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Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

Chico CA
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Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

Hello

We (myself, my husband & 9 year old) are just starting to plan an August trip from Chico, heading over to the coast and up 101 through the Redwoods to Brookings OR, for maybe a 3 or 4 night stay. We were thinking of staying in Brookings ( The Bestwestern Beachfront Hotel) the whole time since its not to far from Crescent City, but we would be open stopping for a night somewhere on the way to break up the drive and so that we can explore more of the redwoods on the way up. I haven't done much research yet, but would appreciate any suggestions as to a good route and must see sites. We do want to go up to Gold beach and do a rafting trip one day, but we are open for the rest of the trip. This is our visit to the Redwood National Parks. Thank You!!

Redding, California
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1. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

From Chico you have a couple of options. You can take Highway 36 from Red Bluff west to Alton on 101. While there isn't much to do on 36, it is a beautiful drive. From Alton you can head north on 101.

Or you can drive to Redding and go west on 299, but be aware that CalTrans is doing an enormous restructuring of Buckhorn Summit. The official info on the DOT website says delays of up to 20 minutes, but the flyer we received in the mail said on certain days, delays of up to two hours could be expected. If you decide to go 299, check the DOT website that day before heading out.

www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/display.php…

The north coast is just beautiful and there are plenty of places to stay. I like Trinidad myself - quiet with ocean beach access. (Do be aware that it is unsafe to swim in the north coast/Oregon coast. There is a dangerous undertow and sneaker waves, so never turn your back on the ocean.)

Gold Beach is a lovely place but popular, so do make reservations for any time in August.

gp1
Eureka, California
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2. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

Hi KimAChico

I have family near Chico and I live near Eureka. Made the trip over there and back close to 100 times. Both 299 and 36. Do not take 36. It will not be faster to Brookings even if you have a 2 hour delay. It is at least and hour drive from where 36 hits 101 to where 299 hits 101. 36 is a very narrow winding road and just just one lane in some areas.

Have Fun

GP

Chico CA
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3. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

Thank you arlosmom. We would probably take Highway 36 from Red Bluff west to Alton and go that route. Should we head south to see some of the redwood like The Avenue of the Giants? Or is there plenty to see if we head north up 101 from Alton? Once we get to Brookings would probably just go to Gold Beach for a Day and take a riverboat ride. We do want to see some of the OR coast as well as the Redwoods.

Redding, California
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4. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

You'll see plenty of redwoods starting north of Arcata, though if you have time, a drive south along the Avenue of the Giants takes you right under the trees. Also, Jedediah Smith State Park is an easy detour from 101.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=413

Chico CA
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5. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

Thanks gp1. I have heard that about 36. If we do take 36 it looks like you get to experience more of 101 that way. We are not in a rush, but appreciate the warnings about the road!

Would anyone recommend an overnight somewhere before we head up to Brookings?

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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6. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

If you do take 36, you'll come out just south of Fortuna. If you want to drive Ave/Giants, that's about a half hour south of there.

Do note that whilst Ave/Giants will put in in and amongst some huge trees, you will also see a gazillion huge trees farther north.

I'd recommend you take Newton Drury scenic parkway, north of Orick, Calif. You will see signs for it and there will be an exit just as you can see the beginning of the freeway ahead of you. Turn off there, don’t miss it! You’ll go under the highway and will be on old Highway 101 (I remember it well!) that is now a quiet, pleasant drive that winds through thousands of giant redwoods. There are places to stop and walk under the trees. You might like to see the "Big Tree"... it's really big! At the north end, you'll be directed back on to present-day 101, which is a freeway for a few miles until you get to Klamath. Without stops, the extra time required for Newton Drury is only about 20-30 minutes. By taking this route, you’ll avoid a rather dull multi lane freeway section that does not have any redwoods along it! (Note – this drive is open from dawn to dusk only)

Howland Hill Road in Crescent City is well worth the drive - check out the photos and reviews:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60944-d14…

What is your preferred type and budget for lodging? There is a wide variety of lodging at the southern end of the 'redwood empire'.

BW Beachfront Inn is a wonderful location and you will add only a scant half hour to your southern day drives v. staying in Crescent City. Since Redwood NP is spread out, you'll be doing some back and forth driving, but it's all scenic :-)

The jet boat rides (not rafting) in Gold Beach are *very* popular so make sure you book well ahead. It's a short half hour drive from Brookings... and do watch your speed in town.

Chico CA
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7. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

Thank you Half Brit! We are ok with a couple hundred a night for a hotel. I prefer something a little nicer than not ;-) We have a pretty fuel efficient car so driving back and forth isn't big a problem. Are the Jet Boat rides worth it? I know they are popular and I figured our 9 year old daughter would love it. Thanks so much for the suggestions and any others would be greatly appreciated!

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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8. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

You're welcome :-) Thousands enjoy the jet boat rides every summer. There are also shorter jet boat rides up the Klamath River, out of Klamath.

You might look into staying in Ferndale, an authentic Victorian village set amidst lush cow pastures. It does not have an 'ocean' atmosphere, though. Another thought is Trinidad, about 20 miles north of Eureka. It's a charming tiny fishing village. There are 3 upscale ocean view B&Bs but I'm not sure of their 'child' policies.

Chico CA
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9. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

Hi again! We are getting closer to our trip and I am wondering if it would be worth it to consider an alternate route. Someone suggested we drive from Chico over to Clear Lake and then up to Willitz and then take 101 up to Eureka. This way we would see some of the sites we would miss if we just went from Chico to Red Bluff then took 36 over to eureka. Would the extra time be worth it for extra sites we would see? We would probably stay in Eureka for the night then head up to Brookings for the remaining 3nights of our trip. We will be traveling back and forth from Brookings and the Ca redwood parks. Thanks for your advise!

Redding, California
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10. Re: Trip up the coast from Chico to Brookings

From Chico you would go south in I-5 to highway 20 to join up with 101. If you have the time, this is a nice drive and you could get from Chico to Eureka comfortably in one day. I can't think of anything really spectacular along that route, but the scenery is very nice. Some of 101 is two-lane and that makes for a more interesting trip.

You might check to see if Clear Lake is affected by the drought (if you're interested in making a stop there) - I read a couple of months ago that Willits (a very nice little town) was severely affected and going to institute some severe rationing.

From Willits you can take 20 to the coast and visit Fort Bragg, which is very beautiful.

Garberville might be worth a stop - when my husband and I stop here we always say, "So this is where they're keeping all the old hippies from the 1960s!" It's inland from the coast and can get surprisingly toasty.

Get answers to your questions about Redwood National Park