This page will give you some small idea of the EXTRAVAGANT beauty and splendor of the Northern California area. These four natural wonderlands are located in the Humboldt County area, 280 miles north of San Francisco and 100 miles south of the Oregon border off Highway 101.




The first two sets of videos were taken by me with a Sony HandyCam Model DCR-HC96 in mid October, 2013. The weather was a balmy, sunny, mid-60 degrees.

The first video, showing the Clam Beach area, is a 10 minute drive from where I live. This is where I spend MOST of my days (weather permitting) walking, sunning and enjoying the ocean. You will be able to see from the videos that this is an amazing (for Northern California) expanse of about 5 miles of clear, flat, white sand, backed by a continuous stretch of dunes.

On the left (southward) you will note an estuary of the Mad River where it empties into the ocean. On the right (northward) will be seen Moonstone Beach, backed by high stone cliffs and bluffs. Between these two extremes is a distance of about 5 miles, where I enjoy varying length walks (up to 10 miles round trip), depending upon my energy and enthusiasm level.

On the other side (north) of the rock barrier at Moonstone continues the stretch of rocky coves and bluffs shown at the end of the movie.

This video was taken about mid October, 2013. It had been a pretty cloudy summer. This had been a beautiful sunny day. As a matter of fact, God had blessed us with about two weeks in a row of glorious sun , which is EXCEEDINGLY rare for this area. The northern coastal region is NOTORIOUS for fog. I have seen MANY days where it will be bright, warm and sunny a few miles inland, but when you reach the ocean, you are greeted with fog and/or clouds !!

I imagine that many tourists are probably VERY dissapointed in their expectations by the weather when they arrive here. This is DEFINATELY NOT southern CA. The average summer temperature doesn't reach much above the mid 60's. If we have days getting into the 70's, it is considered a HEAT WAVE !! While people (especially YOUNGER ones) DO venture out into the ocean, the water is NEVER what might be called WARM (certainally NOT by Florida, southern CA or Virginia Beach standards).

However, we ARE compensated for the cool summers by the fact that winter daytime temperatures also range in the 50's and 60's !!




The second three videos, showing the Trinidad Beach area, is a 20 minute drive from where I live. You will be able to see from the video that the ACTUAL city of Trinidad is a VERY small coastal community of under 500 people. The whole area is another "Northern California Coastal Jewel", consisting almost totally of park and recreation areas.

Within the few miles that the video covers you will see lush forests with beautiful trails overlooking the ocean from majestic bluffs, sandy swimming coves and rocky cliffs. If you look carefully, you will note in numerous shoots surf breaking over rocky pools and against rock cliffs. On the day that these were taken, the surf was VERY mild. Often these breakers will be REALLY violent, breaking with crashing (and crushing) fury !!

The VERY tall rock that can be seen on the left (south) in many of the shots is called "Trinidad Head". It is the location of the area lighthouse (not much of a lighthouse, I regret to say - just a small electric beacon). There is a fairly long video clip devoted to JUST "The Head".

The 3rd Trinidad Video is entitled, "Bigfoot at Trinidad Bluff, Trinidad, CA"

The wooded area for this film was originally part of the shooting for the "Trinidad" video. However, it possessed such an "eerie" quality, that I thought that it would make a fun, "horror film". It also gave me an opportunity to practice using some of the features of the video editor that I made the film with (Wondershare Video Editor).

It starts out, "We are now approaching a section of woods on top of a bluff overlooking the ocean at Trinidad, CA. It is rumored that various individuals have entered into this wood, NEVER to have come out nor be heard from again !! Who knows what manner of foul creature lurks within its murky depths ??"




The next two sets of videos were OBVIOUSLY not filmed by me. Since it was easy enough to find professional quality footage depicting what I wanted to show, I figured - why reinvent the wheel ??

Fern Canyon, one of the truly GREAT hiking spots in this area, is 45 miles north of Eureka, CA.

The Avenue of the Giants, a 30 mile scenic parkway through ancient giant redwoods, is 50 miles south of Eureka, CA.




Fern Canyon -- Imagine walking through a narrow canyon where the walls are completely covered by luxuriant ferns and mosses and are dripping with moisture. Dim and quiet, wrapped in mist and silence, the redwoods roof a moist and mysterious world. Park trails meander over lush ground and the walker is treated to the cool feeling and fragrance of wood and water. That describes Fern Canyon, an unforgettable natural wonder that Steven Spielberg chose as a location for Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World.

A couple beautiful “fern canyons” are found along the North Coast, but the Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is undoubtedly the most awe-inspiring. Five-finger, deer, lady, sword, and chain ferns smother the precipitous walls of the canyon. Bright yellow monkeyflowers abound, as well as fairy lanterns, those creamy white, or greenish, bell-shaped flowers that hang in clusters. Ferns are descendants of an ancient group of plants which were much more numerous 200 million years ago. Ferns have roots and stems similar to flowering plants, but are considered to be a primitive form of plant life because they reproduce by spores, not seeds.

The Fern Canyon Loop Trail, about one mile long, follows Home Creek as it courses through the forest. This modest stream has over the eons carved a deep (50 to 80 feet) canyon through the sedimentary soils. The vertical walls sprout an amazing variety of ferns (five different kinds) and other moisture-loving plants and mosses. Depending on the time of year, there is a constant drip-drip of water trickling down the canyon walls.

One can hike into the canyon and back, or continue on to a trail/stairway that climbs out of the canyon. At the top, turn left to return along the canyon rim, with fine views into the canyon and other interesting sights. A verdant prairie is the site of a former mining camp from the days when Gold Bluffs Beach was, in fact, mined for gold dust (a venture that was never very profitable). Alternatively, Fern Canyon can be reached by a moderate five-mile hike on the James Irvine Trail, beginning at the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park visitor center.

Gold Bluffs was named in 1850 when prospectors found some gold flakes in the beach sand. The discovery caused a minor gold rush. A tent city sprang up on the beach, but little gold was extracted. Gold Bluffs Beach is a beauty— eleven miles of wild, driftwood-littered shore, backed by extensive dunes. Sand verbena, bush lupine, and wild strawberry splash color on the sand.

This walk explores some of the highlights of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park—Fern Canyon, magnificent redwood groves, and Gold Bluffs Beach. Lucky walkers might catch a glimpse of the herd of Roosevelt elk that roam the park. These graceful animals look like a cross between a South American llama and a deer, and convince walkers that they have, indeed, entered an enchanted land.

Part of Miners Ridge Trail is an old logging road, once used by mule-drawn wagons. The trail was also a pack train route for the Gold Bluffs miners. You’ll descend with Squashan Creek to the ocean.

NOTE: I like to take the hike from the Visitor Center, along the James Irvine Trail, ending at Fern Canyon. It is about a 10 mile round trip.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park -- Fern Canyon, James Irvine, Clintonia, Miners Ridge Trails -- Loop through Fern Canyon 1 mile round trip; via Gold Bluffs. Gold Bluffs Beach is 6.5 miles round trip with 500-foot elevation gain




Avenue of the Giants -- This world-famous scenic drive is a 31-mile portion of old Highway 101, which parallels Freeway 101, with its 51,222 acres of redwood groves. It is by far the most outstanding display of these giant trees in the entire 500 mile redwood belt, and is accessible to all with convenient services provided along the way. The Avenue of the Giants is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which has the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the world. Take time to picnic, camp, hike, swim, fish, raft or bike ride in the cool hush of these ancient redwood forests.




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