One of the most remote and least visited places in California is also one of its most beautiful, a place so lush and green that Steven Spielberg used its dense forests and chest-high ferns as the backdrop for “Jurassic Park II: The Lost World.” This is also the area of California where Bigfoot sightings have been reported.
California's Wild Rivers Coast
It’s called the Wild Rivers Coast, a 101-mile-long stretch of roadway that stretches from the northwest California communities of Klamath and Crescent City northward to Florence and Gold Beach in southern Oregon.
The California section of the Wild Rivers Coast is where you’ll find ancient redwood trees, big leaf maples and other trees cloaked with algae and moss. Nature enthusiasts will love walking through the Stout Grove at Jedediah Smith State Park and Redwood National Park, home of the world’s tallest redwood tree.
At Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, you can see the famous Corkscrew Tree, which is actually two redwoods that grew together with intertwined trunks, resembling a corkscrew. Prairie Creek is also where you can explore Fern Canyon, a hidden gorge whose walls are adorned with thousands of spring-fed ferns that gracefully hang from the canyon’s walls. It was in Fern Canyon where Spielberg filmed his second Jurassic Park film.
The Wild Rivers Coast is also the place where you’ll find some of America’s wildest rivers, including
the 250-mile-long Klamath River, which is popular with salmon and trout fishing enthusiasts, as well as Oregon’s famous Rogue River, a 215-mile-long river that runs from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
While some RVers take their own boats, others explore these wild and scenic rivers on Klamath Jet Boat Tours, which takes visitors upstream to enjoy dense forests, cool breezes with osprey and bald eagles flying overhead. Several companies also offer jet boat tours on the Rogue River, including Jerry’s Rogue Jets and Hellgate Jetboat Excursions.
The Wild Rivers Coast is also a place where RV enthusiasts can get a taste of history. At Trees of Mystery in Klamath, visitors not only can ride a 1,570-foot tram that offers views overlooking the forest, but they can enjoy the “End of the Trail Museum,” which features one of the world’s largest private collections of Native American artifacts. Its holdings include baskets, pottery, and arrowheads as well as several original “gold tone” photographs by Edward Sheriff Curtis, who spent decades photographing Native Americans across the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Klamath is also home to California’s last remaining World War II era early warning radar station and anti-aircraft battery. The military equipment was previously housed inside a structure that looks like a barn, which can still be visited today, although the road to the National Historic Site is not recommended for RVs.
Ferndale and Crescent City feature some of California’s most beautifully preserved Victorian architecture. Historical attractions in the tiny town of Orick include a little red schoolhouse called the Stone Lagoon School, built in 1899.
You’ll need several days to explore the California section of the Wild Rivers Coast. Fortunately, this sparely populated area has many campgrounds that can be used as convenient base camps. They include:
Kamp Klamath RV Park and Campground in Klamath: This campground includes RV and tent sites.
Ramblin’ Redwoods Campground in Crescent City: This campground features RV and tent sites as well as park model RV rentals.
River Walk RV Park in Fortuna: This park features RV sites as well as rental accommodations.
Village Camper Inn in Crescent City: This big rig friendly park features RV sites as well as a tent sites. Amenities include pickleball courts.