Highway 101

Table of Contents

From Clearlake to Benbow, California

Highway 101 from Clearlake to Benbow, California, is a scenic route that traverses diverse landscapes in Northern California. However, I should clarify that Clearlake is not directly on Highway 101. To reach Highway 101 from Clearlake, one would first need to travel west on Highway 20.

Once on Highway 101, the journey north passes through several notable areas:

  1. Ukiah: The largest city in Mendocino County, known for its wineries and as a gateway to the redwood forests.
  2. Willits: Often called the “Gateway to the Redwoods,” featuring the famous Skunk Train.
  3. Laytonville: A small town in Long Valley, popular with travelers for its services.
  4. Leggett: Home to the famous Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree, a massive redwood with a carved opening.
  5. Richardson Grove State Park: A majestic old-growth redwood forest straddling the highway.
  6. Garberville: The largest town in Southern Humboldt County, known for its cannabis culture.

The route winds through the coastal mountain ranges, offering views of rolling hills, dense forests, and occasionally the Pacific Ocean. It follows portions of the Eel River, known for its salmon and steelhead runs.

This stretch of Highway 101 is part of the larger Redwood Highway, which extends from San Francisco to Oregon. It’s characterized by its twists and turns as it navigates the mountainous terrain, making it a favorite among scenic drivers and motorcycle enthusiasts.

The area is rich in biodiversity, home to various wildlife including black bears, mountain lions, and numerous bird species. It also passes through or near several Native American tribal lands, including those of the Pomo, Yuki, and Wailaki peoples.

Climate along this route varies, with inland areas like Ukiah experiencing hot summers, while coastal influences moderate temperatures further north.

Benbow is a small unincorporated community in Humboldt County. It’s known for the historic Benbow Inn, a popular stop for travelers.

This stretch of Highway 101 offers a blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and cultural interest, making it a popular route for both locals and tourists exploring Northern California.

Check out Highway 101. You will really enjoy it.


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