Coastal Drive


Length 6.0 mi · Climbing 590 ft
California > Redwood National and State Parks > Redwood National Park

View over Prairie Creek Redwoods from Coastal Drive

Background

Coastal Drive is a dirt road that was open to cars until 2011. When parts of the road started to slump, the road was closed to cars. The park will eventually convert the road to a hiking trail, named the Te-wo-lew Trail after the Yurok word for the Pacific coast. In the meantime, although it's not technically a trail, the road is still open to hikers and bicyclists.

It's surprising how quickly the road has changed from a dusty hard-packed dirt road to an overgrown green track; in places it's already hard to tell that it was ever a dirt road. Today the road is a pleasant place to hike — a huge improvement over when it was open to cars. The road is more or less level and runs along the top of a high coastal bluff. About half of it is shaded with attractive spruce and alder woods, and the constant roar of the ocean drifts up from the beach below. But it's not anything spectacular; there aren't any redwoods, and for the most part, views of the ocean are blocked by trees.

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Hike description

Click here to see the trailhead location in Google Maps.

Start at the end of Coastal Drive, off Newton B. Drury Parkway. There are wide pullouts where you can park.

The first mile of the trail is currently used as an access road for Alder Camp, so it's a wide, drivable dirt road. The road passes an old vista point which used to be quite popular but has now become overgrown. When the road curves off to the right into prison property, take the barely-visible trail that drops off straight ahead.

Although closed to cars, parts of Coastal Drive are still driveable

The trail descends into attractive coastal woods. This is the slumped section of the road; it's clearly too narrow to drive but looks pretty typical for a trail.

The trail widens slightly and becomes a dirt road again, although a narrow, overgrown road that's not used by cars. As you head north, the trail becomes increasignly road-like.

The trail ends just before the intersection with the main road to Alder Camp.

Other parts of Coastal Drive look more like a trail

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© 2014 David Baselt