Humboldt, Siskiyou CountiesDate reviewed - 8/05
Fun . . . . . . . . 5
Difficulty . . . . .Medium
Traffic . . . . . . Light
Driveways . . . .None
Condition . . . . PGood
Length . . . . . .190 miles
This is the kind of road you just don't find in southern California, or many other places for that matter. Almost 200 miles of well maintained 2-lane highway and almost no section that are straight. I have not driven the entire length, most recently I drove the 30 miles from Happy Camp to Scott River Rd., both of which are reviewed on this site. This particular stretch of 96 was quite fun, and even better, had virtually no traffic. However to really have enjoyed it would have required speeds that I was not really willing to consider at that particular time.
The section I drove later in the day, from Salmon River Rd. (see below) down to Hwy. 299 was much more to my liking. From Salmon River to Hwy. 169 the road was in great condition with lots of high-speed sweepers and the occasional tighter corner. I was in the mood by then to risk a little attention and let my speed get a little higher but still not in the realm of insane. It was quite amusing to see a sport bike actually pull over to the side of the road to let me pass in my big sports coupe. I was having a lot of fun here and was lucky enough to not get behind any traffic that held me up.
Once Hwy. 96 reaches the intersection of Highway 169 it turns south over a very large bridge and now runs due south along the Trinity River through the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. The first 7 miles of this southbound section is very tight, hugging the canyon wall as it follows the river. There are no high-speed sweepers here, just switchbacks and blind corners; you can see the detail of this area on the map in red and the 2 satellite photographs. Like every other road if you get stuck behind a car, or even worse a motor home, you won't be having much fun; but catch it like I did with nobody else around and this is one amazing stretch of pavement.
After this tight and twisty section the road heads into a valley and things get much more relaxed. You will have to slow down for the town of Hoopa, but after that you head back into the trees for a few more miles of corners before reaching the intersection of Highway 299 at the town of Willow Creek. They do have gas stations here so it is probably a good place to take a break before heading on to your next destination.- Back to Region
190 miles of fun.
Blue: Highway 96
Red: Pictured below.
Cyan: Titlow Hill Rd.
Yellow: Cecilville Rd. / Salmon River Rd.
Purple: Sawyers Bar Rd.
The highway running along the river, detail of red section on map above.
Amazing curves and State maintenance, just great (closer detail of above).