Getting The Most Out Of Your Visit.
No matter which highway you take to get to Klamath, or into Del Norte county, you’ll drive through the redwoods along the way. Del Norte county has several exceptional drives, some that put you right in the middle of the redwoods.
Driving Tours Out and About
STOUT GROVE/HOWLAND HILLS – This outstanding drive starts on the east side of Crescent City and winds about 12 miles through huge groves of redwoods, finally ending at slant bridge on highway 199. The road is generally good, although not paved. It has many narrow spots and tight curves, so not recommended for RV’s. You’ll see many wonderful trees, and some nice little creeks running through the area. Towards the North end of the drive you’ll cross the wild and scenic Smith River. This location is the perfect place to see the redwoods from the comfort of your car. Getting there take Elk Valley at the south end of Crescent City. You can only go east. At the corner of Elk Valley and Howland Hills take the Howland Hills road.
101 SOUTH OF KLAMATH – Another great drive that just south of Klamath out to the mouth of the Klamath River. Travel south across the 101 bridge, take the exit, then turn west. This drive is part paved, part gravel but wide and smooth. Fantastic vistas of the ocean are yours and if it’s the right time of year (August through October) you’ll likely see a few whales.
NEWTON B. DRURY/PRAIRIE CREEK AREA – Prairie Creek is about 16 miles south of Klamath. Take the Newton B. Dury exit off of 101. Prairie Creek is a large prairie in the midst of the redwoods, and is home to a large herd of native Roosevelt Elk. These elk are at home among the trees and out on the grassy expanse of the clearing. There is a park campground here, and some interpretive installations. Stop along the road and get some great pictures of the elk. PLEASE READ AND HEED THE SIGNS ALONG THE
FENCE. Adult elk are as big as a horse and capable of causing great harm! The road is very good, and motorhomes and trailers are not a problem. At the prairie itself, the edges of the road have been paved and considerably widened to allow and encourage people to pull over and have a look.
Take a Walking Tour
One really great, do not miss, place is Fern Canyon. There are a few Redwoods here, lots of Elk and a big spooky Spruce forest, which is the real gem of Fern Canyon. To access you drive to Gold Bluffs State Park which has campsites, picnic sites, and a really great beach.There is an entry fee. It backs up on some high bluffs and is usually warm here. But, the coolest thing here is Fern Canyon.
Fern Canyon – On the northern end of the beach is the entrance to Fern Canyon. This is a walk up an ancient creek bed into one of the most awesome natural sights you may ever see. The walls and part of the overhead are lined, and carpeted with ferns. Criss crossing the overhead occasionally, are moss covered logs. The floor of the canyon is clean gravel. It is truly something worth taking the time to see. Our area (Klamath and Del Norte County) has Redwoods all through it, so just exploring on your own will reward you with the discovery of many interesting things and beautiful places.
Beaches – Down by the Ocean many miles of secluded beaches await you here in Del Norte County. Surf fishing is generally excellent, and we even have a couple of “agate” beaches, where you can spend many entertaining hours sifting for agates. We also have great surf!
What’s the big deal about agates, anyway? Well, it’s kind of like finding a four leaf clover, or a twenty dollar bill. A really good agate is beautiful indeed and they are hard enough to find that turning up one is a thrill.
Agates are small rocks, usually pea to grape sized, that are fairly translucent and usually have feathery patterns inside. Some are so clear, they resemble glass. Many are colored, usually in the yellow to red range. Occasionally you will find a green or blue one. You find them on the beach where the ocean has been turning and rolling them like a rock tumbler until they are shiny and smooth.You don’t just find them anywhere, either. That’s part of the thrill of hunting them.
Agate Hunting in Del Norte County – Head down to the beach! The best time to find the big agates is right after a storm has settled down. The storm will have turned the beach gravel and brought in gravel from out in the surf. It’s best if you get right down in the gravel, the agates are easier to spot that way. There is just something about sitting in the warm rocks on a sunny day looking over the rocks and seeing that sparkle of an agate!
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