GO RVING TO THE REDWOODS
I want to start by letting you know that nothing I say can accurately describe how incredible the Redwoods are with the tallest trees in the world, but they’re so much more than that. To survive they need to be near the coast which puts them near countless rugged beaches. They also come in groves, which means you can walk through beautiful fern filled forests marveling at these giants. Mix in the fact that they’re in low population areas and you have a secluded adventurer’s paradise!
We lived for just under a month at the Klamath Camper Corral in Northern California. It’s hard to believe, but that wasn’t enough time to explore the area. It was enough time, however, to have adventures that we’ll look back on for the rest of our lives. It also was the perfect location to explore this incredible area.
The Tour Through Tree
One of the neat things about where we stayed is that we were located across the road from the Tour Through Tree. We could actually see the tree from our toy hauler deck so rather than drive over, we decided to take a walk from the RV park to walk through the Tree. This has been on my bucket list for years and it was really cool to be able to walk on over to check it off the list.
In the spring, and again in the fall, the gray whales come through here in vast numbers. I always make a point when I come to a new area to speak with the locals for some tips on where to go and everyone kept talking about the whales. I was so confused because when I looked online I couldn’t find a single company that did whale watching tours…
It turns out the reason there aren’t any whale tours is because the gray whales come so close to the shore (to avoid the killer whales deeper out in the ocean), that you can sit back and watch them from shore!
Every single day we went to the beach we saw whales. It was incredible. We found a spot that offers unrivaled views, it’s the Requa Road Overlook.
The next place to explore is Klamath Beach. The Klamath River is the second largest in the state and this is where it dumps into the ocean. This picture was taken of the beach from the Requa Road Overlook. You can see the couple enjoying the beach all to themselves.
One of the things you’ll notice is the rich amount of marine life. All types of marine life are popping out of the water.
To Surf or Not to Surf
Due to the fact that the Klamath River runs into the ocean it provides a very good environment for sharks, which is a major bummer because the waves here are incredible. In fact, many people use to surf Klamath Beach but after numerous great white attacks people finally got smart.
If you’re looking for a FANTASTIC place to catch some waves, head up the road about 20 miles and you’ll run into Crescent City. This is a great city to explore and the surfing is excellent. It’s a beautiful cove protected from much of the wind and rough waves, providing long and consistent waves. It’s a great spot for a longboard and an easy spot for beginners. We actually did see some RVs pull up with families, rent wetsuits, boards and lessons to catch their first wave.
Keep your eye out for massive elk coming onto the beach while you’re paddling out. They frequently take a stroll in the sand here. Don’t be confused if you see another large animal cruising the beach. People ride horses into the ocean here for a bucket list adventure!
I enjoyed this beach so much that when we were leaving the area, I pulled the 5th wheel off to the side of the road and caught a wave. It’s easy when you have all of your gear with you in your home on wheels!
One of the Best Bike Rides in the World
Had enough adventure yet? It doesn’t matter because if you visit this area you MUST take a mountain bike on the Last Chance section of the Coastal Trail. It’s the only place that allows bikers to zip through these monsters on a trail that offers a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Thanks goodness for toy haulers. It makes it so easy for us to bring our bikes along. The trail starts out as a paved trail on the old 101, before a mudslide took a chunk of the road out and they moved it inland a little bit. Over the past 80 years or so it’s been covered by moss, ferns and forest. As you pedal through this secluded forest you can still see road signs and lines in the road.
I don’t want to paint a full picture of rainbows and unicorns, because once you’ve gone through multiple Redwood groves the trail turns into an aggressive single track and then shoots 1000 ft down a mountain overlooking the rugged coast below. Be prepared for an exhilarating ride!
Follow the Tide
Tide pooling is always fun. Being able to walk around on the rocks or in the shallows to get a first-hand experience with the marine life is especially exciting for kids. Two places in the area that are top notch for this are Trinidad State Park and Patrick Point State Park.
Trinidad is not only great for tide pooling, but it’s the perfect spot to spend the day relaxing in a picturesque setting. We had the entire beach all to ourselves.
Patrick Point has world class tide pooling. It was popular the day I went. In fact, it felt like there were more people tide pooling than there were in the nearby town! We were not expecting such a packed parking lot in a state park just after sunrise. A lot of the people who were there knew a lot about what we were looking at and were happy to share their knowledge.
I couldn’t believe the amount of starfish and little animals that were here. It was so interesting that we stayed until the tide was rushing back in.
Looking for Something Scenic?
The Newton B Drury Scenic Parkway is the perfect spot to slowly cruise through these towers called trees. Wide shoulders and countless places to turn off allow you and your family to head out hiking in ancient Redwood groves. If you arrange transportation, you can even get dropped off at one spot and hike the extensive trail system to another area of the park.
Klamath Coastal Drive
When you’re finished exploring the thick forests, it’s time to head on over to the Rugged Coast for one of the best scenic drives you could ask for. The road starts on the other side of the river from the campground and immediately makes you feel like you’re in another world.
The first stop is the high bluff overlook which has a nice picnic area and some neat, short hikes. I spent a day working on my laptop up here and had the view all to myself.
The next stop is a piece of history. Back in WW2 our government built realistic-looking farm houses along the coast, but the farms were secretly designed to monitor the coast for invasion.
From there you’ll find some other beaches to explore. They’re extremely secluded and I was really surprised to see these rock climbers picking large boulders to scale.
The road ends up at Klamath Beach where the river runs into the ocean. It’s the best spot I’ve ever seen for driftwood and was fun to comb through and look for unique pieces of wood. Keep your eye out for gray whales, they come right up near the beach!
An Other World Experience
Fern Canyon is one of those rare places that makes you feel like you’re on another planet. It’s so surreal that they filmed The Lost World: Jurassic Park here. Make sure you wear your hiking boots. You will get wet heading on into the canyon and it’s totally worth it. You’ll hear nothing but the sound of your thoughts and rushing water.
Howland Hill Road
Just when you thought you’d be done doing all these scenic drives, comes the best one. This road is a tiny little road in Jed Smith State Park that takes you on an up close and personal look at the Redwoods like no other. Be prepared to move slowly, pull over for other vehicles coming towards you and of course to explore. The stout grove is a short, paved hike that takes you through a beautiful forest.
Have you been to the Redwoods? Where else should we explore next time? Leave your comments below.