We went to California to camp in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park in early in June. We drove down I5 to Grants Pass and then headed over to Crescent City form there. Del Norte is about 20 minutes outside of Crescent City. It was also the nearest phone signal and internet so we drove over there a couple of times a day to check in with the boys. They also have a nice grocery store with essentials like kombucha and yogurt.
The forecast was in the high 50’s every day so we packed the layers and puffy jackets. The weather wasn’t quite hot yet in PDX, but it was getting up in the 70’s so it was a bit of a break from the heat. (How quickly we changed our perspective about the weather after leaving Illinois.) It was wet with fog and cool the entire time we were there.
Del Norte has a number of great campsites to choose from. Campers were quiet and kept to themselves. There were very few RV’s. Most of the campers seemed to have an appreciation for the space and reverence for nature. I wish I could say that about every place but I can’t. Del Norte felt like being in nature and that’s what we came for. Each campsite has a bear locker. This was our first experience with them and though it was unnerving thinking about bears lurking near the campsite, we ended up appreciating having a place to throw everything that wasn’t the car.
There was a creek that ran just behind our campsite with little trails that go out to a rock bank. I found a number of pieces of petrified wood here. The best is an almost gem quality piece with little insect holes. It’s just beautiful.
We hiked at Jededia Smith State Park, which was impressive. There were a lot of people at some of the main trails. Like busloads of kids. We packed a lunch and took our time. On some of the outer trails, there were a lot fewer people and we found ourselves alone for some time. Be forewarned that the roads require high clearance vehicles. We have an outback and they were rough for us.
After hiking, we headed back to camp to relax and nap. It wasn’t long before we were ready to check out the southern area of the Redwoods. We drove down to Redwoods National and State Park. These trees were really impressive. We also saw some Roosevelt Elk and I saw a bear as we drove over the Klamath River. We didn’t hike but took a couple of short trips into the forest on marked trails just to take photos.
Before we left to head back north, we stopped in Cresent City to hit the beach at low tide. We found some amazing jasper like no other place we’ve hunted. It has lots of colors and very interesting patterns. We also scouted for sea life in the tide pools. I got some shots and video of this little nudibranch. It’s only about 1 1/4 inches long.
(After sending our gopro into the surf we decided to get a more versatile waterproof camera. After exhaustive research, we ended up getting an olympus tg-4. I stick it under water and take shots in tide pools like this. It’s also drop-proof, dust-proof, and freeze-poof. With all the rain in Oregon, we figured it was the best bet for how I would use it.)
On our way back we decided to drive up highway 101 and follow the coast north. I’ve wanted to see Boardman State Park since before we moved to Oregon. While we are glad we made the trip, it was kind of boring. Boardman is probably spectacular without all of the RV’s. A nice sunset wouldn’t hurt either. We saw some amazing views though and stopped a few times to check them out. We now only have a short stretch left to cover and we have driven the entire coast of Oregon. There’s always next summer.