get numerous travelers into difficulty.

We ensured we honored the residents cautioning and remained extremely clear of the water’s edge, rather picking to use the black, pebbly sand that burned our feet and behinds.

There were rocks the kids might climb and little nooks and crannies to play in.

Black Sand Beach, California

Start with the view from the parking area and take pleasure in the extremely brief path to the beach lined with tropical like flowers for a various point of view.

I was dissatisfied we were brief on time and might not remain longer, consisting of checking out more of Shelter Cove


shelter cove inn

Just a little additional on from Black Sand Beach (like a 2 minute drive on) is the wonderful little fishing town of ShelterCove

This advised me a lot of KangarooIsland in Australia with its wild views you might take pleasure in with a glass of regional chardonnay.

It’s extremely uncommon to discover such a lovely little seaside town like this, particularly in California, that has actually not been found and filled with individuals and advancement.

This time we delighted in the views with a good latte on the deck from the café in the Inn on the Coast.

You ‘d never ever understand it existed unless we spotted the little sighn marketing coffee as we pulled into town. It’s worthwhile of a stop for sure. They likewise offer alcohol if you would desire something more powerful.

TheInn of the Lost Coast looks a great location to remain and all of us considered off the jacuzzi we saw on the deck. I would absolutely remain in this town for a peaceful vacation.

There is a little beach cove and tide swimming pools here that is stated to be safe to put your toes in; the just safe one in the area. Be sure to talk to a regional very first simply to be sure.

At the other end if the cove is a Recreational Vehicle park and General Store that likewise has food.

Video: Lost Coast Road Trip and Humboldt Redwoods State Park

HumboldtRedwoods State Park

Now it’s time to explore what is stated to be the heart of redwood nation including the greatest and finest collection of huge seaside redwoods throughout the world covering more than 53,000 acres of beautiful virgin forest along the Eel River.

The park is globally renown and is categorized as both a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve.

AfterShelter Cove, we weaved back out to start the last part of our Lost Coast trip, the Avenue of the Giants.

Avenue of the Giants

Avenue of the Giants

TheAvenue of the Giants is a 31 mile beautiful roadway that snakes through the HumboldtRedwood State Park in between Phillipsville (south) and Pepperwood (north).

It’s renowned for the skyrocketing redwoods standing guard along the roadway and inviting you. And I indicate it when they are standing together with the roadway.

You might connect your window and touch them and you require to be cautious you do not side swap them with your mirrors.

These are a few of the most stunning and gorgeous trees you’ll ever see I rapidly fell for the enigma of the highest living thing in the world.

Being in a redwood forest is a magical and humbling experience. Their size naturally allows little light so the world you ware strolling in is cool and thick and covered in ferns and rich forests of green.

You simply feel entirely covered in up the existence of the infinite. It’s delightfully great for the soul and spirit.

Humboldt State Park

HumboldtRedwood State Park has the biggest staying old-growth redwood forest worldwide with more than 17,000 acres of ancient coast redwood and Douglas- fir trees.

There are lots of locations to stop along the method and treking routes to experience the redwood groves.


We got off the 101 highway near Phillipsville where the indication stated Avenue of the Giants detour. I do not suggest this stretch in between Phillipsville and Myers Flat as there wasn’t much to see.

It would have been quicker to remain on the highway and leave at MyersFlat and start the Avenue of the Giants at the Shine Drive Thru tree.

Below are the stops we made on the Avenue of the Giants and in Humboldt Redwood State Park and can suggest.

TheShine Drive Thru Tree

TheShine Drive Thru tree is the traveler trap of the Redwoods in NorthernCalifornia It’s a massive opening in a redwood that a little vehicle can drive through, There are likewise stroll through trees for kids.

OurBeast (Ford F250) was too huge to drive through the tree. It’s just 7′ by 7′ opening so we could not do it.

TheDrive Thru Tree is a little expensive at $10 an automobile or $3 to stroll through so you wish to make sure its worth it.

We chose not to stroll through and continued driving.

NatureTrail opposite Visitor Center

The visitor center is on the Avenue of Giants and consists of the gorgeous and peaceful state-run camping site.

There is a lovely Gould Grove Nature Trail opposite and a simple 0.6 miles loop path including 300 ′ high trees, proof of early logging, and simple access to the river by means of a spur path and flat.

FoundersTree and Dyerville

Founders Tree, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California

TheFounders Grove is a collection of trees worth going to in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

A half-mile nature path takes you past the 362 foot high DyervilleGiant It was stated to be among the highest redwood trees (and perhaps 2,000 years of ages) prior to it fell in 1991.

You can now see the enormous fallen trunk laying throughout the forest flooring, which will provide you a little point of view of simply how huge these trees are.

Be sure to take pleasure in the Founders Tree in the middle of the trial. It’s enormous and took 10 people to cover our arms around it!

Humboldt State Park

Giant and Iron Tree

In the Rockefeller Forest, west from Founder’s grove along the Avenue of the Giants is among the biggest old-growth forests worldwide and consist of the 2 world champ trees, Giant and Iron Tree, reaching over 360 feet and 17 feet in size.

This is a quite location and stroll that deserves doing and likewise consists of a creek crossing.

Other loop strolls near here that came extremely advised was Rockefeller Loop simply near the S. Fork EelRiver We lacked time to do this one.

Check out the following post to learn more about more positions to check out in the Avenue of Giants and Humboldt Redwoods State Park.


Cheatham Grove, California

If you desire another beautiful redwood grove to stroll through, make sure to check out CheathamGrove

You will have this location all to yourself. You will not have the ability to see the flooring of the forest so heavily covered in ferns and redwood sorrel. There is a brief mile loop stroll you can do here.

You can get a scavenger hunt sales brochure for the kids, in specific older kids. I felt it was too long-winded for ours to link to it and enjoy it. They simply wished to stroll and have fun with each other there and have pretend Darth Vader stick battles.

WhyDarth Vader?

Because in Cheatham Grove, parts of the Star Wars film Return of the Jedi was shot here.

Swim in the Eel River

If it’s hot, and you have time, I ‘d suggest discovering a swimming area along the EelRiver The South Fork of the Eel River offers exceptional chances for fishing, boating, picnicking, and swimming

We didn’t do this, however we did drop in at the EelRiver Brewing for a bite to consume and some beverages.

Eel River Brewing Co, California

If you do the much shorter Lost Coast drive (which I do not suggest as you’ll miss out on Black Sand Beach) then you’ll have time.

Unless you check out Black Sand Beach and Shelter Cove on a different day, which might be an excellent choice and provide you more time in ShelterCove You might even remain a night or more there.

PantherFlat Campground and Jedediah State Park

Panther Flat Campground, Northern California

After leaving Ferndale, we transferred to Panther Flat Creek Campground even more north, yet still in redwood nation.

We liked this unwinding stay by the spectacular Smith River in the Six Rivers NationalForest The camping area was incredible in the middle of the forest with biggest websites, campfire rings and river gain access to.

This was the Recreational Vehicle outdoor camping experience I had actually been imagining.

We didn’t do much else however unwind and swim in the river. Well type of. It was quite cold and we had rather the amusing obstacle attempting to cross it to get to the rocky beach in the sun.

You will discover a lot of the locations of the RedwoodNational and State Parks here, which is made complex to comprehend.

Basically it’s a big location in northern California of the seaside redwoods that is handled by both the National Park Service and California Park Service so various areas of it will either be nationwide or state park.

So you have actually got secured ancient redwood groves, open meadow lands, 2 significant rivers, and 37 miles (60 km) of beautiful California shoreline to check out.

While there we took a picturesque drive through the JedediahSmith Redwoods State Park which was simply incredible. We had a couple of residents inform us this state park had the very best of the redwood trees and is lower recognized than other parts of the Redwood National and State Parks.

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California

While in this area, do not miss out on the SeaQuake Brewing in Crescent City on the coast. I liked the atmosphere, food, and craft cider from here.

SeaQuake Brewing

TheVeggie Seastack was scrumptious! SeaQuake was among our preferred breweries in California that we checked out.

Video: Panther Flat Campground and Jedediah State Park

Check out how gorgeous the Panther Flat Campground was:

LostCoast and California Redwoods Map:

Find the places discussed in this post in the following map. Click the leading left icon to toggle in between layers!

Planning a Trip to Northern California


Humboldt County Fairgrounds

We camped at the HumboldtCounty Fairgrounds inFerndale It was a simple walk or bike flight into town and just $20 a night.





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Looking for a unique California road trip? The Lost Coast scenic drive in Northern California offers remote black sand beaches, rolling hills, and redwood trees.

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