Mendocino County

Date reviewed - 8/05
Fun . . . . . . . . 5
Difficulty . . . . .Medium to High
Traffic . . . . . . Light
Driveways . . . .None
Condition . . . . Good
Length . . . . . .13 miles

There is something magical about this section of Highway 1 that is hard to explain. On the map it doesn't look all that much different from any other highway in this part of the State; in fact it doesn't even look all that fun on paper. And at just over 12 miles long it wouldn't even seem to be worth your effort to go out of your way to drive it.

My most recent drive north didn't have this section on the route map, even though I had driven it in the past. I was looking for Usal Rd.; a road I had been unsuccessful in finding last time as well, but when I did finally find it I needn't have bothered - it's a dirt single track. So once again I was driving this section of Highway 1 by accident and was reminded just how great it really is.

I think part of the allure is the scenery; the giant redwood trees towering over you, the sunlight filtering through the fog, the ocean in the distance, they all add up to a great experience. But there is also something about the road itself. It is much curvier than the make makes it seem, with very few places where you are driving in a straight line or have a chance to pass. Luckily the drivers in this part of the world seem to be pretty courteous and will let you by more often than not.

Since it is a State Highway it has all the usual safety features, good pavement, etc. I have driven it west to east both times, and I'm not sure if it would be any less impressive driven the other direction, but next time you are in this part of the world you should definitely put this road on your list.

- Back to Region

If you can avoid the traffic roads don't get much better than this.
Notice the orange line through the green in the upper left - the proposed re-location of Hwy. 101 that would remove the dangerous section through the redwood trees.
Ignore the green line running up the coast, that road isn't paved and I couldn't even find it after two attempts.

You can barely see the road through the trees, to the West you can't.
Same section of road as above from the air.