From Arcata north to Orick, a
distance of 34 miles, the north Humboldt coast is a
vastly underrated part of the Pacific shoreline and worth
spending some time to explore. Most of the coast in this
area is accessible from the highway in several state and
county parks, which provide access to the beaches,
campgrounds, hiking and bicycle paths and picnic
facilities. Several small towns provide tourist
accommodations, including McKinleyville, Trinidad, and
North of Eureka
McKinleyville, just north of Arcata,
is a fast-growing residential community. Although a rural
village has been here since the 1860s, it is only within
the past twenty years that the population has boomed to
10,000. Goat cheese with an international reputation is
made at the Cypress Grove Chevre Cheese Factory.
There's golfing at the 18-hole Beau Pre course on
Norton Road. Azalea State Reserve is close to the
highway, east via North Bank Road at McKinleyville. This
park is wooded and on the edge of the forest grows an
extensive range of wild azalea. Two loop trails lead
through the reserve to several scenic overlooks. Two
picnic areas are located beside the parking lot.
Clam Beach, north of McKinleyville,
is a popular place for locals and for passing visitors.
This county park offers camping, hiking and riding
trails, fishing and beachcombing. The beach affords long
views of the Humboldt coastline. Hammond Trail
starts at the Mad River, following an old railway roadbed
to arrive at Clam Beach.
Within two miles of Clam Beach is Little
River Beach, and you're close to the town of Trinidad, a
small seaside community with much to offer the traveler.
Discovered by Portugese explorers in 1595 and re-explored
by the Spanish in 1775, this is a salmon fishing town
with a long fishing pier, lighthouse and several beaches
within a short drive. Trinidad State Beach is right in
town with a trail that starts at Mill Creek and ends at
Elk Head, at the state beach. The Marine Laboratory
Five miles north of Trinidad, Patrick's
Point State Park includes a large campground with 123
family sites. Twenty walk-in and bike-in sites are also
located in the park. Sitka spruce, fir, pine and hemlock
dominate the landscape. Rim Trail runs from the
parking area at Agate Beach along the coast,
through woods and meadows to Palmer's Point where
several short trails lead to the shore. For park
information, call (707) 677-3570.
As Highway 101 leads north from St.
Patrick's Point, the road runs through Humboldt
Lagoons State Park, beside fifteen miles of sand
beaches, rocky headlands, old-growth forest and
freshwater lagoons and marshes. The lagoons are popular
during summer months as beach fans and campers congregate
along the shoreline.
In Big Lagoon County Park, 7 miles
north of Trinidad, the marshes attract many birds on
their migrations -- more than 200 species. Redwood
National Park's visitor center is located beside the
highway. The large park, surrounding three state parks,
is to the north.
Orick is situated in a beautiful
valley -- a magnet for anglers who come to fish in the
salmon rivers and the ocean and lagoons just to the
south. Redwood Creek flows through the center of the
For more on this area,
go to: Redwood National
Trinidad Bed and Breakfast (707-677-0840)
is a Cape Cod&endash;style home on Edwards Street. The
house has four rooms with views of the bay and expanded
Turtle Rocks Oceanfront Inn, at 3392 Patrick's
Point Drive, is located four miles north of Trinidad, on
a three-acre oceanfront property. The inn is 15 miles
from Redwood National Park, and is less than a mile from
the entry to Patrick's Point State Park. This bed and
breakfast inn offers a choice of large, airy rooms or
suites, all with private baths (oversize tubs with
showers). Full breakfast is served.
Bella Vista Motel, in McKinleyville
(707-839-1073), offers 16 standard and housekeeping units
overlooking the ocean on Central Ave..
Redwood Inn (707-677-3349) is on St. Patrick's
Pt. Drive in a redwood grove, with moderate to deluxe
Also on St. Patrick's Pt. Drive, Bishop Pine
Lodge is a collection of cottages, including new
units with their own hot tubs.
Orick has several standard motels, all with some
kitchen units. These include the Park Woods Motel on Hwy.
101, the Prairie Creek Motel, with a cafe, and
Rolf's Prairie Creek Motel and Park Cafe
(where German specialties are served along with game
(elk, buffalo, boar) and barbecue.
Private campgrounds and RV parks in Trindad include
Deer Lodge RV Park & Motel on St. Patrick's
Sylvan Harbor, also on St. Patrick's Pt. Drive,
has cabins in addition to an RV park with full hookups.
Trinidad Bay Trailer Court is one block west of
the freeway off-ramp.