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Old 01-12-2022, 11:51 AM   #1
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Jedediah Smith or Humboldt?

We are going to be making our way north from San Francisco along the coast. I was planning on spending a few days at Ancient Redwoods RV Park to explore Humboldt SP area before heading to Crater Lake. I was also considering staying at Redwood Meadows RV Park by Crescent City to explore Jedediah Smith SP area. If you had to pick 1, which one would you pick and why? I keep reading that the Crescent City area may not be the safest, which I have no clue whether it's true or not. It will be my wife, 3 daughters ages 16-9, and myself during mid-July. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-12-2022, 02:58 PM   #2
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I have not been to Crescent city, but I can tell you the Ave of the Giants RV parks is spectacular. One of my favorite places in the all of our travels. So peaceful and right in the heart of the trees. Good hiking and biking, river access right down the road. Really no amenities. Did not use the restrooms. Small store at the park, small diner up the road, groceries only a few minutes away and if you ask, they will put you in a satellite friendly spot. little cell service unless you drive or ride up to Redcrest. So peaceful.

I have a mountain bike ride mapped if you are interested.
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Old 01-12-2022, 06:59 PM   #3
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It's all good. But our favorite area is Prairie Creek, south of Crescent City. There are several good RV parks right near the state park. Lots of great hikes and bike rides.

Humboldt is fine -- not too many hikes, but good bike rides on Ave of Giants.

Jed Smith is nice, too. A few good hikes, some good biking.

Let us know if you want more info on RV parks, hikes, and bike rides.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by profdan View Post
It's all good. But our favorite area is Prairie Creek, south of Crescent City. There are several good RV parks right near the state park. Lots of great hikes and bike rides.

Humboldt is fine -- not too many hikes, but good bike rides on Ave of Giants.

Jed Smith is nice, too. A few good hikes, some good biking.

Let us know if you want more info on RV parks, hikes, and bike rides.
Dan Knows the best wild Places !!!!!!!!! Yes he Does I'd PM him to get the inside scoop.

JMHO,
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Old 01-13-2022, 08:49 AM   #5
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I will gladly accept any advice about where to stay and what to do. We are not so much of a mountain bike family (despite my wishes) but more of a bike path
and hiking family. Fern Canyon has been on the short list of places to see, so staying near Prairie Creek would help with that.
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Old 01-13-2022, 08:49 AM   #6
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And thanks, Buzzkeeper...I did PM Dan who will hopefully set me straight.
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Old 01-14-2022, 01:34 PM   #7
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Thanks for the kind words, and sorry for the delay in replying -- minor emergency at home (broken dryer).

Anyway, I am also no longer a real mountain biker -- age and sports injuries have caught up with me. We ride mostly on pavement or gentle dirt roads -- no more death-defying single track for me.

In the Humboldt area, the Avenue of the Giants is the main attraction, and it can take a couple of days to ride the whole thing. Start near Redcrest and head up toward Myers Flat -- that way, you have a slight downhill at the end of the day!

Mattole Road is a great ride -- start at the Rockefeller Grove trailhead. As you are driving west on Mattole Road, watch carefully for the entrance to the grove -- it is hard to see. And of course, hike around the grove itself. Ride west from the grove, as far as you'd like.

The Flatiron/Bull Creek trailhead is worthwhile -- in hot weather, you can wade in the creek. The hikes from that trailhead are great.

I'd recommend staying at Ancient Redwoods RV -- it is actually quieter than the campgrounds in the area. If you are there in early August, the blackberries are amazing.

Our favorite redwood park is Prairie Creek, between Eureka and Crescent City. We usually stay at Kamp Klamath RV Park, if we can't get a space at Prairie Creek itself. Kamp Klamath is sort of funky -- the bathrooms are very old -- and some folks don't like the "campground" type atmosphere at Kamp Klamath. (We do -- the sites are grassy and not too close together, and we don't use public restrooms most of the time.)

If you want a fancier RV park, there are several nearby. The drawback is that those parks are much nearer to the highway than Kamp Klamath is.

I would not recommend staying in Crescent City and commuting to Prairie Creek -- it takes almost an hour on a twisty road.

The bike ride along Newton Drury Parkway is world-class -- start at the south end and ride north. Again, that gives you a nice easy downhill on the way back.

Don't miss the James Irvine Trail and Fern Canyon. You can take Irvine all the way to Fern Canyon, but it make for a long day. I'd recommend starting Irvine at the park headquarters and going as far as you want, then turn around.

Fern Canyon is worth the drive. If you can, bring good strap on sandals so you can walk in the water, if the weather is warm. If you have extra time, hike north from the canyon on the Coastal Trail, which is on the beach. If it is dry enough, you can ride it on a mountain bike. If it is muddy, it is too much work in my opinion.

We've been mildly disappointed by the Jed Smith area -- there are not many hikes, and you can hear road noise on most of them, which detracts from the "cathedral" aspect of redwood hiking.

You mentioned crime in Crescent City -- I have not heard anything about that, but like they say, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds wise.

Here are links to four of our blog posts that involve the Redwood Coast -- I hope they are useful, and let me know if you have additional questions!

Look, Mom, We're Camping!: Northern California Coastal Redwoods: May 2021

https://lookmomwerecamping.blogspot....june-2017.html

https://lookmomwerecamping.blogspot....rn-sierra.html

https://lookmomwerecamping.blogspot....mledwoods.html
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:59 PM   #8
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I agree with profdan. I don't get why Crescent City isn't safe. Seems fine to me. We like Klamath Camper Corral by the river. It's a pleasant 20 minute drive from there down to Prairie Creek State Park. There are better hikes there than the national park although the hike to the big big trees, which requires a reservation, is worth the hassle. A word of caution on Mattole Rd - it gets gnarly west of the state park if you take it to the coast. We're talking pot holes and really tight steep hairpins. Getting a FCFS spot at Mattole CG is a real crap shoot. Getting there from Eureka/Ferndale might even be worse. It was trying with a 21' ORV!
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:13 AM   #9
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Jedediah Smith or Humboldt?

Ave of the Giants
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Old 01-16-2022, 09:14 AM   #10
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Old 01-16-2022, 01:06 PM   #11
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Staying at Ancient Redwoods RV would be my choice and the hiking is awesome. I don't know about biking on 101 though. You'd need to find someplace safer.

I don't know what kind of information you've gotten about Crescent City being unsafe as we didn't find that to be true.
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Old 01-16-2022, 01:12 PM   #12
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Mid-July in California along the coast....I think I would call both those places now and see if either one has any space available.

Might be booked up already.
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Old 01-16-2022, 02:52 PM   #13
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If you go with Ave of the Giants and plan to ride, make sure all bikes have blinking tail lights. It is dark in places. Also, if you turn left out of the park and go a few 100 yards, there is a road on the left. We walk our dog down it. Itís not in the trees, but a quiet country road with little traffic. Might be good for a casual ride as well.
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