You really can't appreciate a stand of giant redwood trees by simply driving through them. These trees are magnificent and awe inspiring, and one of the best ways to see them is by bike. Our Redwood National Park itinerary is one of our best family bike trips yet. Way up on California's northern shore, this area provides a great spot for riding, hiking, swimming and camping. After meeting in Crescent City, the trip includes a visit to Jedediah Smith State Park, where we will ride along the Howard Hill Road, and swim in the Smith River. We will also get to do a great scenic float down the Smith River. During the journey, the kids learn exactly how a redwood can grow to over 350 feet tall, while parents have an opportunity for a longer rides or hikes. We continue this pattern alternating between epic groves of astounding trees, remote walks and rides on great trails or along the beach throughout the week. Everyone has the opportunity to do as much or as little as they like, while exploring the remote California coast and the tallest trees on earth.
This morning we will meet in the coastal town of Crescent City, ‘Where the Redwoods meet the Sea’, and begin our journey into the forest. Redwoods can live to be 2,000 years old and have been casting larger than life shadows for millions of years. We’ll start our bike ride and head toward one of the biggest Redwoods in the area, the Boy Scout Tree. An afternoon hike brings us to this giant where we have lunch and then get back to our bikes. A fun pedal of a few more miles connects us with the Smith River where we will camp just on the other bank of this scenic river. TOTAL MILEAGE: 5-10 riding / 5 hiking
Our second day gives us a chance to see the redwoods from a different angle. Can you say swimming?! We’ll trade in our bikes for kayaks today! We hook up with local river guides to take a scenic and fun float down the Smith River. This section of the Smith is known as one of the world’s cleanest rivers. A break midway at one of the most beautiful groves presents us with breathtaking views of the these incredible trees which dwarf the surrounding trees. Our river friends provide us with a tasty lunch and we’re back on the river to finish our aquatic adventure before heading back to camp for the evening. TOTAL MILEAGE: River day! Optional riding
After a hearty breakfast and a possible elk sighting, we’ll ride our bikes on a fun forested trail that heads for the coast! The Davison Trail takes us to the Streelow Creek Trail, a ride that generations of Western Spirit riders have ridden to see the Pacific Ocean. The hearty can ride all the way to the beach or jump in the van for a fun shuttle through the forest. Gold Bluffs beach is the destination today, where we’ll have a lunch surf-side and retrace our steps back to Elk Prairie Campground on the Newton B. Drury Highway. Newton B. cemented his legacy standing tall for the Redwoods as director of the National Park Service and the Save the Redwoods League in the 1940s. TOTAL MILEAGE: 8-16 riding
Today we’ll see a grove with astonishingly beautiful rhododendrons and ferns due to a higher elevation. This ride takes us in & out of mountain drainages as we descend back to sea level.The fun isn’t over after this ride... We head back to camp where young and old alike will entertain with a TALENT SHOW! Show us what you learned about this amazing place with a Redwoods themed show to cap off our last night amongst the tall trees! TOTAL MILEAGE: 6-12 riding / 2 hiking
The finale to our Redwoods adventure is a ride from Coastal Drive to the bluff overlook where we get to see the waves smash against the craggy rock formations of the pacific coastline. The ride entails a bit of pavement that leads us to an intimate gravel road that ends at the coast. After this epic photo op we’ll load up and send it back to Crescent City to say our goodbyes. TOTAL MILEAGE: 5 riding / 2 hiking
Be sure to bring everything on this list. We have carefully developed this list to ensure your comfort on the tour regardless of the weather. If you are prepared for extreme weather, it is an adventure. If you are not prepared it can be a serious problem. We recommend the layering system, including a wicking or long underwear layer, an insulating layer and a weather barrier for wind and rain. This list reflects that philosophy. Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable so be sure to bring all the warm clothing and rain gear listed!
HOW TO PACK: The bulk of your gear and clothing will ride in the Western Spirit support vehicle (preferably in a large duffle bag) and will not be accessible during the day.
For this trip, you will need a riding pack and optional day bag:
Your riding pack may be a hydration pack, but needs to carry 2-3 liters of water, rain gear, other warm clothing, and food for the day. You may be away from camp and the support vehicle all day and need to be self-sufficient.
A small day bag is optional and may be used to store things you’d rather not ride with, but would like to have access to during the day. This daypack will remain with the support vehicle and may not be accessible, depending on the day.
WHAT WE PROVIDE:
✓ meals, snacks, water, electrolyte drinks, non-alcoholic drinks
✓ camp mugs, all kitchen and dining ware
✓ 2 large cycling water bottles
✓ camp chairs
✓ solar showers
✓ sunscreen & bug spray
✓ bike stand and lube
✓ guides bring their own tools
✓ first aid kit with basic medications
BRINGING OR RENTING
o bike (Our rentals come with flat pedals. You are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.) o helmet (gratis w/rental bike) o tent o sleeping bag o sleeping pad
o cycling shoes o 3 - 5 pair cycling shorts o 3 - 5 cycling shirts o long sleeve cycling shirt o long sleeve cotton shirt or solar sleeves o cycling socks o windbreaker o tights or leg warmers o 2 pair cycling gloves (1 pair full length for warmth) o rain jacket (Gore-Tex or similar) o rain pants (Gore-Tex or similar) o warm layer (lightweight synthetic puffy jacket or long sleeve fleece shirt) o sunglasses or other eye protection
o camp shorts o shirts o warm socks o long underwear, top and bottom (wicking layer, not cotton) o 2 pair warm long pants o long sleeve fleece or sweater o pile or down jacket (insulating layer) o warm gloves and hat o brimmed hat or visor o bathing suit (for solar showers on the trip and at the hotel before/after your trip) o hiking shoes o sandals o cheap PVC rain gear (to wear in camp)
o toiletries o medication (daily and emergency) o towel o biodegradable soap o wet-wipes o flashlight or headlamp (with extra batteries) o sunglasses o optional day bag o stuff sacks or reusable grocery bags (or separate compartments for your dry bag) o cash for tipping guides: your guides work as a team and share all of their gratuities. A tip of 10-20% of the price of your trip given to either one of your guides when you return to civilization is a great way to say thanks for a job well done.
o camera, extra batteries o binoculars o alcoholic or any of your favorite beverages (your guides will pack these) o books or maps o we encourage you to turn your devices off, but if you cannot, please bring a way to charge them. We recommend a portable USB charger with 1-2 charges. Also, putting your phone on airplane mode to save power is recommended.
Need more information about our bike trips? Check out what a bike trip is all about by visiting our camping and FAQ page or be the first to know about new trips, last minute trip openings and future discounts by subscribing to our newsletter.
Rise & Shine
How do you like to start your day? If you like waking up to hot coffee and unforgettable sunrises you’re in luck. Delicious cowboy coffee, fresh fruit salad, pancakes, bacon, granola, yogurt and more.
“Normally I do self supported but having someone else make excellent food makes me want to do it again”
“This was our 3rd trip with Western Spirit, so we knew what to expect from the guides and the support they’d provide. The trip itself was spectacular – the scenery was unbeatable and the weather was perfect.”
The food was fantastic! I didn’t expect such meals. The guides were so friendly, helpful, and entertaining. They really worked well together. Also, they made sure that everyone in their various skill levels enjoyed the rides and that there was enough for everyone.
Your guides are your ambassadors, they are fun, energetic and very knowledgeable. I would not do anything different.
“Very accommodating of me being vegan, very cheerful and nice.”
“I was tired at the end of each day and to have everything taken care of as far as dinner and cleanup, it was so nice to have that not be my issue. The guides were amazing, simply amazing….the food was always excellent, their personalities are different but blended with everyone perfectly!”
“Warmth, humor, seriously good people skills,professionalism, competence. They execute their very serious responsibilities with confidence-inspiring grace.”
“Food was WAY better than I expected. I like to eat healthy and was worried about “camping food.” The guides prepared amazing food. The trip was a blast in general with gorgeous scenery and good campsites. Guides were very friendly, patient and helpful”
Great salads at lunch, a lot of variety, they guides had food specially prepared for those of us with food issues. Plus, they set up our chairs in the best spots!
“I was worried riding and camping with a group… could I keep up?… would I “fit in”? I was able to keep up and push myself and was challenged by the terrain, I loved it! The group was great I had nothing to worry about, everyone was friendly and supportive.”
“I had been to Canyonlands two years prior so knew scenery was outstanding but it takes on even more magnificence when seen from seat of bike. The guides were awesome and supportive. Food was better than in most restaurants and more than you could eat.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on any organized event and this one was simply amazing. My skill and fitness level were not up to those as others in the group but never once did I feel intimidated…”
“The trip was one of the most incredible experiences of my life… the scenery, the views, the guides, and the food! I loved how great the meals were!!! The guides were unbelievable cooks! After biking all day, to be able to sit down and eat a great meal & drink a beer …man, it was great!”
“Great salads at lunch, a lot of variety, they guides had food specially prepared for those of us with food issues. Plus, they set up our chairs in the best spots!”
“To begin with the landscape and scenery was majestic and awesome. The guides were all instrumental in enhancing the experience with their knowledge, skills, and out of the goodness of their character.”
The guides made the trip totally beyond awesome. They were fun, the food was WAY better than I expected, the rides could be were tailored, guiding was superb, trails were a blast, our campsite was sweet. I have zero complaints.
We base our itineraries around the trails that we love to ride, but also around great camp locations. We love to find the perfect place next to rivers or lakes, or by vistas and sunset spots. In many of our camps you can take a dip in the lake or take a solar shower to get cleaned up, before kicking back and enjoying the view. We want you to relax and enjoy your home for the night. That is why we have camp set-up, cold drinks ready to enjoy, and appetizers ready to serve. We have all the tables, chairs, and shelters to make a small village and it is surprisingly easy to call our camp home. We take pride in our menu and our backcountry cooking skills. We build our menus on your dietary preferences and restrictions and happily accommodate each individual in the group. You’ll enjoy campfires, legendary chocolate brownies, and great conversation, accompanied by the best stargazing ever. After nearly 30 years of sharing the great outdoors with people from around the world, we know you’ll enjoy the comforts of Western Spirit style camping.
Whether your trip includes: riding the Rainbow Rim Trail; enjoying breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon; leading your friends on the White Rim Road in Canyonlands; or ripping down the singletrack of the North Umpqua Trail, we look forward to sharing our favorite rides and trails..After reviewing our route that we lovingly call our “map talk” we will head out for the day. If you are a faster rider we will happily let you lead ahead at your own pace. For folks who want more instruction, our guides are all trained in teaching mountain bike skills and helping you ride successfully on whatever type of terrain the day presents. There will always be a tail guide at the end of the group to make sure everything is going smoothly. If you need assistance we will take care of maintaining and repairing your bike throughout the day. Lunchtime is usually met with excitement as we prepare, our famous Western Spirit salads, custom sandwiches, along with fruit and snacks to keep you going. After lunch, we get back on our bikes and for more great riding. We always take time to enjoy our surroundings, share knowledge about the natural and cultural history of the land around us and snap lots of photos.
How do you like to start your day? If you like waking up to hot coffee and unforgettable sunrises you’re in luck. Delicious cowboy coffee, fresh fruit salad, pancakes, bacon, granola, yogurt and more await you. We take our cooking seriously and for good reason. We want to make sure you are well fueled and ready for the day ahead. In the morning you can expect to enjoy the comforts of a well-prepared breakfast, quiet mornings at camp, and plenty of time to prepare for a day in the backcountry. Your guides are expert backcountry chefs who magically take care of everything: cooking, clean up, bike maintenance, and loading our custom build support trucks. All you have to do pack up your luggage, and get ready to ride your bike.