Monday, May 17, 2021

Two night getaway to the North Coast.

We wanted to get out of town for a couple of nights and the weather was looking good on the north coast. We left on Monday, May 27, 2021. We only make short trips on weekdays and stay home on the weekends to avoid the crowds. Our plan was a quick trip up Hwy 101 to Humbolt Redwoods State Park. We had a reservation and had stayed here before. On our second day, we were going to explore an area we had not been to, The Lost Coast of California. This will be a picture-heavy trip report, remember you can click on any picture to see a full-size view. 

Our home for the first night. Burlington Campground is located on the Avenue of the Giants. We will be driving it to the northern end tomorrow.

Our campsite for the night. The spot was level so an easy setup for the night. We arrived late in the afternoon so we walked to the visitors center to see what was there. They were almost ready to close so we did a walk around the campground. So many people still tent camping. Guess that was us many years ago. We have moved from tent camping to a small camp trailer then to Four Wheel pop-up truck campers. Now we are enjoying the comforts of our Class B van. 

When we got back to our campsite it was time for wine, cheese, and fruit.  Veronica made a great spread and I enjoyed a California red. 

Only takes about 5 minutes to change our coach into a queen-size bed for the night. The bed is so much larger and comfy than the cabover bed in the Four Wheel Camper.

The next morning we were up early and took a walk to the Eel River through the redwood grove across from our campground. 

You really need to walk through the Redwoods to appreciate their size.

We did this hike many years ago when we were young. We have a picture of us on a seasonal footbridge over the river. We walked up and down the river but could not find the bridge. 

The new normal for me, hiking poles. 

We packed up and headed up the Avenue of the Giants. Years ago this road was the main road before Hwy 101 was improved to the 4 lane freeway it is now. If you are in the area take the time to get off the freeway and drive this great road.

The trees make the road and everything look small. 

There are many places to stop and walk through the Redwood Groves along the Avenue of the Giants. 

When we reach the end of the Avenue of the Giants we head up Hwy 101 until we exit to Ferndale CA. Another town we have not visited. Flowers and restored victorian houses make this a must-stop and visit the town. The rhododendrons are the largest I have seen. Here we started our drive on Mattole Road. 80 miles but almost 3 hours to drive. 

After leaving Ferndale and driving a few miles we hit a construction site. We waited 20 minutes and enjoyed the moss-covered forest. We did have to follow the logging truck for several miles until he turned off. 

We continued to climb up to the top of the coastal mountains before descending to the King Range on the Lost Coast. 

We leave the forest and emerge into open-range land high above the Pacific Ocean. The road in this area reminded me of the Fruka Pass in Switzerland. Tight steep turns and great views with cattle on the side of the road. Here the views are of the Pacific Ocean and not the Swiss Alps. The cattle in Switzerland are behind an electric fence, here they are free-roaming. The road is not as smooth as in Switzerland but the views are as good.

At the bottom of the descent, we find a dairy farm for all the cows on the hills. 
We continue south on the coast until we get to Black Sand Beach on the Lost Coast. This was a good spot to stop for lunch. So little traffic here we only heard the wind and the surf. 

A small stream flowed off the coast range and into the Pacific where we stopped for lunch. The wildflowers were in full bloom.

Several more miles south on the coast and we turned inland and began the climb up the coast range. This would take us through the towns of Petrolia and Honeydew. You need to want isolation to live here. 

Here are some isolated and well-guarded greenhouses. The greenhouses are located in the town of Honey Dew. Honeydew Farms is Humboldt County’s first permitted Cannabis Farm. 

From Honeydew Farms' website:
"Located in the highly coveted Mattole Valley, the 600 acre, California licensed, Agricultural preserve lies in the foothills of the Lost Coast’s Kings Range. The Mattole’s unique microclimate, with its hot days and cool nights, creates the perfect environment, and combined with over 25 years of cultivation experience, we produce some of the world’s finest medical Cannabis."

Leaving behind the pungent smell of Honeydew's agriculture we continue on Mattole Road to the backside of Humbolt Redwoods State Park. Moving from the lower dry coastal area to pine forest and then to the cool and dark redwood forest.  The dark windows of our van act as a mirror for the tall trees. 

After leaving Humbolt Redwoods State Park we go south on Hwy 101 to Hwy 1 and the coast. Our destination is Westport/Union campground. A new campground for us but highly recommend. Located at the top of a bluff right on the beach, we had a great view of the sunset. 

The view from our campsite.

What you see is what you get. A place to park, a picnic table, and a fire ring. $35 to the State of California. This is why boondocking has become so popular. 

But what was to come makes up for the lack of facilities.  One of the top 5 sunsets I have seen on the coast. 

We had a great night's sleep listing to the waves crash onto the shore. Today we head for home, but first a stop at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg CA. One of the best days we have had a Glass Beach, glass was everywhere. 

Yes, there was some wind on the beach but we had a great day. Sunny, warm, and lots of glass. This was a perfect end to a two-night get away from the valley. 


  1. What a nice trip! My goodness you two sure made us miss the North coast and the sound of crashing waves. Your new van sure looks comfy.

  2. Thanks for sharing, that van does look cozy compared to a 4WC. Burlington Campground is one of my favorite "paid" campgrounds in that area, I was just there a few months ago. Seeing your pictures makes me want to go back again.