While we’re on the topic of things hiding in the clouds and mist (last week I talked about hiking to Owl Point to see the clouds shifting around Mt. Hood), let’s visit a view I didn’t know existed until some of the clouds lifted: the view from the High Bluff Overlook in Redwood National Park, CA.
When we first arrived at the overlook, we walked to the edge of the abyss and thought, “Well, that’s not very interesting. Guess people want to look out at the ocean.” But since we were there, we stuck around for a few minutes. And what do you know, the clouds lifted, and there were sea stacks, rugged coastline, and beaches we didn’t even know existed while the clouds were there!
So I do recommend visiting High Bluff if you’re on the Coastal Drive (note that the drive is one way from south to north), and if you don’t mind giving your vehicle a little workout (that road is steep!). The trail – beyond the stone wall, through the picnic area, and out onto the bluff – is only about 300ft. each direction.
We walked beyond the fence because, quite honestly, there’s more view out there. We weren’t even beginning to be the first ones, and they’ve even left a nice break in the middle of the fence to walk through.
Round Trip Trail Length: About 0.1 miles if you only go to the overlook; my GPS was reading 0.4 by the time all was said and done, but I also moved around a lot more than necessary.
Net Elevation Change: 77ft. (384ft. at the parking area to 307ft. at the overlook) (so sayeth the GPS – I don’t think it was really that much!)
Facilities: Picnic tables. There might also have been a restroom, though I don’t recall seeing one.
Trail Notes: Be extremely careful near the edges of the bluff, which can be undercut and give way at a moment’s notice. There are also quite a number of blackberry (what I’d call thimbleberry) bushes in the area. If you’re looking for another short trail in the area, check out “The Farm that Wasn’t“, a cleverly disguised WWII era radar station.
Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this?
Key GPS Coordinates for High Bluff Overlook
High Bluff Parking: 41.51027N / -124.07901W (41° 30′ 36.9714″ / -124° 4′ 44.4354″) (384ft.)
Trail beginning: 41.51015N / -124.07910W (41° 30′ 36.5400″ / -124° 4′ 44.7594″) (313ft.) (ended 0.48)
High Bluff Overlook: 41.50947N / -124.07932W (41° 30′ 34.0920″ / -124° 4′ 45.5514″) (307ft.) (300ft.)
The gpx file for High Bluff Overlook can be downloaded – please note that this and the GPS Coordinates are for reference only and should not be used as a sole resource when hiking this trail.
Download GPX File size: 16.3 KB Downloaded 9 times
(Note: I do my best to ensure that all downloads, the webpage, etc. are virus-free and accurate; however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result, including but not limited to loss of data, damages to hardware, harm to users, from use of files, information, etc. from this website. Thanks!)
Getting to the High Bluff Overlook
From Brookings, OR, drive south on US-101S 19 miles. Take the exit toward Klamath Beach Road and turn left 1.4 miles; turn left onto Coastal Drive (a sign will point out that Coastal Drive goes both directions; be sure to turn left as the road is one-way to get to High Bluff). After 2.0 miles turn right (a sign will point toward High Bluff among other sites). A short distance later, take the left fork to descend the very steep, twisting road to the High Bluff parking area, 0.3 miles below.
From the southern part of Redwood National Park (for example, the Lady Bird Johnson Grove), drive north on US-101 N 18 or 20 miles; take the exit for Klamath Beach Road, turn left, and follow the directions above to the parking area.
This Week’s Featured Product!
If the Northern California Coast is on your list for hiking destinations, check out this book with more than 50 trails to beaches, sea stacks, redwoods, inland canyons, and much more.
- 2:15 PM PST on December 12, 2017
- 10:00 PM PST on December 14, 2017
Tue Dec 12
Partly cloudy. Lows overnight in the mid 40s.
Wed Dec 13
Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. High 62F. Winds light and variable.
Thu Dec 14
Partly cloudy. High 63F. Winds light and variable.
Fri Dec 15
Mostly cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. High 58F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Sat Dec 16
A few clouds from time to time. High 62F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.