Exploring the North Coast
On the Parent & Family Network, many of you have commented on just how far HSU is from San Francisco and Los Angeles. But getting here doesn't have to be a drag. Whether you're coming to HSU for Spring Break or Homecoming & Family Weekend, here's a look at some ways to make the most of this epic California road trip.
One of the keys to any great road trip is preparation. California's Redwood Coast is a website started by HSU geography students and faculty dedicated to exploring the unique tourism of the North Coast. Developed in collaboration with National Geographic and the Bureau of Land Management, the interactive guide includes a searchable map and even a tool for planning your next trip.
Another great resource is redwoods.info. Sign up for a free travel guide, search for lodging, dining and events and plan your own trip.
If you're traveling from the Bay Area or points south, HSU's assistant admissions director Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth suggests taking a moment to visit Avenue of the Giants. The world famous scenic drive runs through the redwood forest parallel to Highway 101. "It's super easy, absolutely beautiful and only adds about 20 minutes to your drive," she says.
Another popular spot is Richardson Grove, located on the southernmost border of Humboldt County. The 2,000-acre park straddles the highway and is bisected by the south fork of the Eel River. Many consider it the first sign you've entered Humboldt County.
Did you know that one of America's most pristine natural environments is located just north of campus? About an hour and half before you hit HSU, you'll find Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks, home to 10,000 acres of old growth redwood forest and the last major free-flowing river in California. If you're looking to stretch your legs or just get some fresh air, the park also offers about 20 miles of hiking and nature trails, as well as river access.
If you're heading south, hop on to Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, a 9-mile two-lane road that offers spectacular views through Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
Also be sure to check out Del Norte Coast Redwoods state park, another old-growth forest that doubles as a popular camping spot. Nearby Tolowa Dunes is a bird life sanctuary, offering some of the finest wetlands on the north coast.
If you're coming from the east, you may want to consider a day trip to Mount Shasta, for skiing or hiking, depending on the season. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, consider stopping at Lassen Volcanic National Park for everything from fishing to horseback riding. Did you know that Lassen is also home to some of the country's most unusual natural wonders like volcanic peaks, boiling pools and painted dunes? Just be sure to check trail, campground and road conditions before planning your trip, Hitchcock-Tinseth says.