One of my favorite things about road tripping in the summer are the long days and late sunsets. We can squeeze so much more into a summer adventure day than a winter adventure day simply because we have more sunlight and places are open longer.
Thank goodness for that too, because when I made my list of everything I wanted to see and do on our summer road trip through Crater Lake National Park, Redwood National and State Parks, the Humboldt Redwoods, and Avenue of the Giants, I had 100 things on my list! My husband Brian said I needed to lower my expectations because we wouldn’t have time to do them all, but he was wrong. We were able to squeeze everything on my list into our trip and we even came home a day early!
This also meant our days were jam-packed. On one day alone, we:
- Hiked the Simpson-Reed Discovery Trail and the Leiffer-Ellsworth Loop Trails, and crossed a seasonal bridge to walk the Hiouchi Trail and Mill Creek Trail at Jedediah Smith State Park.
- Picnicked at Pebble Beach, visited the Battery Point Lighthouse, and explored Crescent Beach and the Crescent Beach Overlook in Crescent City.
- Hunted for shells and played in a driftwood fort at Wilson Creek Beach at Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.
- Visited Trees of Mystery to checkout the giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.
While Crescent Beach was a beautiful beach, we had a lot more fun at Wilson Creek Beach! Not only did we find more sea shells, but we found an abandoned driftwood fort that was the perfect spot to stop and relax a while.
Wilson Creek Beach, also called Wilson Beach, is a beautiful 0.5 mile stretch of grey sand beach in False Klamath Cove that is flanked by thick forest and the spectacular Pacific Ocean.
Intense water conditions make this beach unsafe for swimming, so we were content to walk along the surf, hunt for neat rocks and sea shells, play in an abandoned driftwood fort we found, enjoy the cool ocean breeze, and take in views of interesting rock formations and sea stacks. During low tide, there are tidepools to explore too!
Know Before You Go
- Wilson Creek Beach Day Use Area is located at the intersection of Redwood Highway (Highway 101) and Wilson Creek Road in Klamath, California 95548 just south of the Wilson Creek bridge only 2.5 miles north of Trees of Mystery and 7.0 miles south of Crescent City. It sits within Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.
- Download a Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park Brochure.
- Parking is free and at the beach you’ll find picnic tables and grills, fire pits, tidepools, cool rocks, and lots of driftwood.
- There are tide pool areas on the north end of False Klamath Cove near the mouth of Wilson Creek, and on the south end near False Klamath Cove Rock point.
- Dogs are allowed as long as they remain on leash.
- It is not safe for swimming due to the steep beach slope, rocky conditions, frequent rough seas, and extremely cold water.
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods, and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks joined with Redwood National Park to form Redwood National and State Parks in 1994. Today, the four parks’ combined 133,000 acres contain 45 percent of California’s old growth redwood forest. They have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and form a portion of the protected California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve.
- Del Norte Coast Redwoods, Jedediah-Smith Redwoods, and Prairie Creek Redwoods are the only parks in the California State Parks system that accept the Federal Access Pass discount.