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Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

pasadena, ca
posts: 4,737
reviews: 22
Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

I'm starting a list of things we'd really like to see or hikes we might want to take. It is possible that we may be taking my husbands low-slung fancy car with perfect paint job on this trip (though I might try to talk him out of it if it eliminates too many great sights). Looking thru old forum posts on the RNP forum this am, I noitced that a fair number of posts mention marginal roads. And I'm getting them mixed up at this point.

Sounds like Howland Hill Road is out.

How about: Fern Canyon, Golds Bluff Beach, Stout Grove, Boy Scout trail?

So Cal
posts: 2,488
reviews: 64
1. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

Fern Canyon is accessed by a steep-ish dirt road over the hill that eventually descends to the beach. You drive parallel to the coast for a ways, fording two creeks (!! yes!!) before reaching the parking lot. :-)

***You could also hike from the old 101 to Fern Canyon. I forget how long that trail is, though - we didn't do it that way, I just remember it on the area trail map.

San Francisco...
posts: 2,979
reviews: 107
2. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

Tall Trees Trail requires access via a dirt road. tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g28926-d1169…

Part of the Coastal Drive by Klamath is also a dirt road.

The NPS map actually shows the dirt roads so make sure you pick one up.

pasadena, ca
posts: 4,737
reviews: 22
3. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

Hmm...think I might start lobbying to take the Suburu on this trip.....

Thanks.

California
posts: 2
reviews: 13
4. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

A big part of the old coastal highway near Klamath is closed now, and the road to Tall Trees Grove will be closed in June due to the lack of funds to keep it open. Check with Redwood National and State Parks information centers before you actually try to access these roads to determine current status.

Eureka, California
posts: 357
reviews: 2
5. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

Hi pasca

I am not sure where CaliforniaFern got the information about the "road to the tall trees grove."

There is no road to the tall trees groves. There is a road the "bald hills road" that takes you to the two trail heads for the hike to the tall tree grove and Lady Bird Johnson grove. I do not think that they are going to close that road as it is used by locals to get to the coast from the Orleans, Hoopa area. I was just up there last week and they just have paved about another 4 or 5 miles of it. I read in the local paper that the tribe is going to pave the section from schoolhouse peak to Weitchpec.

Have Fun

GP

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 34,660
reviews: 751
6. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

We were just on the old "coastal highway" (the 19th Century wagon/stagecoach road) a couple of weeks ago. The part that is closed has been closed for some time due to earth slippage. You can still drive some of it and yes, it's dirt - like the part out to the radar station.

Pasca, the road that goes to Fern Canyon is the same on that goes to Gold Bluffs Beach. Davison Road. The beach is prior to the river crossings (okay creeks!). We were on that road too and it is potholed like you wouldn't believe. And dirt. And the first creek was high so we turned around. Yes, we could have made it but I didn't want to make my little car go through the foot deep creek :-(

I'm thinking it's about 6 miles hike one way from 101 to Fern Canyon? gp1 do you know?

Stout Grove is accessed from Hwy 199. Part of it is paved, but then it turns to gravel/dirt and yes, it's also potholed, although not too badly. Howland Hill Road is dirt and potholed.

Did you mention Subaru? LOL!

You can still see lots of pretty areas by staying on paved roads, just not the ones you've mentioned!

Eureka, California
posts: 357
reviews: 2
7. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

Hi Pasca

My trail guide indicates that a loop route going to fern canyon on the James Irvine trail and returning on Miners ridge is 10.3 miles. Redwood hikes redwoodhikes.com/PrairieCreek/PrairieCreek.h…

puts it at 11.6 with a 1350 foot elevation gain. I have done this and to me it seems longer but I am old and gray.

Have fun

GP

San Jose
Destination Expert
for California
posts: 8,450
reviews: 74
8. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

We took our Mazda 3 to Gold Bluffs Beach and it was fine. You have to ford a creek or two - easy, but still fording water. I would not go down that road in a nice car though.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
posts: 25,018
reviews: 5
9. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

Ya know?

If I had a low-slung fancy sports car with a perfect paint job, the last thing I would do is take it on a trip like this. I would not ford a stream in it, for example, and what if I really wanted to get to the other side? I think it would be fun, fun, to drive, but really limit your sightseeing opportunities. "Just my opinion" :~)

pasadena, ca
posts: 4,737
reviews: 22
10. Re: Major Sights accessible only from dirt/gravel roads?

Hi Puter--

No, we won't be fording any streams with that car! That's why I'm looking for the best drives/scenery/walks/hikes that can be accessed from paved roads.

We may decide to take the Suburu in the end. But I can see his point of view, too...the ideal place for a convertible sports car might be on the gorgeous smaller roads of the wine country, along the coast, among the redwoods, etc. Definitely not the freeways of LA, where we spend most of our time.