Five Epic Outdoor Adventures in Humboldt County, CA

Recently ranked the second most scenic county in the United States in a large federal study, Humboldt County is a mecca of outdoor activities for the adventurous soul. From the tallest trees on earth to a true wilderness coastline, crystal clear rivers to encounters with Bigfoot, those that visit this far Northwestern corner of California are in for endless superlatives and an epic good time.

Redwood National Park
Flickr/Arleen Olsen

Camp or hike under the canpoy of 2,000 year old redwood trees at this massive preserve of old growth forest, home to the oldest and tallest trees on earth. Redwood National Park also sits right on the Pacific Ocean, which allows for a dynamic mix of coastal and interior exploration. Make sure to check out Fern Canyon with its lush fern carpeted walls and be on the lookout for Roosevelt Elk, the largest elk species in the country.

Trinidad State Beach
Flickr/Arleen Olsen

With towering seastacks just off the coast and perfect arcs of golden sand where the usually icy water turns turqiouse-green, Trinidad is piece of Humboldt paradise that exudes otherworldy beauty. While beaches like College Cove get packed on sunny weekends, other hidden coves like Baker Beach are usually pretty chilled out any time of the year.

The Trinity River

Flickr/Bob Wick, BLM California
Sparkling with golden flecks as it winds its way down from the snow covered Trinity Alps through the town of Willow Creek, this emerald green wild river is a white water rafters dream come true. For bathers and sun worshipers, there are excellent pebble beaches and swimming holes at Camp Kimtu and under the overpass near where the North Fork meets the main branch of the Trinity - just be careful, this is the exact area where Bigfoot was first cited.

The Lost Coast
Flickr/Arleen Olsen
The only piece of the entire west coast of the United States, outside of Alaska, without a highway running along it, the Lost Coast is a true piece of savage coastal wilderness. Stop by the Victorian Village of Ferndale before considering doing the entire Lost Coast Trail, which takes up to five days, but you can also do a day hike up to King Peak and check out the awesome views out over the Pacific in just a couple of hours.

The Humboldt Bay
Flickr/Arleen Olsen
The largest protected body of water on the Pacific Coast between the San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound, the Humboldt Bay is fun to explore by kayak or small sailboat, both of which can be rented at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center. Teeming with harbor seals and home to several small islands that are bird reserves, the Humboldt Bay offers plenty of wild life watching opportunities over magical sunsets.

Author's Bio: Ocean Malandra is a widely published freelance writer who divides his time between Northern California and South America.