Del Norte County
Here in California's far north, you'll find the California Coastal Trail at its most complete. In fact, of all the fifteen coastal counties in the Golden State, only in immense Humboldt County immediately to the south, in the hiker's mecca called Marin County, and in tiny San Francisco County will you find the Coastal Trail anywhere near as complete as it is for the 56 miles along the Del Norte coast. Here you'll also find both some of the easiest and some of the most strenuous sections of the CCT.
Not only is Del Note's Coastal Trail virtually complete, it also offers a wondrous diversity of scenery. Along the northern two-thirds of California's coast, only in Del Norte is the Coast Range absent, here replaced by the often snow clad Siskiyou Mountains. As you traverse the northernmost coastline in California, you'll walk beaches (of course), ancient vegetated dunes, rocky bluffs, marine terraces, virgin redwood forests, high prairies, and only about 10 miles of road, none of it highway and all of it scenic and lightly traveled. Of course this total depends on your finding the appropriate low tides and making two boat crossings of major rivers, but that's the nature of the California Coastal Trail. Almost half the 10 CCT miles along roads in Del Norte County follow splendid Coastal Drive, a lightly traveled back road in Redwood National Park, with another 2 or 2½ miles on Crescent City's scenic Pebble Beach Drive where most of the walking is on ample shoulders and sidewalks with stunning coastal views.
What else does Del Norte's CCT offer? In remote corners of Redwood National Park, Del Norte Redwoods State Park, and virtually unknown Tolowa Dunes State Park (formerly called Lake Earl State Park) and Lake Earl Wildlife Area, you'll have some of your best opportunities to view abundant wildlife. You'll also pass through two county parks and a state beach, plus enjoy the pleasant walk through small town Crescent City. All of these splendid places beckon hikers, walkers, nature lovers and explorers to walk the California Coastal Trail.
By the way, locals pronounce it Del Nort.
Explore the Trail
Click a section to discover more detailed information on pieces of the trail that can be explored within a day. Find highlights of what each area has to offer as well as other resources.
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