North Coast (California)

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For the California wine region, see North Coast AVA.
North Coast
Redwood Empire
Coast Redwood forest in Redwood National Park
Coast Redwood forest in Redwood National Park
The North Coast Region of the state of California
The North Coast Region of the state of California
Country  United States
State  California

The North Coast of California (also called the Redwood Empire[1] or the Redwood Coast) is the region in Northern California that lies on the Pacific coast between San Francisco Bay and the Oregon border. It commonly includes Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties and sometimes includes two counties from the San Francisco Bay area, Marin and Sonoma.

Cities[edit]

Much of the area is rural, and the only city within the region with a population of over 100,000 is Santa Rosa. Despite their size, many of the region's cities and towns have historical importance to the State and/or regional importance.

County seats[edit]

Geography[edit]

The region's Pacific Ocean coast stretches from San Francisco Bay northwards to Humboldt Bay and on to the border of Oregon. The coastline is often inaccessible, and includes rocky cliffs and hills, streams and tide pools. The coastline from Centerville Beach near Ferndale to the mouth of the Klamath River is mostly beach accessible and there are many small towns and a few cities along Highway 101, the main route through the region. The sparsely populated interior territory further inland is characterized by rugged, often steep mountains, dissected by rivers and their typically narrow valleys and canyons, and dense redwood, Douglas fir, and oak forests. The climate can range from coast side lands drenched with fog in mild winters and summers to inland reaches baked by hot sunshine on long summer days, which, at higher elevations, can be blanketed with snow in winter.

The southern portion of the North Coast is largely urbanized while the rest is mostly rural. The more remote northern areas are often referred to as the being located "behind the Redwood Curtain."[2] A segment of the coastline in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties is known as the Lost Coast, and is only accessible by a few back roads.[3] Notable seaside beaches can be found at Marin Headlands and Point Reyes National Seashore in the south, with innumerable examples of remote or less used beaches north of the San Francisco Bay area.

The grandeur of the redwoods can be experienced throughout the region, from the protected groves of Muir Woods National Monument and Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in the south to the massive forests of Humboldt Redwoods State Park along the Avenue of the Giants in the north. Redwoods are also found in many other State and local parks, most of which are located along Highway 101 throughout the far North Coast. Other larger redwood parks include Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Redwood National and State Parks. In total, the redwood parks of the North Coast contain the vast majority of all remaining old-growth redwoods.

Transportation infrastructure[edit]

Major highways[edit]


Related regions[edit]

Parts of these regions overlap parts of the North Coast:

Regions contained entirely within the North Coast:

The North Coast region is completely contained within:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 39°45′N 123°30′W / 39.75°N 123.5°W / 39.75; -123.5