Humboldt County

Date reviewed - 8/05
Fun . . . . . . . . 4
Difficulty . . . . .Medium
Traffic . . . . . . None
Driveways . . . .None
Condition . . . . Fair
Length . . . . . .50 miles

I found out about Titlow Hill / Forest Road 1 after reading a description of a long distance ride by the guy who put together Pashnit.com. His pictures and description of this particular road looked very intriguing so I made a note to check it out the next time I was up north. As it turned out that wasn't very many weeks later so in the middle of many other roads I made this part of a south to north adventure that also includes many of the other roads in the North West section.

From the north you can find Titlow Hill 10 miles east of Highway 96 (the town of Willow Creek - they do have gas stations) where it meets Highway 299. Headed west on 299 you will climb your way up a descent grade and almost at the top Titlow Hill will be on your left. One of the interesting things about this road is drives almost the same in the northbound and southbound direction. The first 5 miles or so at either end are tight switchbacks that run up to the top of the ridge, with the north end having a double yellow line in several different places and the road is slightly wider.

You will also find a "Y" intersection approximately 10 miles from the start of the road at both the north and the south; headed south stay to the right and headed north stay to the left. On the map the local roads are very confusing and it looks like it would be difficult to stay on Titlow / Forest 1, but in reality other than the two "Y" intersections I mentioned above all you have to do is stick to the paved road and follow the signs for "Forest 1" and you won't have any problems.

I must say that I was a little confused as to why this road even existed. It is understandable that the logging companies and the National Forest service would want an access road, but why it was paved seemed a little strange to me. And given that it is just shy of 50 miles long through the middle of nowhere along a ridgeline makes a paving project no small feat. They did build it though, and now we get to enjoy it. Be aware that while the pavement is in pretty good shape in many places, there are others where potholes are starting to become noticeable.

Other than the first few miles at the northern end there is no center striping the entire length and the non-stop hairpins and tight s-curves can get pretty tiring. If this was a proper 2-lane road it would quite possibly be the best road in the state; as it stands it is a very enjoyable, and long, drive with some amazing views of the surrounding valleys from the top.

If you are approaching from the southern end off of Highway 36 look for Forest Road 1 1/2 mile east of the "town" of Mad Creek, 3 miles east of Van Duzen Rd. (see above), and 1 mile west of Lower Mad River Rd. Look for a bridge on Hwy. 36 over a small creek (Mad River) and the peach colored "Lambs Creek Christian Center" at the intersection with Hwy. 36 and Forest Rd. 1. Note that this road is not maintained or passable in the winter, and be on the look out for logging trucks and operations as well as the occasional deer and cattle guard.

- Back to Region

Red: Titlow Hill / Forest Rd. 1 - It takes you through the middle of nowhere but it's not a bad way to spend your day.
Blue: Van Duzen Rd.

Only 1 lane wide but there is practically nobody up here, unless you run into a large logging operation. The views from the top of the mountain are unbelievable.