Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

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Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by mbehlen » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:24 pm

Hi Everyone! I hope you are doing well! I have 5 last minutes days off work and I wanted to ask your advice and help on a short solo road trip camping along the way and taking photographs. I am not familiar with norcal even though I have been a central cal resident my whole life. I am thinking I want to hit up one area per day from the valley. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for places to camp at each location, hikes to do, or alternative ideas. Thank you I REALLY appreciate it!

Looking for:

Hike Suggestions (I can handle 8-10 mile round trips) with scenic views/landscapes/great places to catch sunset/sunrise

-Campspot suggestions: I prefer disbursed camping but car camping will do too!-

Must see locations/areas of each part, area to be for photography, etc.

Agenda: (Please destroy this and tell me where to get the most moody landscapes in your area!)

Tuesday Night: Drive from central California to SF

Wed: rive to Shasta Lake/Trinity Area?: Hike, Camp, Sleep

Thursday: Drive to Castle Crags: Hike, Camp, Sleep

Friday: Drive to Redwood National Forest*: Hike, Camp, Sleep

Saturday: Drive to somewhere on highway 1 south of there to photograph the sea.

Sunday: Drive Home



COVID Note: I literally only plan to stop for gas. Water, food, etc will be brought with me for the entire trip. Bear canisters too if needed.








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Re: Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:17 pm

Castle Crags will be pretty sweet right now with an elevation of 2000-5000 ft. The views of Shasta from there are awesome. Burney Falls is touristy, and is barely a hike from your car. But it’s also *that nice*.

Fern Canyon is cool too, road had a few creek crossings though.
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Re: Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:37 am

Campground space may be limited due to COVID restrictions. Some parks may even be shut down. Check the state parks website and USFS web sites to see what is open. I tried to reserve a site at McKerricker State Park and it is not even on the list; either everything is full or the campgrounds are closed. Not even sure the websites are totally updated, so the best thing to do is set up your car for sleeping, if needed. You could then just drive off the main roads and park to sleep. There are many places where you can park a car but flat ground for camping is limited. Also check CalFire web sites to see a map of the extent of the wildfires up there.

Although a long drive off Hwy 1, Shelter Cove has lots of options (if they are open)- walk black sands beach, Sinkyone (elk herd here). There are several FS campgrounds just before you drop down into Shelter Cove and if not open, easy to just pull off the road. The commercial CG in Shelter Cove is over-priced ($30+) and mainly for RV's. But it does have a shower.

McKerriker park has 10 miles of beach to walk. Even if campground is closed you could beach walk.

I think you are trying to do too much, unless you are viewing this as primarily a road trip with a few short hikes. Remember that daylight is short and most roads other than Hwy5 and 101 are very slow going. You may be better off picking one or two destinations and spend two nights at each. There is a possibility that a LOT of people will be sight-seeing on Hwy 1 and "socially isolating" with the same idea as you, particularly Hwy 1 between the Bay Area and Fort Bragg.

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Re: Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:07 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:37 am
I think you are trying to do too much, unless you are viewing this as primarily a road trip with a few short hikes.
Yeah, it struck me as a lot of time spent driving trying to check everything off a list as well. But to each their own I suppose.

To be fair, a lot of the dark hours can be spent driving, so it's not all wasted time. The rhythm of wake up at dawn, hike 'til dark, eat, drive, sleep, repeat makes for a nice trip. Just better when the drives are shorter than what OP has suggested.
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Re: Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by mbehlen » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:52 am

Hey Everyone! Thanks for your advice! After sleeping on this, I think I am going to skip going to Shasta and had to the coast/redwoods national park area with a brief stop inland if needed. So I am going to head up the coast instead! (Thanks for your input)!

Updated:


Tuesday Night: Drive from central California to SF

Wed: Drive to Kings Range area / SHelter Cove (Do some day hiking)

Thursday: Drive to Redwoods National Park and Stay in the area until Saturday (See Fern Canyon too)

Saturday: Drive to ???? on highway 1 south of there to photograph the sea.

Sunday: Drive Home

What are the must-sees in this area? Best hikes?

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Re: Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by maverick » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:54 am

Thursday: Drive to Redwoods National Park and Stay in the area until Saturday (See Fern Canyon too)
Some restriction in effect: https://www.nps.gov/redw/planyourvisit/ ... closed.htm

Cool place for photography: https://www.californiabeaches.com/beach ... all-beach/
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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Re: Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by LMBSGV » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:35 pm

Prairie Creek State Park is a great place for hiking in old growth redwoods. If you want to go to Fern Canyon, hike the James Irvine Trail to Fern Canyon. Be aware that there will no bridges on the creek so walking in Fern Canyon may be difficult, but not impossible. You might want to bring a trekking pole to make it easier to get across the creek. (My wife and I did it this time of year and had a great time.) If you want to make it a day, you can walk down the beach and/or road for a mile to the Gold Bluffs Beach campground then return by the Miner’s Ridge Trail to the Prairie Creek headquarters trailhead. Doing the loop is a long hike, but walking through miles and miles of old growth redwoods is a truly incredible indescribable experience, especially since most of the time one sees almost no one.
Last edited by LMBSGV on Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by dave54 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:39 pm

Very ambitious itinerary. More driving than anything else.
SF to Shelter Cove is 5 hours of driving. 6 hours+ with gas and meal stops. Shelter Cove to Castle Crags is 5.5 hours driving per google maps.

From Castle Crags to the Redwoods (Redwood National and State Parks. No such place as Redwood National Forest) -- fastest route is continue up I-5 into Oregon. To Grant's Pass, and then Hwy 199 to Crescent City -- 3.5 hours. You can camp at Jedediah Smith State Park. Directly across the Smith River from the campground is a large Redwood Grove (where the Star Wars Forest Moon of Endor was filmed). Also a couple of other Redwood Groves down the highway towards Crescent City. South on 101 follows the ocean for a while, then cuts inland, back to the coast, etc all the way south. Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwood State Park is cool. Vertical canyon walls covered in several different types of ferns. Ditto on trekking poles and hiking shoes you can wade in. No bridges and the trail crosses the creek in numerous places, scramble over downed logs, boulder hop, etc.
101 South is not a fast drive.
299 from the Coast to Redding is a hard drive. 2 lane state highway and is all mountain curves. Hwy 36 to Red Bluff is a harder drive. A lot of it burned last summer.
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Re: Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by mbehlen » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:48 pm

Wow, Thank you, everyone! Due to the overwhelming amount of people telling me to stop driving so much here is my updated agenda (thank you). I would LOVE your input!

Tuesday: Drive to SF
Wednesday: Drive to Prairie Creek Redwoods SP Elk Prairie Campground: ETA is 2 pm. Any activities I could do from 2 until dusk?
Thursday: THE MINERS’ RIDGE AND JAMES IRVINE LOOP at 7:00am. Maybe another activity as well? Camp at Prairie Creek Redwoods SP Elk Prairie Campground. Head to secret
Friday Morning: Backtrack to Trinidad before dawn and shoot some photos of those formations in the morning fog. Any specific locations in mind?
Friday and Saturday: Need recommendations. Are the campsites north of there great? I know Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park are open.
Sunday: Drive Home

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Re: Advice Needed: Lassen/Shasta/Redwood National/Mendocino Trip (solo)

Post by wildhiker » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:39 pm

Humboldt Redwoods State Park is worth a stop on your way up or back. I thought the Rockefeller Forest nature trail was exceptional. Here's the description from the park website:

Rockefeller Loop
0.7 miles, 30 minutes, elevation change 20 feet
Rockefeller Loop explores the majestic Rockefeller Forest near the confluence of Bull Creek and the South Fork of the Eel River. Trees soaring to immense heights combine with an open understory to create a fairy-tale forest! Start 1.1 miles west of the Avenue of the Giants on the Mattole Road, which breaks off at Avenue of the Giants mile marker 20.6, at Dyerville.

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