The Lost Whale Inn
Table Of Contents
Welcome to our warm, spacious, Cape Cod style inn with wood planked flooring and elegant country decor enhanced by the fine art of local artisans. Choose one of our bright, uniquely charming rooms - all with private baths and five with breathtaking ocean views in Trinidad, California. Or choose one of our garden view rooms that overlook our superb gardens. You will wake up to the waves crashing over Abalone Cove's breath-taking sea stacks, while hearing and later seeing the barking sea lions that colonize the turtle sea stack just below the Inn.
Chosen by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the "top ten dream vacation spots in California... a divine place."
Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Guia and Gary Hiegert for sharing their secrets with BBOnline.com! Why do most travelers stay at your inn?
We are the Inn closest to Redwood National Park, but also, we are on a bluff overlooking the ocean, so the traveler gets both the redwood park and gorgeous Pacific ocean views. Lately though, we’ve been getting a lot of comments that people are coming because our children work with us now and it’s truly a family-run establishment. We’ve also gotten a lot of requests because we were on Disney’s travel television show!
What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?
It’s just a beautiful place inside and out. Perhaps one unique quality is that we do have a private trail down to Abalone Cove. That’s a pretty miraculous spot – 2 miles of beach. We have a stellar sea lion colony that stays here all year and a rookery – they have their babies every May and December right in the cove. There’s also a family of otters (five) that live there and a bald eagle family on the cliffs to the south of us.
If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?
Visit Trinidad because it’s close to Redwood National Park AND it’s a tiny fishing village perched on cliffs overlooking the ocean – it’s Mendocino at half the price and 50 years back in time.
What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?
I guess the nicest compliment I ever received was from a little boy who said that staying at the Inn “brought my family back together……now nothing can ever tear us apart.” I cried, realizing that the peacefulness of this place helped a family heal.
What’s the best kept secret about the area?
Best kept secret is miles and miles of untouched, pristine beaches. Everyone comes for the Redwood National Park but truly, our beaches are spectacular!
If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?
We have an entire page on our website entitled “Redwoods and Other Attractions” which describes approximately ten days of activities. High on the list would be visiting Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek, and visiting Fern Canyon. (That would take two of the four days). Pack a picnic lunch and just head out! Also hiking the beaches. After that, there’s horseback riding in the redwoods and kayaking the many lagoons. That would fill up four days easily. Dine at two fabulous restaurants (five to ten minutes from the Inn), and perhaps spend an afternoon with some massages in your room after a good day’s hike!
Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?
One can of course walk down the private trail to Abalone Cove. But also, within walking distance, is Patrick’s Point State Park with seven miles of hiking/running/walking trails, Agate Beach and a Tsureg Indian village completely authentic and preserved. There’s also a wonderful visitor center there as well that explains all the Native American history and culture of the area.
What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?
Seriously? It’s our breakfasts – we are famous for them. I’d suggest people take advantage of our special – fourth year in a row. From October 15 through March 31st of 2014, every Thursday through Sunday (excepting holidays), we have a special package which includes DINNER as well as breakfast, afternoon wine reception with appetizers and full complimentary bar. We have people coming to stay with us for four nights in a row just to eat our food!
Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?
Our website has links on it on the “Redwoods and Other Attractions” page with links to all the parks and special centers around here. I don’t know of any other websites that have comprehensive information on the area.
How many rooms does your inn have?
We have five rooms – 2 are suites.
Do you accept pets?
We do not advertise that we accept pets. We occasionally allow them but the guest has to call us and discuss it first. We have very strict rules because we are so small. And we don’t allow any pet, just some after a telephone call interview.
Hungry? Visit our beautiful dining room. Partake of our gourmet breakfasts that change every day that you are at the Inn. Indulge in our bountiful, gourmet breakfast of casseroles, frittatas, cobblers, coffeecakes and scones.
Enjoy our afternoon tea, complete with homemade pastries, cookies and cakes, served with wine, sherry, and juice.
After breakfast, wind your way down our private path to the beach. We have several decks that you can sit on to enjoy a private moment while viewing Abalone Cove. We are one of the only inns on the west coast that can boast of a scenic, wooded trail leading to our secluded private beach and cove complete with jutting rocks, tide pools that are brimming with abundant marine life.
Or walk out the front door, turn left, and in minutes you are at beautiful Patrick's Point State Park. Enjoy whale watching along the Rim Trail. Picnic in the woods and pastures or hunt for jade and agates on the Agate Beach at the north end of the park. Visit the Indian Ceremonial village where you can enter the log homes of the past.
Don't miss hiking through the majestic redwoods in Redwood National Park and Prairie Creek State Park a twenty minutes' drive to the north, where you'll walk under the trees whose average age is 700 years. In that same area, you'll find Fern Canyon, abundant with ferns and herds of elk, providing photo opportunities galore ...or bring your bicycle to cruise the quiet coastal roads overlooking miles of unspoiled beach. Picnic at Big Lagoon State Park. Humboldt Lagoons State Park boasts five fresh/salt water invasion marshes. All these parks are located in between Patrick's Point State Park and Redwood National Park.
Visit the quaint fishing village of Trinidad where you can charter a boat for deep sea fishing, or spend the day at one of the many beaches in the area, ideal for surfing, sailing, kayaking or wind surfing. Shop in the shops and galleries that are in town that carry wonderful gift items and art. Near the end of the day, partake of an afternoon tea of wine, sherry and pastries. Soak in our hot tub overlooking the ocean and watch the glorious sunset. Afterward, indulge in the culinary expertise of our nearby award-winning restaurants. In the quiet of the night, lounge in the living room and listen to music or engage in conversation with other guests. Curl up with a good book from our library in front of a warming fire.
If you're bringing the kids, be assured there are endless ways to channel their boundless energies. While you're relaxing on the deck, they'll have the run of the enclosed grounds as they pick berries near the greenhouse. Also, they'll have fun in our elaborate playground and playhouse. At day's end, they'll delight in sleeping in their very own loft.
For those of you who come in the winter months, the excitement of ocean storms is an added attraction. The peace and solitude can be a refreshing and welcome break from your fast-paced life.
Tired from a wonderful day's hike in the redwoods? Want to arrange for a romantic afternoon with a side-by-side massage for two? Or just want to be pampered because you're on vacation? Our spa services will treat you from head to toe with relaxation, therapeutic massage, and personal care.
Yoga - join us for yoga sessions which are available upon request. Please provide at least a week's notice. Both beginning and restorative Yoga are offered in the small living room or on the ocean deck, weather permitting. Let us know how many people in your party would like to participate when you make your reservations so our instructor can bring enough yoga mats. Yoga sessions are provided by Oshun Yoga and instructed by Oshun's owner, Karililly.
$25 per one hour session per person.
Spa services are now available in your room, or, weather permitting, on the decks and lawns at the Inn.
Treat yourself to many fabulously different massage techniques. Whatever you want, it is available now in your room.*
Relax in our outdoor hot tub with gorgeous ocean view or our beautiful sauna, also with ocean view and outdoor shower.
We offer the following Spa Services at Lost Whale Inn
Yoga on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00 to 2:30 - complimentary sessions: please notify us when you make your reservation so we can be sure that the session is scheduled and that our instructor has enough mats and supplies for your group (sometimes if no one wants yoga our instructor will not be on the premises).
Therapeutic Wellness Massage - Deep Tissue Massage - Swedish Massage - Side-by-side Sessions also available
Therapeutic Wellness, Deep Tissue and Swedish - Aids in stress management, improves joint mobility, relief from pain & tension, increased circulation, immune function & vital energy, and increased clarity to mind, body & spirit.
One hour - $120
90 minutes - $145
Pregnancy is a wondrous time of transformation. During this time, massage can provide relaxation, increased energy and relief from pain and discomfort during pregnancy & postpartum.
One hour - $120
90 minute - $145
Friends, family and couples can enjoy massage together! Each guest will have their own therapist & sessions can be separate or in the same room. Rates are times two.
When you are done, wrap yourself in one of the soft terrycloth robes provided in your room and walk down to the Jacuzzi deck. A private Jacuzzi hot tub is available 24 hours a day overlooking the ocean and a sauna is slated for installation on the Jacuzzi deck this coming summer.
Please Note: Two weeks' advance notice required to reserve spa services listed above.
*Massages not available in the Humpback Whale Room or the Gray Whale Room due to space considerations.
Below the bluff where the Lost Whale Inn and gardens are located is Abalone Cove. Two miles of beach accessible by the Inn's private trail.
Below the bluff where the Lost Whale Inn and gardens are located is Abalone Cove. Two miles of beach accessible by the Inn's private trail. Explore the many tidepools with Bosco, the Inn's friendly "beach cat" and watch him hunt for hermit crabs, or walk the beach and find sea lion teeth, agates, amber and other treasures, or adventure to the south side of our cove and take a cool plunge in the waterfall you will find there. Discover the tidepools at Lost Whale Inn.
The ocean changes its mood everyday and sea creatures abound:gray whales migrating north in the spring and south in the fall, sea lions on Pelican Rock bear their pups in the spring and the young sea lions play in the waves and sunbathe on the rocks just off the shore. Every afternoon usually brings the otters who hunt in the tidepools. May offers opportunities to view abalone divers bringing up their catch (and usually a wonderful afternoon barbeque for our guests!).
This trail is steep and while good hikers will have no problem, others may have difficulty. It's well worth it as the beach itself is a 3 mile pristine beach that few people ever visit. Therefore, the sealife there is amazing!
Private Beach Trail
The trail is a magical journey, filled with wild berries, ferns, tree canopy, a year round creek and decks to just sit and look out at the ocean. Whether you adventure down into the cove, or just relax in one of the special spots on the trail and sip a glass of wine the beauty of the Pacific Ocean will be yours to enjoy!
Tidepools at the Lost Whale Inn
Just travel down the trail, take the rope at the bottom (!) and you will be in an enchanted land of dueling starfish, sunfish, octopi, urchins, sea anemones, sea snails, crabs and some creatures we just don’t know the names of!
June through July and January through March are optimum times to view the baby sea lions. The rookery here is one of the few on the Pacific Coast of North America. But beware of sea lion mothers who can be protective and never get between a mother and her baby. Babies are born in December and then again in May and are quiet curious about the two-legged denizens of the Inn on the bluffs above. Explore the tidepools at the Lost Whale Inn's own private beach. It is a lovely journey to get there, a short walk from your room!
The Lost Whale Inn has acres of beautiful gardens and local flora and fauna to enjoy. Enjoy a stroll through the magnificent flower gardens and sit on the "Whale Watch Deck" to view a sunset. Play badminton, croquet or boules on the manicured lawns. Find a quiet secluded bench or search for the whimsical sculptures that peek out from the bushes, or just read a book and enjoy the sun in a lounge chair. In late spring and summer, stroll through the gardens picking raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. Enjoy the pond and pick fresh vegetables, or just wait until tea time and enjoy the treats! The organic vegetable, fruit and herb gardens provide fresh produce year-round for the gourmet breakfasts and afternoon teas which are presented daily at the Inn. Fresh-cut flowers fill the Inn with their heady scent.
The image above features a piece from our garden collection. It is a world-famous statue by A.Piazza, a noted Italian sculptor of the 18th century, made of Carrera marble. She is known as the “Maid and the Sea” and is one of a kind. Below you see an image of an original oil painting that one of our talented guests has painted of the Maid.
Our gardens are just bursting with color! Come to visit and enjoy them on your getaway or schedule your next event in the garden. Have your wedding or family event right on the bluff, surrounded by fresh sea air and our collection of flowers and ornamental trees. Visit the Events page on our website for more information.
Our working gardens include wonderful vegetables, herbs and berries which are used in the meals we prepare at the Inn. Berries in the summertime are also a great treat for the children who visit here - raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are available from spring into fall.
The Inn's gardens are spectacular and host to frequent art and sculpture shows, as well as garden tours in the spring and summer.
The “Whale Statue” is one of 9 monuments erected to the Gray Whale Migration strategically placed along the Pacific Coast from Baja up to Alaska. The Lost Whale Inn is part of that. The other one nearby is in Mendocino at the Little River Inn. We offer evening campfires by request and will even provide guests with all the goodies they need to make a delicious batch of s'mores!
Weddings & Special Events
Whether you are planning for a family reunion holiday or anniversary celebration, a wedding, graduation party, or special adventure on the North Coast with your friends, hosting your event at the Lost Whale Inn bed and breakfast will be a memorable experience! We have wedding packages available upon request for up to 100 people.
Email us for details about your plans.
We have catering menus or we can create special menus tailored to your wedding or event theme, just let us know what you are looking for!
Our decks are perfect for easy, elegant outdoor gatherings or relaxed barbeques for your group or family event. The Pacific Coast is a spectacular backdrop for any occasion. Wonderful wedding location overlooking the Pacific Ocean!
Full service catering available for your event.
With the magnificent ocean vista, our lawns are easily transformed into the wedding backdrop of your dreams!
Redwoods & Attractions
Magical Forests and Ocean Adventures
The Redwood Coast abounds with fun things to do!
Don't miss hiking through the majestic redwoods in Redwood National Park and Prairie Creek State Park a twenty minutes' drive to the north, where you'll walk under the trees whose average age is 700 years. In that same area, you'll find Fern Canyon, abundant with ferns and herds of elk, providing photo opportunities galore.
Or bring your bicycle to cruise the quiet coastal roads overlooking miles of unspoiled beach. Picnic at Big Lagoon State Park. Humboldt Lagoons State Park boasts five fresh/salt water invasion marshes. All these parks are located in between Patrick's Point State Park and Redwood National Park.
Visit these links to learn more about what this incredible outdoor playground has to offer!
Parks & Outdoor Recreation
The Arcata Marsh is a magnificent place to birdwatch. Migrations of thousands of geese and ducks every year make for fascinating viewing. In the springtime, there are over a thousand different types of birds that visit the Arcata Marsh.
The Marsh itself has walkways and is at the edge of Humboldt Bay. At low tide, you might even see a shark fin lazing about the narrow channels that feed into the marsh. For more information, click on "Arcata Marsh" and learn more about the wonderful things that the nonprofit group, "Friends of the Arcata Marsh" are doing.
Azaleas and Rhododendrons are a few of the magnificent flowers that grow wild here on the North Coast. In early spring, it's trilliums blooming in the redwood forests. The pink ones have a scent as heavenly as any plumeria in Hawaii and sometimes, the forest is fragrant with their heady perfume. Later in the spring and into summer, it's azaleas and "rhodies" (as the locals refer to them). Wild azaleas are a pale pink with a tiny touch of deeper pink and pale yellow in their petals. And unlike commercial azaleas, they too have a scent that rivals a lily or gardenia. If you see someone with their face buried in a bush of pale white and pink flowers, chances are that they are entranced by this tiny flower's powerful and beautiful aroma. "Rhodies" in the wild bloom mostly pink and lavendar; it's only the cultivated rhododendrons that come in other varieties of colors. In spring and early summer, look for them on Highway 101 all the way from Eureka up to Del Norte County.
The lighthouse sits on the edge of Trinidad Head overlooking the entrance to the Bay. Weary travelers see its beacon all the way from Eureka, heading north on Highway 101, and its light can be seen out to see for over 10 miles....of course, that's if there isn't any fog! Since this is a working lighthouse operating under the auspices of the United States Coast Guard, there are only a few times of year that one can actually visit it. If you are a lighthouse "buff," you will want to visit Trinidad in June, attend the annual Fish Festival, and join the tour that shuttles guests up Trinidad Head on a narrow and winding road to a huge gate, and then down another narrow winding road to the bluff where the Lighthouse itself is perched overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It's definitely worth the visit.
Of all the beaches in Trinidad, from Moonstone Beach and Clam Beach at the southern end of town, all the way to Agate Beach and Big Lagoon's miles of sandy beach on the north end, Trinidad State Beach is one of the all-time favorites for people of all ages. Situated just below Trinidad Head (with great hiking trails), the beach has a large parking lot which always has plenty of room (except at the beginning of crab season in November when hundreds of crab pots are stacked there as the staging area for the crab fleet's annual launch into the Pacific Ocean). There are approximately two miles of sandy beach and the most famous inhabitant is "Grandmother Rock" situated on the far north end of the beach. Legend has it that the Tsu-rai Indians once used this beach as part of their summer camp. One day, a young warrior launched his canoe into the cold waters of the beach (Northern California beaches do not have warm water even in summertime!). He never returned and his grandmother waited so patiently for him on the beach that eventually, the gods took pity on her and turned her into a rock. You really can see her - sitting, huddled up, looking out to sea, and even her hair - in a bun on the back of her head. Well, the bun does have a few succulents growing out of it, but if you use your imagination, the image is striking!
Mill Creek runs into the ocean just before you get to Grandmother Rock and there is a trail from the creek (just walk up the creek and you'll see it a short distance from the water line) that leads up into Trinidad State Park (a little picnic area above the beach) and hence back into town. It's a nice round trip of about 2 1/2 miles in length. Or, continue past Grandmother Rock (but be careful for high tide), and check out the small caves and the natural arch that separates Trinidad State Beach from College Cove. At low tide, you can actually walk out to "Raccoon" Island. And local lore has it that one of our residents has put a penny in a secret hiding place near this location every day he has lived here for the past 25 years. That is about $1,000 and since one of the owners of the Inn used to watch him, she will give you a "tip" on where they might be hidden, just plan to bring a very BIG bag with you!
We have so many beautiful beaches that it's hard to pick just one, but the owners of the Inn, Gary and Guia, have their favorite - and it's Humboldt Lagoons State Park, Dry Lagoon. It's really a beach! And the best in the County in our view. Drive north from the Inn on Highway 101 past Big Lagoon, over the hill and down into a little valley where "The Little Red School House" is located. This is also a fantastic place to view wild elk, or take a horseback ride into the redwoods, or, new in 2011, take a "zip line" up into the forest canopy.
But for us, it's the beach. Before you get to the "Little Red School House," you will see a left hand turn off of Highway 101 for "Dry Lagoon." Turn left and follow the road all the way to a beach parking lot (about 1/2 mile). There is a bathroom there too which is always nice, as well as picnic tables and places to have wonderful driftwood campfires. This beach is famous to local residents for its agates - yes, it's even better than Agate Beach at Patricks Point State Park! From the parking lot, if you walk to the right, you will find fewer agates, but those you might be lucky-enough to find are huge! If you walk to the left, you will see many more of the locals hunting for agates in big boots. Be very careful of rogue waves. Here, we always say: "Keep one eye on the ocean." Please do. It's really important to be careful on the North Coast as we sometimes have very heavy surf. Beautiful but sometimes dangerous. Look for seals, dolphins, sea lions and the occasional whale in the surf or just past it. Enjoy the myriad of sea birds and tide pools and sit on one of the giant rocks and just let the water splash up at your feet. This beach has everything.
Moonstone and Clam Beach
There are many beaches here, so we are listing the ones that are close and, frankly, breathtaking. Moonstone Beach and Clam Beach are separated by a small river, it's actually called "Little River." At low tide (and particularly when the weather is warmer in the summertime), you can ford Little River and visit both beaches. Moonstone Beach is magical: some say mermaids live there in caves accessible by low tide. Great for children, the waves are gentle and safe. There are rocks to climb, tidepools to explore and, when the tide is especially low, one can walk around the northern bluff and see a waterfall pouring into the ocean.
Clam Beach is our largest stretch of beach - miles of gentle waves and sand invite hikers and horseback riders alike. At low tide, look for sand dollars - they are most often found at the northern end near Little River. But, you have to find them before the sea gulls do!
Luffenholtz Beach, Baker Beach and College Cove
Two of these beaches - Luffenholtz and Baker - are located just south of Town Center on Scenic Drive. Actually, the easiest thing to do is drive south on Scenic Drive (it's actually the same street the Inn is located on, but it changes its name south of Town Center). You will see cars parked along the road, and at least one has a small parking lot. These are bluffs so one has to walk down trails to the beaches below. Low tide is best for these as they are small - but secluded and frankly, gorgeous!
College Cove is located just north of Town Center off of Stage Coach Road (drive into town and turn right just past the horse pasture. You'll drive by our cemetery which is quite old and interesting, wind through the trees and look for entrance to the "Elk Head State Park" on your left. It's a wide dirt entry and, if you park and walk on the left side, you will find a trail down to College Cove. Another pristine, gorgeous beach awaits you. You can actually see Trinidad State Beach on your left but don't try to walk around the point - the green sea grasses are quite slippery!
Elk Head Park
Look at College Cove above for directions. Truly, the only people who walk here are locals. But if you go into this park and drive towards your right and park, the trail (easily navigable by all) takes you to:
- Overlooks of Raccoon Island and its blowhole
- Magnificent vistas of the Pacific Ocean from 300 foot cliffs
- A trail down to a sea stack where you can see the ocean almost completely surround you
This is the end of the trail - it's barely a mile from the beginning at the parking lot. Our favorite thing to do here is walk to the left of the sea stack and carefully climb up on the rocks. You are protected from the north wind and look down into a caldera with crashing, foaming waves. There is a natural bridge you can navigate below at low tide but BEWARE - it can be dangerous if the tides are turning or a big wave comes in as there is no where to go! On stormy days when the waves are large, you can it on these rocks and watch waves crash in front of you - and sometimes the spray is higher than the rocks you are sitting on, but you are completely protected. It is awesome, breathtaking, and nature at its most magnificent.
It's really nice to have a park virtually "in your own back yard" and that's what Patricks Point State Park is to The Lost Whale Inn. Walk (fifteen minutes each way to the main gate, but you can "jump in" to the park along the way where trails come out onto the road), or drive two minutes to the main entrance and park. Miles of hiking, and interpretive volunteer gift and information center, and an authentic Indian Village restoration make this park a joy for young and old alike. Many of the trails are handicap accessible and for the adventurous, there are hikes out to craggy points overlooking the wild Pacific Ocean.
Look for whales on the "Rim Trail" which circles the entire outer ocean edge of the Park. Visit Wedding Rock - yes, people really do get married there all the time. Take a picnic lunch and eat on one of the many picnic tables throughout the park. Bicycle the trails. Visit the Indian Village and check on that schedule by linking to the website link above. At least once a year, the village opens up to guests for a real authentic Indian Medicine Dance ceremony. Watch as medicine men dance and heal a sick child, all of which is done starting in the early evening into the wee hours. During the day, the village celebrates many Native American traditions and guests can enjoy dining on salmon and Indian flatbread, enjoy locally-made handcrafted jewelry, baskets and pottery, or just admire the costumes and traditions that surround you. It's truly an authentic experience and quite un-commercial in nature.
People who visit Patrick's Point State Park come back year after year after year - the Park has a special magic for all who want to experience nature at its best.
Stone Lagoon State Park
Actually, this is at the northern end of Patricks Point State Park, but you have to drive up Highway 101 to the next exit to access the beaches and lagoon. It's worth it! You will see the bluffs that make up part of the "Rim Trail" for Patricks Point to the south, and you will have the opportunity to walk a five-mile spit of land that separates the Pacific Ocean from Big Lagoon. It's amazing. On one side - huge waves crash. On the other side, a peaceful lagoon shimmers in the sunlight. We like to walk out a ways on one side, and then walk back on the other. In the summer, look for wild strawberries growing on the spit. They are delicious! Fishing here is also excellent.
Redwood National and State Parks
You can visit their website and look at all the places in Humboldt County to visit the redwoods. There are so many that it's hard to describe. Lady Bird Johnson Grove, Humboldt Redwoods National Park to the south of Eureka (just take the "Avenue of the Giants" to see more trees in half an hour than you will for the rest of a lifetime!). In this region of redwoods more inland and warmer weather, there is an unusual phenomena: "albino" redwoods. No, the entire tree is not an "albino," but parts of certain trees have no chlorophyll. How to find one? Just look into the forest and if you see what seems to be a bright shaft of light hitting a tree, look again: it just might be an albino redwood.....small parts of the tree, usually near the base, appear to "glow."
But it's the coastal redwoods that are the most magnificent forests. North of the Klamath River, about an hour's drive from The Lost Whale Inn, is Jedediah Smith State Park and a road that is right out of "Brigadoon" (for older folk), and perhaps a Harry Potter adventure for the younger ones in the group. Just drive into Crescent City and at the first street, turn right - it's Humboldt Road so it's easy to remember. Take this road until it dead ends and turn right. Trust in this - you won't be disappointed. The road winds up the hill and into Jedediah Smith State Park but not on a highway, on a dirt and gravel road (watch out for potholes and DO NOT take this road if it has been raining heavily!) into pure magic. Brooks, streams, gigantic trees, deep caverns, mystical vales, flowers, ferns that stand over six feet high, all line this road which ultimately, after about seven miles, ends up taking you back to Highway 199 just north of Crescent City. Better than the main park entrance by far - just ask for details at the Inn and plan on a picnic in paradise.
Truthfully, our favorite place is:
If there is one part of the redwood national park system that consistently gets guests' rave reviews, it is Prairie Creek State Park. Over 90 miles of hiking - it's so popular that we finally put maps into the Guest Information Book in each room! And the nicest part - it's a short 15 - 20 minute drive from The Lost Whale Inn.
Highlights are so many that they are hard to list here, but our favorites include: Fern Canyon - turn left on Davison Road (just before the main park entrance) and be prepared for a seven-mile trip, mostly on gravel road. Warning, again, you cannot navigate this road in winter conditions as there is a stream to ford, but in the late spring, summer and fall months, this road is navigable by most cars. This road ends at Gold Bluffs Beach and visitors can park alongside the road and visit this remote beach - we've heard stories about guests who have seen wild elk "frolicking" in the surf here - or continue driving north to Fern Canyon - a short distance. There is a small parking lot, a picnic bench or two, and a canyon out of some fantasy fantastical medeival ancient legend. Movies have been made here because there is no where else like it on earth. You will get your feet wet as there is a stream that runs along the bottom of Fern Canyon. Ask the Innkeepers for extra towels to pack into your car. Just picture walking in a narrow canyon, with a babbling brook at your feet, and looking up at 100 to 200 foot high walls, straight up - of nothing but ferns....lacy, pale green, with drops of water glistening in the sunlight and tiny waterfalls trickling down everywhere you look. A short walk takes you up the canyon and then up the north side of the canyon and back to the parking lot. Be on the watch for giant elk - they like to poke their heads out of the ferns on this part of the trail and it can be quite amazing. They should be kept at a respectful distance, especially in autumn when they are mating.
The main entrance to the Park is a mile north of Davison Road: "Newton B. Drurie Scenic Byway" is the name and if you miss this exit off of Highway 101, you end up driving over a mountain (!) so keep a sharp eye out for this street. Entering the park from this direction, you pass "Elk Meadow" and there is a small but very interesting Visitor Center on your left with a gift shop, hiking maps, many books and lots of stuffed animals (children will be fascinated by these). Our favorite, however, is a large piece of redwood into which an elkhorn is stuck....forever. One wonders what happened to the poor elk!
For the avid hikers, Fern Canyon can be reached from the trailhead at the Visitor Center in the middle of the Park. This is a great place to just enjoy the Park by taking hikes in every direction. One favorite is, of course, Prairie Creek Trail which winds up along the Creek for miles and miles. The Innkeepers' favorite hike starts a short distance from the Visitor Center: drive into the forest canopy between one and two miles and keep an eye out on your left for a sign: "Corkscrew Tree." Many of the trees and groves in Redwood National Park are identified by brown signs with yellow lettering and this is no different. If you are lucky enough to find it, make a quick u-turn and park on the side of the road. The Corkscrew Tree is about a one minute walk - you can't miss it. Five giant redwoods are wrapped around each other and ascend so far up into the sky that you cannot possibly see the tops of them. The trees all grew together, so you can climb up into the tree and use your imagination - there's a bedroom area, a small kitchen, a front door, and, of course, many photographic opportunities. From the Corkscrew Tree, walk towards Prairie Creek and you will catch this Trail "far from the madding crowd" which starts at the Visitor Center. Walk to the right (north) into a land of magic, gnomes and fairies (well, you can almost convince yourself that they come out when no one is looking). Look for "fairy rings" - these are actually redwood trees that grow in perfect circles. Find a fallen redwood and climb into a perfect cave. Some parts of the Creek have beautiful shady or dappled sunlight spots where you can picnic right on the creek, and there are a few places that are truly deep enough for a swim. The water in the middle to late summer is definitely refreshing!
NOTE: The "World's Largest Tree" is now officially located in Prairie Creek State Park. But be forewarned: rangers will probably not tell you where it is because there is no trail yet.
Bigfoot Rafting Company
If there is one thing that the North Coast has, it's water! And Bigfoot Rafting Company is certainly a good place to go for many adventures. Click on the link above and visit their website for a wide selection of options. If you want river rafting, Willowcreek is about a 45 minute drive from the Inn and the Trinity River is a fantastic place to enjoy rafting for all ages.
North Coast Kayaking Adventures
The lagoons in Humboldt County are very near The Lost Whale Inn, as is Trinidad Bay, a charming bay protected by Trinidad Head from big surf. So sea or lagoon kayaking can be a spectacularly fun experience. Visit the website link above to learn more about the possibilities.
Northcoast Fishing Guide
And of all the attractions, perhaps we have saved the best for last.....at least, that is, for fishermen and women! The North Coast is famous for fresh fish - albacore, tuna, halibut, and of course, our most famous of all fish: salmon. Fishing derbies occur every year in Trinidad - check the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce website, www.discovertrinidad.com for further information. And consider chartering a fishing boat for a day while you are here. You can go down to our commercial dock (look for our resident otters in the summer!) and sign up for one of our wonderful charters right there across from the Seascape Restaurant. Ask the Innkeepers for an early morning snack to take with you and have fun catching the fish of your dreams.
Other Redwood Coast Attractions
More things to explore! The links below will connect you to various organizations and guides to what there is to see and do here on California's Redwood Coast.
Visitor Magazine Calendar of Events, www.101things.com
Humboldt County Visitors Bureau, www.redwoods.info
Humboldt guide, humguide.com/tourism.php, really great info!
Don't take our word for it! Read these reviews from real guests.
"Came with a headache and left like a bowl of jello!"
"What an amazing place to stay! I am so luck that my boyfriend took me here - what a great birthday weekend! Such beauty, friendly people, and absolute fine dining!! Wonderful! I came with a headache and left like a bowl of jello! Thanks in part to our relaxing time spent at The Lost Whale Inn....we tried everything! Hot sauna, walk to the beach through the jungle trail, hot cocoa, watching the sea lions, jaccuzi, wonderful food and great sunsets!!! Fabulous!!!"
"Idyllic place to stay, highly recommended"
"A great B&B unlike any other we've experienced in California. We found it in the Rough Guide to California and although it was expensive, it was a great treat. The surrounding area is beautiful but you could easily spend the day in the B&B's grounds.
The rooms were beautifully kept and all were different. There was a wonderful dining room where breakfast is shared with the other guests and the view out of the large patio doors was straight on to the Pacific. Breakfast was home cooked and delicious and different every day and was enough to keep you full for several hours.
If you just wanted to sit and relax, you could sit in their large garden on benches shaded bygreat tall trees or on the lawn in the sun. You could even have a open fire in the evening.
Afternoon tea was served in the dining room and consisted of lots of fruit and home made cakes with hot or cold drinks and wine too.
There's a path down to a private beach from their garden - and it's a stunning place to sit and relax. It is a steep climb down and you should have decent footwear for the descent - especially as you need the assistance of a rope to abseil down the last twenty feet or so! It's not too much for an able bodied person, but we couldn't take our little one down with us ( a one year old in a backpack). No worries as there were multiple other beaches in the vicinity.
The owners were incredibly accommodating towards us and our one year old. They were more than happy for us to use their kitchen to heat simple meals and milk and they provided a lovely crib which our daughter loved!
A really lovely place to stay and explore the area - highly recommended."
"Best breakfast EVER on a beautiful setting"
"We got a glimpse of what awaited us as we arrived, and were greeted (even at 6pm) by a buffet of fresh shrimp cocktail, fruit, wine, lemonade and other goodies.
The hostess, Guia, introduced us to a lovely garden overlooking a spectacular view of the coast - really unique - and then to our bedrooms. We had the orca whale room. My kids, of course, loved sleeping in the loft, in two beds with plush orca whales. The only noise coming from outside were the ocean and sea lions - beat that.... The place offers also a sauna and a hot tub in the patio, and they do provide bathrobes.
The sea level can be reached by means of a private path: many high steps and, at the bottom, a rope to get down to the shore - short of discouraging, the hike is not for everybody or uccompanied small children. That said, a walk to the shore was worth the hike up.
Breakfast was a stab in the back (if you had to leave like us): a pesto frittata, an apfelstrudel that could win a competition in Wien, muffins and pancakes, yogourt and cereal... guests were seated all together in the living room, a nice table was set up for all of us, nice talk... hard to let it go.
Yes, we loved this place."
"Glad I found the Lost Whale Inn!"
"We arrived to a friendly and welcoming building with beautiful gardens and the hint of an ocean waiting behind it. To go inside and then step out onto the back decks (with our wine, lemonade and homemade clam chowder! Talk about a fabulous "afternoon tea" spread!) was breathtaking. The only thing better than watching the waves break and the sea lions was waking up to them!
Our rooms were beautiful and beyond cozy. After hiking in the redwoods all day it was nice to know that our comfortable beds were waiting for us with views straight out to the water. We also took advantage of playing one of the board games in front of the fire in the living room. One of the friendly staff members brought us out a plate of cookies even though it was later in the evening!
The breakfasts were insane! Everything was homemade and there was so much food we skipped lunch that day! My son had loved the puffed pancake dish so much he complimented the cook. To our pleasant surprise we had a wrapped container of them with fresh blueberries waiting for us when we checked out!
It's that personal touch combined with beautiful views and comfortable rooms that will have us coming back!"
"Beautiful Inn, gracious hosts and gorgeous setting make a great get away"
"Arriving at the Inn to be greeted by Moby, the owner's beautiful white eskimo dog started off our weekend on the best note possible. We were immediately swept into the lovely dining area to feast on shrimp, cheese and cookies with wine and sodas. We were late to arrive and they still kept the food and drink out for us. The Innkeepers and staff are all perfect compliments to the Inn. Warm, friendly and attentive but not intrusive.
Our rooms were so warm and cozy. Every window had a view, whether it was of the ocean or the lovely garden. The next morning we awoke to the smell of bacon. Yum. The breakfast was amazing. The peach, cardamon scones were unbelievably tasty. From the fritata to the berry cobbler, everything was delicious. There was enough food that no one needed lunch. After breakfast, we headed to the beach where a hike made us feel better about having eaten so much.
We were especially lucky that is was the 4th of July. The barbeque and fireworks made the day very special. A soak in the hot tub was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.
We definitely would recommend this Inn to anyone whose looking for adventure or just wants to lay around and relax. If at first the price seems high, when you factor in all the food and wine and beautiful location, it is worth every penny."
More Reviews of Lost Whale Inn
"Set on a cliff above perhaps the most stunning stretch of coastline in California....a spectacular retreat" from Bed & Breakfast Guide, CA
"One of the ten most romantic inns in the United States" from American Historic Inns
"One of the top ten dream vacation spots in California....a divine place" from the San Francisco Chronicle
"The best lodging in Trinidad....the breakfasts are fabulous." from Sunset Magazine
"A handsome inn on a spectacular piece of property.....stylish and sparkling" from Recommended Country Inns