Lassen County
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Visitor Guide
Maps
530-365-7500 or Toll Free: 1-800-474-2782
Hwy 263 Yreka, CA 96097
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1-800-474-2782
530-365-7500

This scenic drive follows two nationally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers: the Klamath River and the North Fork of the Trinity River.  Both untamed waterways are known for their trophy sized steelhead and salmon, and thrilling whitewater boating.  These rivers cut through the Siskiyou and Klamath mountains, which provide ideal habitat for wildlife such as elk, deer, black bears, river otters, bald eagles and peregrine falcons.  Hoopa, Yurok and Karuk Indian tribes have made their home in the area for at least a thousand years.  Native American and rich gold rush history makes this truly a byway of discovery.

Willow Creek, the beginning of this scenic route, was settled by Chinese laborers from the mining and lumber camps.  Considered the official "gateway to Bigfoot Country", the city boasts a wooden statue of Bigfoot at the Don Cave Memorial Park, and the Bigfoot Museum which traces the Highway 96 and the Trinity River, and cuts through the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation, which today encompasses over 144 square miles in the heart of the Hupa people's original homeland.  The reservation is home to the very first military fort in the area and the Hoopa Tribal Museum.  The museum displays a fine collection of Indian basketry, ceremonial regalia, and redwood canoes used by the local Hoopa, Yurok, and Karuk tribes.  In addition to the displays in the museum, tours of several culturally significant areas can be arranged by calling the museum at 530-625-4110.

At Weitchpec, the byway begins heading northeast along the Klamath River.  This part of the route has the dubious distinction of having yielded the only loosely authenticated photographs of the man/ape creature known as Bigfoot.  Plaster casts of the creature's footprints were also made in this area in 1992.  in the next ten miles, the communities of Orleans and Somes bar provide some limited services, and offer a glimpse of the rich gold mining history of this area.  At Somes Bar, a side trip down the Salmon River yields some of the most beautiful scenery in far Northern California.  The Salmon River is known for its exhilarating kayaking waters and steep dense forested canyon.

Continuing to travel north along the Klamath River towards Happy Camp is Coon Creek, worth the stop for its lovely waterfall, wading pool and picnic area.  Another scenic river stop is Ferry Point, which is popular with rafters and fishermen for boat launching.  Also along this route are several Forest Service roads which provide access to the Marble Mountains and Siskiyou Wilderness area.  This area was the site of President Herbert Hoover's hideaway cabin.  The route ends at Happy Camp, a town with a colorful history that revolves around god, copper, chrome, and jade mining, and the timber industry.  A left turn at Happy Camp leads into Oregon on the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway, and eventually connects back to the California coast on the Smith River Scenic Byway.

Drive Tips
Distance: 88 miles
Minimum Driving Time: 2 hours
Best Time to go: April- November

For Information: Regional- Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association, 530-365-7500 or 1-800-474-2782

Along the byway- Willow Creek Chamber of Commerce, 530-629-2693, Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce, 530-493-2900, and Hoopa Tribal Museum & Visitor Center, 530-625-4110

Services along the route: Lodging and other traveler services are available in Willow Creek and Happy Camp, with other limited services along the route.

Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association
1699 HWY 273, Anderson, CA 96007 | (P) 530-365-7500 | (F) 530-365-1258
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