Miranda, CA (Avenue of the Giants)
Starting at $975
This trip was conceived in 2021 when we attempted a cold and wet bikepacking trip through the region. Roads felt so remote it was hard at first to imagine a central location to use for a base camp-style trip. But it turns out Miranda is perfectly positioned for accessing the rugged terrain on either side of Avenue of the Giants.
We’ll split our riding time between the Eel River watershed to the East and the Coast Range to the West. The routes are challenging. Constantly up and down. Few services. And solitude. But you’ll see corners of California that few bother to visit and come back each day with tales to regale one another by.
Return to base each day
River View House is a hilltop hideaway with views of the S. Fork of the Eel River and a private back yard with a sauna. Two other cabins on the property will offer our group plenty of space for socializing over pre-ride morning coffee or around the fire pit post-ride. See @RiverView_AveOfTheGiants
After bonding over the experience of tackling challenging rides, we’ll share hearty home-cooked dinners together to refuel for the next day. Breakfast will include options ranging from oatmeal, eggs and pancakes to fruit, cereal and yogurt. Ride nutrition will be provided.
Sure, you could ride a skinny tire road bike, but wider tires at lower pressure will be much more forgiving on the rough pavement and occasional gravel. Our VAAST A/1 gravel bikes are available for rent with 38mm GravelKing slicks or 37mm WTB Riddler tubeless tires.
Whether you head up after work or arrive bright and early, we’ll be ready for you. At 3:30pm we’ll roll out for a social spin to loosen the legs. We’ll head up Avenue of the Giants then climb Elk Creek Rd to our turnaround at the junction with Dyerville Loop Rd. Back down to Avenue of the Giants we’ll head through Meyers Flat to the Williams Grove to check out some redwood giants.
After the ride we’ll have dinner, discuss logistics for the trip, and hold a pre-ride briefing for the next day’s ride.
An early start will get us down Avenue of the Giants to Redway where we’ll turn onto Briceland Rd. Options include heading through Ettersburg and then tackling the epic Kings Peak Rd. through the King Range Conservation Area or heading to Shelter Cove and then down Usal Rd. and back through Whitethorn.
Either way, this will be a big day. A warm and hearty meal will be the reward.
Today we’ll head north on Avenue of the Giants to complete the Avenue of the Giants-Dyerville Loop Rd. route that is mapped below. Compared to 8,000’+ of climbing yesterday, today’s 6,400′ should feel relatively easy. On a clear day, the views from high up on Dyerville Loop Rd. are spectacular.
Tonight dinner will be on your own. A mile up the road in Miranda is Redwood Palace, an excellent restaurant known for its Humboldt Bay oysters, as well as Avenue Cafe, a more casual diner-style option. These are the only two choices but both are good.
Depending on fatigue levels, today we can choose from an out-and-back to Fort Seward involving a precipitous drop down to the main fork of the Eel River. The climb back out is legendary: 5.5 miles averaging 9%. An easier option would be an out-and-back through Humboldt Redwoods State Park climbing as far along the more gradual Mattole Rd. (6.5 miles at 6.8%) before turning around.
Tonight we’ll enjoy a final dinner together, joke about our respective levels of exhaustion, and reflect on the places we’ve been and things we’ve seen.
We’ll need to check out by 10am but anyone with any gas left in the tank is welcome to roll out at 7am for a 20-miler that can either meander the flats of Avenue of the Giants one last time or cross the Eel River and tackle the climb of Salmon Creek Rd.
*This is a sample itinerary. With multiple route options each day we will make final determinations about each day’s routes the night before based on weather, rider input and other factors
A highlight of this route is an early morning start that promises 10 miles of smooth pavement along Avenue of the Giants with very little traffic. Next pass through Founders Grove before following the Eel River to a steep gravel climb that deposits you in the small community of Fruitland. Now along the ridge you’ll climb a mix of pavement and gravel along Dyerville Loop Rd. before the descent into Garberville.