Day 2 of our Redwoods adventure started out dark and foggy.
Our plan for today was to head to the northernmost extent of where we are visiting the parks, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. On our way up there, we wanted to also stop and visit some tide pools and see what kind of sea life we could find.
We got up about 4:30am to head out to Enderts Beach, which we highly recommend for tidepooling. We checked the tide schedule before heading out and it looked like low tide was around dawn, at 6am.
When you turn onto Enderts Beach Road, head all the way to the end and park in the last lot. The beach is about a half mile hike down, and be prepared for a steep drop (you’ll have to climb it going the other way)!
The beach was absolutely gorgeous with the fog coming in off the water and almost no other people out there due to the early hour. We walked all the way to the south end of the beach, where the large rocks provide ample areas for tide pools. Tons of orange and purple starfish, red rock crabs, green anemones, and mussels of all sizes covered the rocks and the pools.
After an enjoyable hour and a half of beachcombing, we headed back up that steep incline to the car.
Our next stop was Hiouchi Visitor Center, just past Crescent City. We made note of the ranger-recommended hikes, and then drove up the road to check out Stout Grove.
Commonly thought of as the heart of the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, this is one of the oldest groves in the area. The path was nice and cool, and paved for a significant portion. Similar to the Grand Canyon, photos just cannot do these magnificent trees justice.
From Stout Grove we headed back towards Crescent City, briefly stopping to walk the Simpson-Reed and Peterson Memorial trails.
After a good morning of hiking, we were ready for some food. On our way to lunch in Crescent City, we stopped to check out the Battery Point Lighthouse. We were lucky enough to stumble onto some good food in town, at SeaQuake Brewing.
If you have the opportunity to eat here, I highly recommend starting with the Habanero Cheese Curds with sweet Thai chili sauce, and Jordan suggests washing it down with a Mango Vanilla Sour from their beer selection.
After lunch, we were feeling a little drowsy, so we headed down to Klamath for a short but grueling hike to the Klamath River Overlook. Although the trail itself is only a half-mile each way, the journey down to the overlook is very steep, and then you have to climb it on the way back up! This 23-week pregnant mama was dying a little by the end.
When we got to the overlook we were hoping to see some critters, as whales, sea lions, and seals have all been known to be spotted from this site. However, the fog was so thick even at two in the afternoon that we could hardly see the water. If you decide to make the trek down, I would highly recommend going late in the day so that the fog has a chance to burn off.
As we continued to make our way south, our next stop was the Prairie Creek Visitor Center. This visitor center had more people than we saw anywhere else in the parks. Several trailheads leave from around the center, so a lot of traffic comes and goes in the area. This center also had the least useful information beyond general area maps, and no trail recommendations, unlike the other centers.
We left our car parked along the road near the visitor center and took a quick hike down the Cathedral Trees trail to see another glorious set of redwoods. We also ran the car down to Big Tree, which is just a quick walk off the road.
By that time it was getting late in the day for people who had been up since 4:30am, so we decided to head back to Eureka. Our dinner reservations at Five Eleven weren’t until 7:30pm, so we went to the hotel to clean up and relax a bit before dinner.
Five Eleven was just a short walk from our hotel. A “new American cuisine” restaurant, they had a lot of fishy fusions on the menu, which unfortunately didn’t sit well with my stomach. I had a salad for dinner, and Jordan had the halibut and clams, which he said was pretty good. The best part for me was the flourless chocolate torte that we had for dessert.
After traipsing back to the hotel for the night, we tucked in early so that we would be well rested for tomorrow’s adventures.