Crescent City is geographically isolated from the rest of California and closely linked to the Oregon cities to the north. Its main attactions are its ocean views and redwoods.
Crescent City was the site of three tsunamis, one in 1964, one in 2006, and another one in 2011. The 1964 tsunami was a major one. 11 people died and the damage was $7.4 million in 1964 dollars. This 21-foot tsunami was the result of the great earthquake in Alaska. Although the tsunami was felt along the California coast, the damage was greatest in Crescent City. The 2006 tsunami was the result of an earthquake in Japan. It was 5 to 6 feet high. No lives were lost and damage was estimated to be $700,000. The 2011 tsunami was also the result of an earthquake in Japan. One person was swept out to see while getting too close to take photographs. The damage to the harbor was extensive but there was little or no damage to the town itself.
First on the list is to visit the Giant Redwoods, located immediately south and east. There are also two lighthouses, a beautiful harbor, the Smith River and ample opportunities to camp, hike and RV.
Don't miss the Battery Point Lighthouse, the St. George Reef Lighthouse, Tolowa Dunes, Lake Earl and the views of the harbor and the Pacific Ocean. The drive along the western edge of the city, along Front Street (Beach Front Park), near the lighthouse and fishing pier, then out to Pebble Beach Drive and Point St. George is worthwhile, even for the weary traveler. ....more
The California redwoods are the tallest trees in the world. These amazing giant redwood forests can be found at the Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest south of Brookings and outside of Crescent City, California. Another grove is located at the Del Norte Coast Redwood State Park along route 101, the Pacific Coast Highway. These mammoth redwood trees may weigh over 500 tons and grow to be taller than the Statue of Liberty and the Giant Sequoia trees. Amazingly, ... more
There are several campgrounds where you can camp among these redwood giants that are thousands of years old. Jedediah Smith State Park and Del Norte Coast Redwood Parks are the largest and most spectacular. But don't overlook the nearby Tolowa Dunes State Park with primitive camping, or Ruby Van Deventer Park and Florence Keller Regional Park that offer excellent camping opportunities ... more
Fish at the 900-foot pier that juts out into the harbor. Perch, halibut, and flounder are the common catch, but the real attraction of the pier is Dungeness crabbing. The pier is lighted, so fishing continues late into the night and starts before sunup. The pier is located off of Front and B streets, near the lighthouse.
The Klamath River is located a short distance south and is the second largest river in California and offers Salmon and Steelhead fishing. To the north is Smith River, which is a good place for salmon and steelhead fishing, while cutthroat trout can be taken at Lake Earl. Ocean charter deep sea fishing charters are also available.
Craigs Creek Trail (1E02) is located just west of Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park, near Crescent City, Del Norte County, California. The trail is a 6-mile (each way). ...more
The Elk Camp Ridge Trail is a moderate to steep climb of about 2500 feet (760 m). There are several excellent views of the valley and the mountains. ... more
The California Coastal Trail continues south from Oregon into Del Norte County and travels along the coast through Crescent City and continues onto Klamath River. ...more
Crescent City and Del Norte County, California, are a haven for birders. Del Norte County is home to California's most northwestern redwood forest as well as Tolowa Dunes and Lake Earl, all havens for birders. In addition, the area is home to the California Redwood Birding Trail and the International Migratory Bird Day, which celebrates birds throughout the Americans.
Del Norte County is unique in that approximately 80% of the land is protected and undeveloped and it is home to Smith River, which is the nation's longest Wild and Scenic River. It is also home to Lake Earl which is the largest coastal lagoon outside of Alaska. Del Norte County is also home to Alan Barron who has identified 420 species of birds in Del Norte County. He also identified 160 different avian species in a single day. ... more
There are two 9-hole golf courses. The Del Norte Golf Course is located near the redwoods off of Route 197 (North Bank Road). The other is Kings Valley Golf Course located at 3030 Lesina Rd Crescent City, CA 95531-8547. (707) 464-2886.
There are six spots that are favorites for surfers in the Crescent City - Del Norte area. They are (north to south): Kellogg Beach, Point St. George, Garth's Reef, Whaler Beach, South Beach, and Enderts Beach. Sharks have been identified at all locations, so be careful. Kellogg Beach is located well to the north of the city, near Lake Earl. This beach is a local secret.
There are horse riding opportunities in the California redwoods state parks. Tolowa Dunes and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park are two areas to camp and ride.
The Little Bald Hills Trail is stock-ready primitive camp. Potable water is available. The trail is 10 miles round trip with the trailhead located off Howland Hill Road, 7.5 mi east of Crescent City, or 1.5 mi off South Fork Road east of Hiouchi. The trail begins in an old-growth forest and then gradually ascends 1,800 ft. A mixed conifer forest bordering prairie lands replaces the redwoods shortly into the hike.
The Mill Creek Horse Trail is available for day use only and is 5 miles roundtrip through an old growth redwood forest. From June through September, when the water flow is low, this trail can be accessed from the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park campground.
Access is available year round from Howland Hill Road. Download a brochure (with map) at the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
Further south, in the Redwood National Park and California Redwood State Park there are extensive trails for riding and camping. There are two trailheads, the Orick Trail and the Redwood Creek Trail. The trails have several options ranging from 7 to 32 miles. Elam Camp is available for riders to camp, but 44 Camp is restricted to backpacking, only.
This information center is located a short distance west of US Route 101 and is full of information on the area attractions in the Redwood National Forests. The people working at this center are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They have maps and other hand outs plus first hand information about where to visit, depending on your interests.
1111 Second Street
Crescent City, CA
Del Norte Redwood State Park has one of the best lookouts at the end of the 3-mile-long Endert's Beach Road, which leads off U.S. Highway 101 a mile south of Crescent City. There are displays at the overlook that describe the whales and their migration as they travel up and down the Pacific coast. Tolowa Dunes State Park offers ample parking and a short hike to the ocean for a lookout. But the most convenient spot is the 9th Street viewing area.