Northern California is resplendent in towering, ancient Redwoods, groves of giants and endless beaches. From charming lighthouses to miles of forest, northern California is a haven for nature lovers who want to venture off of the beaten path. With your home base at Jedediah Smith Campground, you'll be surrounded by nature's most magical adventures.
The 25-mile long Smith River snakes through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Both the river and the park were named after Jedediah Smith, an American explorer who helped blaze the Oregon Trail. Make sure to check out Smith River Kayaks for a chance to explore the river right on the river's utterly gorgeous water.
The Jedediah Smith Campground gives you a rare opportunity to sleep under a canopy of redwood trees. Here you can choose between staying at a social campground with more people who you can mingle with, or in a more isolated area. Don’t forget to book in advance—it’s difficult to get a spot without a reservation. Bonus: The campground is known for having very clean restrooms!
Stout Grove is a very scenic area of redwoods, so get your camera ready! The grove doesn’t contain the largest trees, but it’s located at the junction of two rivers, which creates an ethereal, open area that is perfect for pictures. It’s off the beaten tourist path, and the layers of needles on the forest floor help dampen sounds. Keep your eyes peeled for the quaint visitor’s center nestled across the river!
Located in Crescent City, Battery Point Lighthouse is a great stop on your trip across northern California. The lighthouse, which became operational in 1856, is still used today and is only accessible at low tides, so plan accordingly. In addition to assisting navigation, the lighthouse has a museum… and a ghost. We’ll leave it up to you to find out whether the haunting is real!
After your trip to the Battery Point Lighthouse, stop off at Seaside Restaurant and Bar to relax. You’ll get a wonderful view of the seafront and scrumptious food at reasonable prices. The restaurant is known for its delicious burgers, seafood, incredible outdoor dining, and an ambitious dessert menu. Meat and sweets: What could be better?
Located south of Crescent City, Crescent Beach is a wonderful place to soak up the sun on your trip. Wintertime storms deposit logs and driftwood on the sand, creating lots of good spots for you to rest as you walk along the beach. Make sure to head over to Enderts Beach (a half mile from Crescent Beach) to discover a scenic overlook that gives you a wonderful view of the entire area.
Not for the faint of heart, challenging Damnation Creek Trail drops 1,100 feet in elevation and offers a spectacular walk near the ocean and among the redwood groves. Commonly recommended by park rangers, the four-mile trail offers a spectacular walk amongst the redwood groves. It's often shrouded in fog (giving the surroundings a magical feel) and ends at a small rocky beach, the perfect reward for conquering the hike.
Home to Damnation Creek Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods Park is where tall trees meet the sea. From spectacular tide pools along the rocky beach to serene, shaded redwood paths, beauty abounds— you’re almost guaranteed to reconnect with nature here. Mill Creek Campground is the perfect place to set up camp during your stay, but make sure to reserve your spot in advance.
This beach’s peculiar name has a story that goes back hundreds of years. False Klamath Cove was once thought by the Yurok Indians to be the spot where the Klamath River emptied into the ocean. The river actually empties into the ocean a few miles south, but sailors would see the cove and believe it was the gateway to the Klamath River. Today, the cove features a beautiful beach and a small lagoon just to the south.
Located in Klamath, California, the Trees of Mystery is a roadside attraction that you won’t want to miss. Its most popular feature, the Sky Tram, allows you to ride through the forest treetops in an enclosed car. The Trees of Mystery site is also home to a large Paul Bunyan statue and a plethora of trails. Don’t forget to pop in to the gift shop for redwood seedlings and mementos.
With its majestic redwoods (not to mention its kitschy roadside attractions and endless wilderness trails), northern California is a fantastic place to get back to your roots (pun intended)! So, hop in your camper, start your journey, and discover how beautiful this corner of our planet truly is.