• Fern Canyon

    Humboldt Coastal Hike

  • People hiking on forest trail

    Discover the Humboldt County Coast

  • Female elk in Prairie Creek State Park

    Coming in 2019

  • Man walking in forest

    Adventure is out there!

Two hikers sitting on a log, hiking equipment nearby

July 8-12, 2019

Adventure is out there!
Registration now open!

OLLI at HSU is teaming up with local hiking enthusiasts for the Humboldt Coastal Hike – a five-day/four-night, fully-supported trek through the majestic redwood forests and along the breathtaking Humboldt County coastline. 

Enjoy five days filled with hiking and exploring nearby trails along the beach and into the redwoods. Adventures may include exploring Fern Canyon, visiting waterfalls, viewing rock formations, possible Roosevelt Elk sightings, or discovering the many facets of the vast beach.

The program fee includes dinners, camping fees, snacks, educational programs, transportation to and from the trailhead. Each day participants carry a day pack and depart on moderate hikes, leaving heavy gear behind. Camp hosts prepare dinners and transport gear.

The first Humboldt Coastal Hike was in summer 2018, and was a great success. Be part of the Humboldt Coastal Hike in 2019!

Trek at a Glance

  • Participants will check in at Humboldt State University, load their gear (including lunch) and hop on the bus bound for Prairie Creek State Park. Then enjoy lunch and a short but beautiful hike to the first campsite, get settled and ready to unwind.
  • The next few days will be spent on the trail, beach combing, exploring, eating, making new friends, learning about local history and natural resources of the area and relaxing by the campfire.
  • We hope you can join us this year!

Things to know

What is the cost of the trip, and how do I sign up?

Total program fee: $275

Deposits ($85) will be accepted beginning March 1. A deposit is required to reserve your space on the trip. The deposit is $50 plus $35, the cost of 2019-2020 OLLI membership, which is required to participate on this trip.

The balance ($225) will be due June 7.

You may also pay the full amount if you wish.

Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Space is limited. At this time, there are still a few spaces left. We will start a wait list once the hike is full.

When you register, you will submit an agreement form, and then choose to pay a deposit or the full amount, and you will be directed to the online registration and payment form. Major credit cards and electronic checks are accepted.

To register, go to:
Humboldt Coastal Hike Registration

What is the Itinerary for Day 1?

Monday, July 8

Participants will check in at Humboldt State University at 10 a.m. for an 11 a.m. departure time. Travel will be via bus to the trailhead at in Redwood National and State Parks. 

Volunteers will meet participants and provide direction. All gear will be loaded into vehicles. Please note all camping gear will be transported via separate vehicle to the campground.

Participants will need to be dressed to hike, carry a day pack with lunch, water and whatever gear is needed for comfort and safety on day 1. The first hike, led by hiking enthusiast Gail Popham, is approximately 3 miles. 

Upon arrival at the campsite, campers can pick up their gear and set up their tents. Camp steward will meet hikers at the campground with appetizers and beverages before dinner is served. Campground amenities include: showers, restrooms, fire pits, and picnic tables. 

After dinner the group will participate in a brief orientation and learn more about the California Coastal Trail with Bert Taylor. Participants can also discover more about the history of Redwood National and State Parks with an optional fireside program with Jim Wheeler, retired RNSP ranger.

What is the Itinerary for Day 2?

Tuesday, July 9

After breakfast, but before departure, participants will need to break down their campsite and prepare gear to be loaded into vehicles. Participants will not be returning to this campsite.

Participants will need to carry a day pack with snacks, lunch, water and whatever gear is needed for comfort and safety on day 2.

Our experienced hike leader, Rees Hughes will lead the hike to the coast on approximately 7.5 miles on some of the world's best redwood trails.

Upon arrival at the campsite, campers can pick up their gear and set up their tents. Camp steward will meet hikers at the campground with appetizers and beverages before dinner is served. 

Campground amenities include: solar showers, restrooms, fire pits, and picnic tables. 

After dinner the group will have free time to explore the pristine coast and unwind.

What is the Itinerary for Day 3?

Wednesday, July 10

After breakfast, participants can choose their hiking experience of either exploring nearby trails along the beach or into the redwoods. Terrain, distance and difficulty will vary and hikes range from 3-11.5 miles. Hike leaders Rich Ridenhour, Leonel Arguelo, Lauren Lester and Linda Doerflinger will give an overview of their hike and participants can choose their experience.

Participants will need to carry a day pack with snacks, lunch, water and whatever gear is needed for comfort and safety on day 3.

Camp steward will stay at the campsite.

Camp hosts will meet hikers at the campground with appetizers and beverages before dinner is served.

After dinner, Rich Ridenhour will give a fireside presentation about the unique characteristics of Pacific salmon. Learn how to identify the six species of Pacific salmon and how their life histories differ. Hear the exciting story of Odyssey, the indomitable salmon that overcame extraordinary obstacles to return to where he had lived as a youngster.

What is the Itinerary for Day 4?

Thursday, July 11

After breakfast, but before departure, participants will need to break down their campsite and prepare gear to be loaded into vehicles. Participants will not be returning to this campsite.

Participants will need to carry a day pack with snacks, lunch, water and whatever gear is needed for comfort and safety on day 4.

Leave the coast with hike leaders Jerry Rohde, historian and Gisela Rohde, naturalist, on the approximately 7.5 miles trail to Wolf Creek Education Center. Along the way Jerry and Gisela will share more about the history and the natural environment of this beautiful forest home to some of the tallest trees in the world. 

Overnight stay in shared cabins or outside in your tent.

Camp hosts will meet hikers at the center with appetizers and beverages before dinner is served.

The overnight provides a rare opportunity to enjoy the park in a secluded setting designed for a unique educational experience. Bird expert, Gary Lester, will offer a presentation about the endangered marbled murrelet, a small seabird that nests in old-growth redwood forests.

What is the Itinerary for Day 5?

Friday, July 12

Optional early morning program: Take a short walk with bird expert Gary Lester to the meadow at Prairie Creek to get a rare glimpse the nesting of the marbled murrelet.

Participants will need to break down their campsite and prepare all gear to be loaded into vehicles and transported back to HSU.

The excursion concludes after breakfast at the Wolf Creek Educational Center. 

Anticipated departure is 11 a.m. for arrival back to Arcata by 12 p.m.

How can I be best prepared for the pacing and physical requirements?

Trip pacing is subject to personal interpretation. The day-by-day itinerary descriptions will provide additional detail about the hiking distance included in each day.

This tour includes moderate physical activity. To truly experience the program and destination, you need to be able to participate in physical activities such as walking longer distances on uneven terrain. We recommend this program to individuals who are physically fit.

Unfortunately, this tour is not appropriate for individuals who use either walkers or wheelchairs.

What are the accommodations?

The program fee includes camping fees.

Gold Bluff's Beach campground lies in the dunes along a beautiful 10-mile stretch of golden beach. Amenities include solar showers, restrooms, fire pits, and picnic tables.

Wolf Creek Education Center is located in the heart of Prairie Creek State Park. The center has hot water showers, restrooms with flush toilets, fire pits, education center with large kitchen, and several shared cabins with padded bunks (or you can set up your tent).

What gear do I need to bring?

For your comfort, we recommend wearing comfortable hiking shoes so you can fully enjoy every aspect of your trip.

Bring your tent, sleeping bag and pad, and other camping essentials. Each day participants will carry their day pack and depart on moderate hikes, leaving heavy gear behind. Camp hosts will prepare dinners and transport gear.

A complete checklist of all items needed will be provided in advance of the trip.

What if I don't have all the gear I need?

Center Activities, a program of Humboldt State University, can support your outdoor equipment needs. Center Activities has an extensive list of gear available for rent [PDF].

Pick up gear at Center Activities on the HSU Campus or at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center on the Eureka waterfront.

Reservations can be made by calling 707-826-3357 or e-mailing Center Activities. See the Center Activities Outdoor Rental Gear price list [PDF]. Deposits are required for all rentals.

For additional policy information, see the Center Activities Rental Agreement Form [PDF].

What about meals?

The program fee includes dinners, coffee and some snacks. Each participant is responsible to provide food for their breakfast, lunch and any additional snacks.

After each hike we will have a social hour with appetizers before the dinner meal is served. Camp hosts will prepare dinners each evening. Vegetarian and vegan options will be provided by request.

When you sign up for the trip, we will send you a brief questionnaire so we can do our best to accommodate food sensitivities.

Participants will need to bring their own plate, bowl, utensils and beverage container.

Hot water and coffee will be available. Ice chest/coolers will be provided for cold food storage.

What is the weather like?

The weather is a fickle thing on the north coast. It can be sunny and warm, sunny and windy, overcast, overcast and windy, foggy, rainy, and downright blustery all in one day!

Average temperatures in July range from 60-75 degrees.

Plan to wear layers, so you can adjust according to the current weather.

What documentation is needed?

Once you have registered for the hike, you will need to fill out a release of liability form.

Download liability form [PDF]

What is the meeting place and where do I leave my vehicle?

The program fee includes a parking permit and transportation from the Humboldt State University campus.

On July 8 we will meet outside of Harry Griffith Hall at 8 a.m. You'll be greeted by volunteers who will provide direction on where to park, stow gear and what items you will need to bring with you. A parking permit will be provided upon arrival on campus.

Download campus map [PDF with building and additional parking info]

Is there anything else I should know about the trip? What if I have questions?

Please check back for updates, or if you have questions, contact the program coordinator, Kim Laney at 707-826-3713.

I'm from out of the area -- can you help with additional accommodations and travel?

Possibly. Contact Kim Laney, OLLI Program Coordinator at OLLI at HSU, 707-826-3713 or olli@humboldt.edu.