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Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

Simi Valley, CA
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328 posts
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Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

Just getting some opinions here from the local experts who have taken this route before. We're in the early stages of planning a trip to Northern California this summer and one possible route may include driving from Redding to Eureka. I was wondering if this was a scenic drive, and assuming we pretty much drove straight thru (discounting any brief stops here and there), about how long would it take? Thanks.

Eureka, CA
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1. Re: Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

simicu, the drive from Redding to Eureka by way of 299 is beautifully scenic. Driving straight through from Redding to Arcata will take you a little under three hours. (I did this every other weekend for about a year, so I've got it timed pretty accurately.)

Between Redding and Weaverville you will have to negotiate about 55 hairpin turns, but after you reach the summit it smoothes out into longer, more gentle curves. Weaverville has retained much of its old-west flavor. It's a delight to drive (or walk) through.

A little farther along, you'll want to schedule a little time for fresh roasted coffee or soup at the Straw House (a unique coffee house on the banks of the river) in Big Bar, about 15 miles past Weaverville. Watch for it on the left as you approach Big Bar.

Driving this route in the dead of winter can be treacherous; black ice has put more than one vehicle over the cliff. But in summer you should enjoy an idyllic motoring experience...providing you don't get carsick on tight curves.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

I've done this route once or twice, it's a good highway, but very twisty, follows the river with steep slopes on both side for a long way, then crests over a couple of summits before descending to the 101 freeway on the coast. About 150 winding miles from Redding to Arcata. Weaverville is along the way, it has a Joss House which is both a state park and place of worship. Never got inside though. Here are some pretty raw notes from when I did it ten years ago over Memorial Day weekend, camping overnight at a great campsite about half way along (mileage is the whole trip from the Bay Area):

4:37pm 154 miles Redding elev. 560'

4:41pm 157 miles route 299

5:00pm 164 miles Shasta elev 1000'

5:39pm 197 miles Jnc. Ca-3, elev 1650', Douglas City

5:44pm 203 miles Weaverville, elev 2000'

6:13pm 205 miles Weaverville Joss House [stopped and

looked around but it was closed so

couldn't get in]

6:34pm 220 miles Shasta-Trinity National Forest

225 miles Big Flat Campground resort area, 76

miles to Eureka

to 6:58pm 228 miles Big Bar Ranger Station, River

Access, 2000'

to 7:30pm 233.8 miles French Bar, sun at first then

below ridg

7:57pm 249 miles Six Rivers National Forest

to 9:10pm 259 miles Oh, stopped at Gray's Falls

Campground, closed, now on

Humboldt County line, confluence

S. Fork and Trinity Rivers

At Gray's Falls is a view of a

steep Half Dome-like cliff

9:27pm 265 miles campground [stayed here overnight]

12:37AM Now [camping] at Boise Creek

Campground in Humboldt County, California.

Hwy 299.

[next day]

12:15Noon SUNDAY, May 24?,1998; Day before Memorial Day, 24th

12:21pm onto 299 again, [at] campground entrance

12:37pm 270 miles Another Campground A FIND, Old Growth Douglasfir and Port Orford Cedar,

#8 Wonderful, East Fork or something

1:52pm Still here, Raining heavily, Very Wet

275 miles Berry Summit, Just before Switchback, Foggy

278.3 miles at switchback, All Cut Area, Lots of Lupine

284.7 miles vista Pt. Lord Ellis Summit?

286.0 miles Lord Ellis Summit, snow removal sign, no snow now, though

3:00pm 297.8 miles Freeway

3:04pm 301.5 miles jnc. 200, Mad River

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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3. Re: Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

Quite a pretty route. I'd allow about 3.5 hours, which is what it has taken us the many times we've driven it at a fairly leisurely pace.

Simi Valley, CA
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328 posts
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4. Re: Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

Thanks to everyone for their informative and detailed responses. My wife and I are not 100% sure what route we're taking as we're still in the early planning stages for our summer trip. All we know at this point is that about 3-4 days of our 11 day vacation will be devoted to the various redwood regions of northern California, pretty much covering the area from Crescent City to Garberville. But it's nice to know that if we decide to initially take I-5 up to Redding, then it at least makes for a scenic drive over to the coast. Thanks again, very much appreciated.

Uden, The...
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60,942 posts
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5. Re: Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

We did the drive from Redding on 299 to Douglas City and continued via Hayford (ca3 and ca 36) to Fortuna. From there we drove the Lost Coast road (ca 211) via Ferndale and Cape Mendocino to Humboldt Redwoods SP and to Garberville. This was a fantastic drive but very slow and curvy at places. But still one of the best drives ever. Lost Coast is very beautiful as well.


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277 posts
29 reviews
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6. Re: Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

I prefer highway 36 when heading that direction, but that's just me.

Grants Pass, Oregon
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7. Re: Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

As others have said, it is very beautiful. In summer, it is not the lush green of the redwoods, but the rugged mountains and the drop down to the river is awesome. If your not an experienced driver on this sort of road, I’d allow for 3.5 hours.

8. Re: Hwy 299 from Redding to Eureka - nice drive?

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