Hiking in Northern California

During the week of August 7, 2017, we sampled some hiking trails during a road trip through Northern California. We started in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada near Redding and then worked our way west and south along the coast. Besides being in the mood for a getaway, we wanted to see how much we would enjoy a road trip at this stage of our lives. Although we loved the hiking everywhere we went, the verdict on road trips was mostly negative. Too much driving and not enough hiking.

Lake Almenor, Chester, and Susanville

The featured image above is Anna at Lake Almenor, near Chester and Susanville.

After we arrived at our motel in Chester we took a walk by the lake and promptly ran into a terrific thunderstorm with lots of pyrotechnics and even hail! Fortunately we went back the next day and enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air after the rain.

Dick "Bizz" Johnson in Susanville
Dick ┬áJohnson on the “Bizz” Johnson Trail in Susanville
Anna on the "Bizz" Johnson Trail
Anna on the “Bizz” Johnson Trail

We also did a hike on the “Bizz” Johnson trail (a “rails-to-trails” project) in nearby Susanville.

Volcanic rock along the trail
Volcanic rock along the trail

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lake Helen in Lassen
Lake Helen in Lassen

Our Sierra got a record amount of snow last winter, and the road into Lassen was just cleared last month. Some of the hiking trails were still closed, including Bumpass Hell, the park’s most famous. However, we did enjoy the drive and the stop at Lake Helen, shown above.

Lassen Peak and caldera
Lassen Peak and caldera

We also stopped at an interpretative trail with information about the last major volcanic eruption, which was in 1915. All trees in the area were destroyed except a few that were protected by the caldera on the right in the picture above.

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

On the drive through Redding and to the west we were plagued by heat, major roadwork, and smoke from active fires.

Last winter Highway 299 had a number of major rock- and mudslides, and many of them are still being cleared and the cuts repaired and enhanced. Our trip west and south was much longer than we anticipated, but we finally made it to Garberville and Humboldt Redwoods State Park, where we hiked for several miles along the Eel River.

Eel River in Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Eel River in Humboldt Redwoods State Park
What?! Another Johnson?
What?! Another Johnson?

Fort Bragg and mendocino

Our last stop was Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast. We walked along the cliffs and on the beach at MacKerricher State Park and near our motel.

Mendocino Coast
Mendocino Coast
Kelp on the beach
Kelp on the beach
Bee and flower
Bee and flower
Gull on a rock
Gull on a rock