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A motorcycle rider’s guide to the Pacific Coast Highway

pacific coast

California’s coastal redwoods are among the world’s tallest trees. You owe it to yourself to experience these majestic natural wonders in person—and what better way to do that than on your motorcycle? US Highway 101 (US101), also known as the Redwood Highway, allows you to ride through these mighty redwoods, particularly along a 31-mile section known as the Avenue of the Giants.

Is the Avenue of the Giants open?

Yes, the Avenue of the Giants is open, as is the full Redwood Highway US101. That said, keep in mind this route passes through hilly, wooded terrain, and some sections may experience construction delays or other closures. As you plan your trip, check California road conditions.

Navigating the Avenue of the Giants

The Avenue of the Giants is located between Garberville and Scotia, in Humboldt County, California. Here’s a route map of the Avenue of the Giants, including several of the stops we describe later in this article.

Can you ride a motorcycle through the redwoods?

Yes, there are several giant redwoods in Northern California you can ride your motorcycle through. Though one famous giant redwood you used to be able to drive through in Calaveras Big Trees State Park fell during a storm in 2017, you’ve still got plenty to choose from. 

Even if you don’t feel like riding directly through a tree, you can ride past many impressive groves of redwoods along the Avenue of the Giants.

Terrain on the Avenue of the Giants

The Avenue of the Giants generally follows the south fork of the Eel River, though some curves are actually dictated by where the giant redwood trees grow. You’ll experience some elevation changes, but nothing challenging or technical.

Motorcycle rider safety considerations

The Avenue of the Giants runs through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, so there’s always a possibility of wildlife crossing the road ahead of you. Tourist traffic ranging from RVs to bicycle riders can also be expected, and some visitors may be distracted by the incredible views.

As is the case on any busy stretch of road, it’s up to you to stay focused and alert.

Stops to make along the Avenue of the Giants

While the ride is typically the focus for motorcyclists like us, it’s always worth stopping to experience the hidden gems along the way. Here are three attractions you may find interesting.

Shrine Drive-Thru Tree

Located near the southern entrance to the Avenue of the Giants, the unique Shrine Drive-Thru Tree—featuring an enormous natural opening in a living tree—has been a destination since 1958.

Eternal Tree House Café and Gift Shop

This roadside attraction features a single room carved into the stump of a redwood tree that was 2,500 years old when it was felled by loggers. The Eternal Tree House refers to the tall redwoods growing around the giant stump—seedlings of the original tree.

Related links

Familiarize yourself with California’s state insurance requirements and rules of the road. Take care of this step before you start your ride.

Have you reviewed your motorcycle insurance recently? As you prepare for your California adventure, make sure your coverage makes sense for you, and check to see if you qualify for any new discounts.

The general information in this blog is for informational or entertainment purposes only. View our blog disclaimer.

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