Most of the Redwoods that were harvested in the XIXth and Xxth century were shipped from Eureka and allowed to build large cities such as San Francisco. When you visit the Redwoods, do not miss a visit to neighboring Eureka that has a magnificent set of Victorian houses and where seafood restaurants are plenty. My %L[http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/6ce90/b7b2f/ ]Eureka page will show you what to expect.
Fort Ross is the amazing and only testimony of the failed attempt to build a Russian America in the first part of the XIXth. My %L[http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/6ce90/b7bdd/ ]Fort Ross page reminds that the Russian print on the Pacific coast of America is far from negligible : Mount Saint Helen was first climbed and named by Russian explorers, the state flower of California, the California poppy was first described and named Escholzia californica by Russian botanists and much more. And do you want to know more about the amazing and sad love story between Count Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov, ruler of the Russian American Company and María Concepción Argüello, daughter of the governor of Spanish California?
Crater Lake (page to come) is located in Southern Oregon in the Cascade Mountain range, 160 km inland from the Pacific Ocean. Crater lake was born 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama had a blasting eruption that blow out the summit and left instead a volcanic basin named a caldera that further on filled with water. The surface of the water is at an elevation of 1,883 meters while Mount Mazema stood at 3,660 meters! It is 592 meters deep. The missing elevation has been blown out, which makes an enormous amount.
Lassen Volcanic Park (page to come) is located in the southern part of the Cascade Mountain range. It is by far not as impressive as the Yellowstone but nevertheless has boiling mud pots, steaming ground, roaring fumaroles, and sulfurous gases. They are a testimony of intense volcanic activity. The last eruption at Lassen Peak occurred in May 1915.
The Lava Beds National monument (page to come) lies in the far north east corner of California. It is a striking example of eruptions where the outer lava cools and gives a solid crust while the inner lava remains fluid enough to flow out, giving empty tubes that can be visited.
Actually, Crescent City is only out of the way if you are in the central or southern part of the park, but if you have a long stay in Redwoods, you may find a need to drive up here for groceries or other supplies. Crescent City is located in northern California, along highway 101, bordering the Pacific Ocean. We drove up to Crescent City one day for a few supplies. This small town is the headquarters of Redwood National Park, but what we enjoyed most about the town was its harbor, where we saw a number of commercial fishing boats. These work boats harvest salmon, shrimp, tuna, cod, and dungeness crab. The main photo shows a stack of crab pots with ropes and floats inside each. Photo two shows some of the fishing boats along the dock. While walking along the fishing warf I saw three seals. Two were swimming, and one was lying on a rock. While in Cresecent City we stopped for lunch in a small restaurant that advertised fresh fish, and had a delicious meal of locally caught snapper and homemade clam chowder.
Driving along the Pacific Coastal Highway (a.ka. 101 or the PCH) is a great way to catch the endless beauty of the Northern California coastline. If you drive south of the Redwoods, you will wind down hairpin turns until you come to an amazing view of the coast. From here, you drive south through Fort Bragg all the way to San Francisco. It is absolutely beautiful. Catch a sunset here...it's something you're likely not to forget anytime soon.
Not exactly off the beaten track, the Redwood Creek trail is easily done and easily accessible.
What I am talking about though, is off-season hiking, when the trail disappears and the bridge no longer exists. Scrambling through thick foliage alongside the creek until you're socks are full of mud, and you've fallen into the creek at least once. Truly an experience.