While the park may be famous for its towering redwoods, the coastal section has a beauty all its own and definitely should not be missed. In truth, it was probably my favorite part of the park. The trees are incredible, no doubt, but as a Southern CA girl, my heart always lies with the ocean.
We started our visit to the coast with a stop at the Klamath River Overlook, which is supposed to have awesome whale watching. We were not fortunate enough to see any whales, but the views of the coast and the Klamath River sure were beautiful! (This was just a drive up and park overlook- no hiking or walking required. And there were quite a few picnic tables available… Maybe a nice picnic spot?).
After the whale watching fail, we took a sunset hike to the beach. We did the Yurok Loop Trail, which is a fairly easy, 1-mile loop, and is technically listed as part of the North section of the park (not the Coastal section), but I included it here because it leads to, well, the coast.
The spur trail to get down to the beach was a little bit challenging to find. It actually may not have even been a real spur trail, but enough people have used it that it sure looks like one. I am glad we found it though, because the beach was AMAZING!
We were super lucky and arrived at low tide (tide charts are available in the ranger stations and visitor centers, in case you want to ensure your arrival at low tide), and the tidepools were super cool! The sea stars were gigantic…bigger than your hand, and a really pretty purple color.
The colors from the setting sun did beautiful things to the water, and it was one of those moments where nature leaves you in absolute awe. Like Forrest Gump says, “I couldn’t tell where Heaven stopped and the earth began.”
Towards the end of the loop, when you are almost back at the parking lot, there are more wild berry bushes with tons of blackberries. Now for some reason the park ranger we spoke with did not recommend this trail, and said it wasn’t very good. Maybe my standards are lower, or maybe she is just crazy, but I thought it was the best trail in the whole park.
The Yurok Loop Trail can be found on the park’s hiking guide for the North section, but for a listing of all the official Coastal section trails, click here.