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