About the Site
Redwood National Park  


Park History

Redwood Trees

LBJ Grove

Roosevelt Elk

Northern Coast

Central Coast

South Coast


Jedediah Smith SP

Prairie Cr. Redwoods SP

Cathedral Trees

Fern Canyon

Klamath River

Smith River

Redwood Creek

Redwood Creek Overlook

Lost Man Creek

Bald Hills

Crescent City



Plants & Animals


Central Coast

False Klamath Cove For purposes of discussion and presentation of the coast areas of Redwood National Park, the central coast lies south of False Klamath Cove area. This small cove and beach is a beautiful, easily accessible, and heavily visited site along the coast is False Klamath Cove. The beach is only yards from the main road, Highway 101, which can be seen crossing the bridge over Wilson Creek in the right side of the picture below.

The Yurok Indians had a legend that the Klamath River once emtpied into the ocean at the cove. As its name might suggest, this small cove fooled the crews of some ships sailing along the Pacific coast in the area into thinking this was the mouth of the Klamath River which is actually a few miles to the south.

Along the beach on the north side of the cove is the Wilson Creek picnic area. The beach itself ends at a large rock outcropping. It is this section of the park through which Jedediah Smith actually passed in 1828 on his way from the inland areas although the state park named for him is north of this area.

Across the street from the beach at False Klamath Cove and the Wilson Creek Picnic area is the interesting building which houses the Demartin Redwood Youth Hostel. This old house dates to 1908, built by the Demartins, Agnes and Louis, for their large family. It currently provides American Youth Hostel accomodations.

Looking south across the cove toward the central coast area in the evening provides interesting views.

There are a couple of large seastacks, or rocks, off the coast at the south end of False Klamath Cove, the smaller known as Wilson Rock and the larger False Klamath Rock. There is a parking area off of Highway 101 just next to the beach here which provides excellent views of these features.

A small lake or lagoon is located just inland from and to the south of the beach. The lagoon was known as O'Kwego Oke'to by the Yurok Indians who inhabited this area and had a village just to the north of its shores near the beach at False Klamath Cove. Indians who lived in what is currently the Redwood National Park area settled along coastal terraces, rivers, creeks, and lagoons, such as this one.

During World War II, a plywood mill was located where the picnic area now exists. The lake was converted into a mill pond, and was at one time filled with toxic chemicals. It now has yellow pond lily plants, also called spatterdock, which is typically found in shallow freshwater areas.

A trail leads from the picnic area near the lagoon along the edge of False Klamath Cove out to the Coastal Trail. This area provides some of the most beatiful coastal views in the park.

The coast in this section of the park is very rocky.

A mile or so south of the False Klamath Cove on the Coastal Trail is Hidden Beach. This small cove is a great place to experience the redwood coast because it is accessible only by trail and as a result is not overrun by other visitors.

The craggy rock offshore from the beach at Hidden Beach is very scenic, especially the large rock which lies offshore in the cove.

A little further south lies one of the most picturesque views in the park, the Klamath Overlook. This view of the mouth of the Klamath River is accessible via Requa Road which leads to a parking lot at the overlook. The mouth of the Klamath River and its sandspit, as well as the coastline to the south, are visible from this point. Also visible, on the south bank, is the remnants of the old Crescent City to Arcata wagon road, now incorporated as part of the coastal drive.

In this view back toward the river it can be seen just how extensive the sandspit at the mouth of the river is.

There are a number of large rocks lying off the coast in the central area of the park.

Just to the south of the mouth of the Klamath River is a particularly scenic section of the California coast. This area is highlighted by Split Rock, shown below

Split Rock is situated above a stretch of Del Norte Beach. The best view of Split Rock can be obtained at the High Bluff Overlook, accessible from the Coastal Drive.

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  • All photographs ©Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging, 1994-2013

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