Scenic USA - California

Crescent City Byways

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Battery Point - Crescent City Byways, California

Photos by Jim Stiles
Jim Stiles Photography
Roosevelt Elk - Rob Jones

     Following the northern California coast, from the town of Smith River southward, U.S. Route 101 mirrors the California Redwoods coastline for the next 100 miles. Near Eureka, the highway turns inland for the next 300 miles, bypassing the rugged Lost Coast until it reaches the San Francisco area (*although Rt 1 follows the coast from Rockport to Sausalito). This initial northern stretch, near Crescent city, not only introduces sightseers to the scenic seashore, but almost half the remaining old-growth redwood forests in California.
     This view of Battery Point and the lighthouse offers a beautiful portrayal of the northern coast. Here in Crescent City, the National Park Service Crescent City Information Center offers a few ideas on the best ways to explore the redwoods and picturesque shoreline. Just to the south of Crescent City, Howland Hill Road, (unpaved), guides motorists on a ground level view of towering redwoods. Roosevelt Elk In Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, numerous pull-outs and trails (Boy Scout Tree Trail and Stout Grove) allow for impressive views of the tallest trees on earth. Crescent Beach Overlook, found on Enderts Beach Road, is a great way to enjoy more coastal views. Itís from this area that sightseers are treated to wild elk herds as well as passing whale pods. Guests may enjoy lunch at the picnic area or an overnight stay at the Nickel Creek Backcountry Camp.
     Further to the south, more coastal views and redwoods are found at Klamath and Orrick. Take in the Prairie Creek Redwoods Park from Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, or stop at the High Bluff Overlook on Coastal Drive.

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