Saturday, November 24, 2012

Alternates in scenic Humboldt

Hammond Trail, heading toward the Mad River bridge.
The lack of people in Humboldt County makes it a pretty sweet place to ride. Not to mention gorgeous landscapes and foodie places to eat. But there's that issue with remote places: few roads. Everyone asks, do I take 101? Well, sometimes. For the hundred miles between Patrick's Point and Garberville, there are only a few short bits where the highway is a must. Otherwise, bring on the backroads!

Here's what you do. First, plug these endpoints into Google Maps and say you're on a bike. That gives some approximate routing and a good view of the bike routes in Eureka. Here are the mods:

  • Patrick's Point Drive to Trinidad (old 101)
  • Scenic Drive to Westhaven (old 101)
  • Get on 101 at Westhaven Drive, exit at Crannell Road
Head west toward the ocean. Do not, for the love of God, head east to Hammond Truck Road. Bad Google. Bad.
  • Clam Beach Drive or Hammond Trail (new extension) to Central Ave.
  • Get on Hammond Trail, unpaved up the hill turning to pavement
  • After bridge over the Mad River, head south on Mad River Road
  • After the Samoa Bridge, follow R Street across 4th and 5th (101) in Eureka, head south on 6th
  • In Eureka, tack over to F Street and take that all the way past the golf course
  • At Herrick Avenue, get on 101
  • Exit at Tompkins Hill Road
  • West on Hookton Road, south on Eel River Drive to Loleta
  • Eel River Drive to Fernbridge, crossing the Eel River here
  • South on Substation Road, becomes Waddington Road
  • Left on Pleasant Point Road through Eel River delta and dairy farms
  • Left on Grizzly Bluff Road, becomes Blue Slide Road, becomes Bellevue Road in Rio Dell
  • Take main drag through town and keep heading south over the Eel River to Scotia
  • Follow Main Street south to this point, get on 101
  • Exit at Avenue of the Giants (ah, 33 miles of scenic beauty)
This is where I mention the hills. You'll find more hills on this route; bring your legs. The hilly spots are near the golf course in Eureka, Tompkins Hill Road, Eel River Drive, Blue Slide Road, and the first 5 miles of Ave. of the Giants.
Ave of the Giants, looking at the Eel and Dyerville Flat, where the Northcoast Railroad exits the river canyon.
Garberville is a place where you have to be on 101. It's hilly there. But you can take Benbow Drive (old 101) for 3 miles, and Highway 271 (old 101) just south of Richardson's Grove.



  1. What is the reason for the warning about Hammond Truck Rd?

  2. Hi Jim, Hammond Truck Road is a dead end road that heads east into the hills. Also, I believe it's unpaved. But hey feel free to try it ;-)

    Instead, try Hammond Trail. A similar name but a totally different experience. It does have a few unpaved bits but actually goes where you want to go...

    Those good-but-young-and-green folks at Google Maps don't know the difference, and they didn't take feedback x2 to fix the map.