Del Norte Section 8

Lagoon Creek to Klamath River, Redwood National Park

Del Norte Section 8

Lagoon Creek to Klamath River, Redwood National Park

The Yurok tribe of the Klamath River country has always been one of the largest tribes of Native Americans in northern California. Yurok territory stretches from Wilson Creek on the north to Little River south of Trinidad on the south and up the Klamath River to its confluence with the Trinity River. When white settlers arrived in the 1850s, many Yuroks survived by retreating into the heart of their rugged country. In spite of conflicts, the Yurok tribe retains a viable culture and is currently growing in number.

CCT traverses traditional Yurok land for about 50 miles, along which you will see numerous signs of their culture, from traditional canoes and a reconstructed village site to modern tribal offices and vendors of smoked salmon. Please be especially careful to respect tribal lands and beliefs as you pass through. Most of this CCT section follows an ancient Yurok path through steep country above the sea's edge. You'll hike through contemporary Yurok land and cross the Klamath River, lifeblood of their civilization.

From the Lagoon Creek Parking Area, walk northwest on the Yurok Loop/ Hidden Beach Section of the Coastal Trail. At a fork before ⅛ mile, the CCT north is on the right. Take the left fork across a bridge over Lagoon Creek, then climb west along the edge of the forest to overlook False Klamath Cove, the mouth of the creek, and several large offshore rocks.

CCT turns south along the spectacular shore, contouring through grasslands and scrub then through forest. After a short up and down, the Yurok Loop forks left to return to the parking lot. Continue along the shore, passing a side trail to Hidden Beach at one mile, then the Trees of Mystery Trail on the left (see Del Norte Section 7 Alternate Route).

The easy hiking ends as CCT climbs moderately then steeply through dense spruce/fir forest. Ascend sporadically beyond 1⅜ miles with superb views of the rocky coast. After dipping through a wooded gulch, the trail contours along a steep hillside where leather ferns sprout profusely from the trees.

Climb 22 steps to top the coastal ridge at 2⅛ miles. Contour along the verdant ridgetop to 2½ miles then descend to a saddle. Ascend steeply through several twists in the trail to 2¾ miles.

Suddenly you leave the forest for grasslands and a marvelous view rewards your efforts. On a clear day you can see Patrick's Point, 30 air miles south. The nearby mouth of the Klamath River is hidden, but the rest of the rugged coast lies before you. CCT contours through grasslands and scrub. After regaining the ridgetop at the head of a stream, contour through alder forest and past a small pond.

Your trail ascends for ⅛ mile, then contours across steep open slopes. Climb briefly to 3¼ miles where the Redwood National Park maintenance center is on your left. Soon an overlook with a rest bench surveys the broad mouth of the Klamath.

Contour through the steep grasslands overlooking the river mouth until you enter a grove of spruce and cross a small creek around 3½ miles. Returning to grasslands, your trail ascends toward Klamath Overlook Parking Area. After another bench, a side trail forks right, winding ½ mile down to Klamath Overlook right above the sea stack guarding the river mouth. CCT climbs to the parking area where the dirt trail ends.
CCT descends east along the shoulder of Requa Road with grand views of the Klamath River and the rugged forests surrounding it until you leave the national park around 4⅜ miles. Continue down the road for another mile to the Klamath Inn, a stopover for coast travelers since 1885. The current building dates from 1914.

From there you must either find a boat to shuttle you to the south side of the river or detour 5½ more miles on road and highway to the start of the Flint Ridge Section of CCT.

ALTERNATE ROUTE: If you cannot find a boat, continue east on Requa Road until it ends at Highway 101 at 6⅞ miles. Turn right and cautiously walk the highway's left shoulder for 3⅜ miles. This last stretch, the long narrow bridge across the Klamath, is the most daunting part. Leave the highway at 10¼ miles to follow Klamath Beach Road west and northwest to Alder Camp Road at 12 miles.

Here you have a choice. You can either turn left and follow the beautiful Flint Ridge Section of CCT for 4½ miles to the Coastal Drive and the main CCT south, or you can continue west on Klamath Beach Road until it climbs above the river and becomes the Coastal Drive, a route less steep and 1¾ miles shorter, but much less rewarding.

SUGGESTED ROUND TRIPS & LOOPS: The Yurok Loop Trail is a pleasant one-mile trail. The side trip to Hidden Beach is worthwhile. You can make pleasant round trip hikes from either end of this section of CCT to the high point of the trail section. The hike is easier from the south end.

Distance: 5⅜ miles to Klamath Inn (8.6 kilometers). Without a boat shuttle it is 14¾ miles via Klamath Beach Road or 16½ miles via Flint Ridge Trail (23.7 or 26.6 kilometers).

Open to: Hikers. Road portion open to bicyclists.

Surface: Trail, road shoulder.

Access point: Lagoon Creek Parking Area.

How to get there: Turn west off Highway 101 into signed Lagoon Creek Parking Area (Milepost 11.8) one mile south of Wilson Creek, .9 mile north of Trees of Mystery.

Other access: Turn west off Highway 101 at Milepost 8. I on to Requa Road. Go one mile to Klamath Inn or 2.5 miles to Klamath Overlook Parking Area (end of trail segment).

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation gain/loss: 1020 feet+/1020 feet-.

Cautions: To get from the end of this section to the start of the next one, you must either hire a boat to cross the Klamath River or make a 11- or 13-mile road detour For a boat, contact Rivers West (707) 482-5822 or (800) 887-5387.

Further information: Redwood National and State Parks (707) 464-6101, ext. 5265.

Facilities: Restrooms, water, phone, picnic area at access point.

Campgrounds: Several private campgrounds are around the town of Klamath to the south. State Park camping is available at Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park to north or Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park to south.

Lodging: Motel Trees is .9 mile south on Highway 101. Klamath Inn is en route on the north bank of Klamath River. DeMartin Redwood Hostel (707)482-8265 is one mile north of the access point.

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