This familiar view was captured leaving San Francisco on the 101 North across the Golden Gate Bridge. If you want to sneak a quick snap, we’d suggest hopping off the 101 at Alexander Avenue after crossing the bridge. From there, make your way to Battery Spencer, park your car, then find a vista that will provide you with wild panoramic views of the bridge and San Francisco.
The beautiful redwood trees peppering the coastal highways always make for a spectacular road trip. Driving out of San Francisco, the closest recommended stop to experience these trees is Muir Woods National Monument. If you want to see the "old growth" alternatives, which are much larger and older, take an extended trip out to Armstrong State Natural Reserve. The epic statue of Bigfoot welcomes visitors to Happy Camp, which is located in the Klamath National Forest (home to many of the nation’s Bigfoot sightings). We aren’t confirming we saw an actual Sasquatch; we’re simply suggesting you be on the lookout at all times — just in case.
The New 49’ers Prospecting Association is the club for miners who are still panning for gold today. It’s also the place for novices to learn panning under the expert tutelage of a local.
Gold panning extraordinaire Dickie shares some trade secrets with first-timers Eddie and Jess in the Klamath River. This area was one of the original gold rush sites of the 1800s. The prospecting community that resides there now is tight, friendly and always open for visitors — if you call ahead.
Be sure to stop at one of Humboldt County’s secluded cliffside beaches in the evening. In favorable weather, you’ll be treated to the last of the sun colorfully ripping across the clouds as it says farewell to the day.
From their home base in San Francisco, Jess and Eddie drive north on a weekend road trip to Happy Camp, California, to learn gold panning with an actual modern-day prospecting club. We follow them into the Redwood Forest as they meet Dickie, an eccentric local prospector, and pan to strike it rich — or at the very least, find a bit of adventure amidst stunning surroundings.
One of America’s most breathtaking landscapes, this scenic region runs north from San Francisco through Humboldt Country and Redwoods National and State Parks along Highway 101. The road carves through a wooded and coastal landscape on its way to the Oregon border.