The inland mountain region of Humboldt County, much of it designated wilderness, is rugged terrain drained by two important rivers, the Wild and Scenic Trinity River, and the Klamath River, into which it flows. Access to the region is primarily via Hwy 299, which winds east along the Trinity River, past the craggy granite peaks of Trinity County, and up through the mountains that separate the Pacific Coast and its redwood forests from the interior of the state.
Sunny Blue Lake, as the locals call it, is just a 5 mile drive east on Hwy 299 from Hwy 101 between McKinleyville and Arcata. This charming residential community, located just outside of the fog belt, is home to a bustling casino, an internationally famous school of theatre, a brewery and a fish hatchery.
Sunshine, mountains, rivers and outdoor activities draw people to Willow Creek. Formerly a center for mining and logging operations, Willow Creek is now a center for summer recreation, retail business, and is a thriving retirement community. The Trinity River is clear, clean and beautiful. It’s perfect for swimming, rafting, tubing, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. There are stretches with calm swimming holes and others with raging whitewater rapids. Local rafting companies offer guided whitewater trips for safe but thrilling rides, and the U.S. Forest Service can advise on quieter areas for wading and inner-tubing.
Trinity County – Salyer to Buckhorn Summit
Hwy 299 continues into Trinity County from Salyer, at the western end, to Buckhorn Summit at its eastern end. Del Loma, Big Bar, Big Flat and Junction City, all situated right on the river, offer a wide variety of amenities from raft and kayak rentals and guided expeditions to campgrounds, resort lodgings and restaurants. Opportunities for satisfying fresh air vacations and activities in the area are limited only by the imagination.
Weaverville, the county seat, retains the flavor of the Old West. There are no stop lights or parking meters here. The town’s historic downtown, with its old buildings, quaint shops and charming atmosphere, as well as a lively arts scene, keeps locals and visitors busy with socializing, shopping and more. Weaverville is particularly well-suited for those who wish to explore the Trinity Alps. It is nestled at the base of the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area, a 500,000 acre protected area that hosts many a backpacker, equestrian, black bear and mountain lion.