Tower Bridge, Sacramento

Tower Bridge, Sacramento

Photo by Michael Grindstaff, Wikimedia Commons

Redwoods and Vineyards RV Road Trip

Photo by PeterThoeny (wikimedia commons)Montgomery Woods State Reserve Photo by PeterThoeny (wikimedia commons)

Everything about this trip is HUGE; quite literally as it covers quite a few miles, you get to visit the world’s largest tree, and there’s also a huge secret too!  It’s also the ideal place for visitors who like adventure and outdoor activities, wine and beer, and it’s absolutely perfect for a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday as the roads, and the amount of places to overnight, follow on the huge theme.

Day 1.

The first destination on this trip is 100km north of San Francisco at Napa, and what a first stop this is.  There is something for everyone here, the slightly insane, the adventure seeker and the wine buff, so, which one are you?  First the slightly insane, as it’s the first place you will reach on the St. Helena Highway.  Napa is the home of John and Montra Feritas of, vegetarian Bigfoot researches and all things ‘paranormal’ in the area.  The big secret of this trip is that its Bigfoot country and you’ll need to stop off here to buy your Sasquatch Pheromones which will attract the beast.  Note: please do not open the jar whilst inside your vehicle as the pheromones have a strong odour and you don’t want the creature trying to get inside with you!

For the adventure seeker, get kitted out and experience a ‘flight’ over the Napa Valley, on 7 zip lines which travel for over a mile and take anything from 2 to 3 hours to cover.  If you want to spend the whole day here they even do a ‘zip and sip’, zip lines and wine tasting; but only after you’ve finished. 

For a more sedate way to enjoy wine visit 1991 St. Helena Highway, the Rubicon Estate, one of the last family run wineries in the area.  Take a tour of the cellars and perhaps enjoy lunch here, but if you’re driving skip the tasting, you can always buy a bottle to enjoy later.  Your next stop is 300km’s away, so why not enjoy the afternoon in the Napa Valley with a glass of wine and get up early tomorrow.

Day 2.

Back on Highway 111 heading north to the Montgomery State Reserve, where you can stretch your legs on one of the many walking trails and have your first real experience of some ‘big’ trees.  The Montgomery Reserve is one of the most remote Redwood parks in California, as well as being home to the world’s biggest tree.  Take the three mile loop that follows the Montgomery Creek upstream to five separate Redwood groves which have never been forested, and finish up with a nice picnic lunch. 

The next bit will be fun, but only if your vehicle isn’t too big!  You’ve heard of the famous drive through fast food joints, but have you ever heard of a drive through tree park?  Well, that’s what you’ll find at your next stop of Leggett on the junction with Coast Highway 1 and the US101. 

The drive through tree has a hole 6 feet wide by 6 feet 9inches high which was carved in the 1930’s, but its not just one tree, the park has some amazing chandelier trees, you’ll see why they’re called that.

Back on the road again and before you pull over for the day, stop off at Confusion Hill in Piercy.  This place is classed as an historical point of interest, and is where you will find, among other things, the Gravity house.  It will get your mind reeling.

That’s it for the day, make your way to the Garberville RV Park, but note, if you bought a jar of pheromones keep them well contained, as this was where the first film footage of Bigfoot was shot.

Day 3

An easier day today, head for the coast at Shelter Cove, known as the Lost Coast.  Dip your toes in the water, take a hike, you can even visit more giant redwoods, and enjoy a huge portion of locally caught fish with big chips!

Day 4

The climax of the trip…so far, the Avenue of the Giants.  You may want to spend a day or two here if you can spare it.  The Avenue of the Giants is a 31 mile stretch of the old Highway 101 surrounded by 51,222 acres of Redwoods.  There are lots of trails, one of the must see’s is the area known as Rockefeller Forest which has some of the biggest trees in the world, but not the biggest!.

Day 5

Onwards and upwards to Patrick’s Point Sate Park, but if you’re a lover of ‘real’ ale then a stop at the Eel River Brewing Co, America’s first organic brewery, is a must to stock up on ‘proper’ bitter.

Patrick’s Point State Park is a mixture of traditional family homes, native gardens, and of course some excellent trails through the woodland to the sea.  This is another place where you could spend a couple of days, if you have time!

Day 6

Heading south east we’re on the return leg of the journey, but there’s still a lot of things to see.  Your next destination two and a half hours away is Whiskeytown, and no it’s not what you’re thinking.  Whiskeytown is another of California’s great reserves with excellent opportunities for exploring the great outdoors on foot, bike, boat, or horse.  They also have a sheltered camping area, so spend the rest of the day exploring, and enjoy a night under the trees.

Day 7.

Last port of call on this trip is Sacramento, three and a half hours south on a very straight highway.  It’s back to reality here, no more big forests, but there are some interesting places to spend your last day, there’s the California State Railway Museum, Crocker Art Museum, and old Sacramento, the historic area by the waterfront.  So, spend your afternoon doing as much or as little as you please because tomorrow it’s back to San Francisco.

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