Humboldt County's Best Beaches
The trip down a four-mile, winding dirt road is worth it if you're planning to stay a while, but not for a casual visit. Gold Cliffs is In Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, but don't go to the main entrance. Instead, exit US 101 at Davison Road.
This pretty beach in Patrick's Point State Park is wide and clear of driftwood, but you'll have to walk down a long, somewhat steep path to get there. It's also very popular and has a small parking lot, so try to go early.
Trinidad State Beach
A curving beach protected by a big sea stack and often strewn with driftwood and other detritus, Trinidad is accessible only by a long, somewhat steep path.
This county beach is easily accessible from the highway just north of Arcata.
On the Samoa Peninsula on the ocean side of Humboldt Bay opposite the town of Eureka, Samoa Dunes has 75-acre area set aside for riding off-highway vehicles.
A county park, Centerville was named best area beach by readers of the local newspaper.
Black Sands Beach
Located in the remote Lost Coast area, this beach has unusual black sand. Exit US 101 at Garberville, go west on Briceland-Thorne Road, then right on Shelter Cove Road. Turn right on Beach Rd to reach the parking lot.