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Mattole road is a 28 miles scenic road, located in Lost Coast, a mostly natural and development-free area of the California North Coast in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties, in USA. The road still remains an adrenaline- pumping journey and is definitely not for the faint of lungs, heart, or legs. A quick glance at the map, at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype.

Without any major highways or county thoroughfares in the area, the secluded communities within the Lost Coast are only accessible by land via small mountain roads.The road begins at Ferndale. From downtown Ferndale, take a right on Ocean Ave., then a left on Mattole Road (follow signs for Petrolia). If you followed Ocean Ave., you would eventually end up at the Pacific, however the road dead-ends, so you'd need to backtrack.

Selected by National Geographic as one of the thirty-six most scenic drives in the country, Mattole Road traces its eratic course through some of the most remote areas of the country. Starting from the charming Victorian village of Ferndale, it rises high atop a ridge of coastal mountains, with spectacular views of verdant ranches overlooking blue seas. Then it swings to Cape Mendocino, the most Western part of California, where three giant tectonic plates grind together, preparing to set off the next devastating tsunami.

 

After a six mile jog along the coast, you find yourself skirting what is called "The Lost Coast," the longest completely undeveloped stretch of shoreline in California. Flanked by the highest seaside mountains in the Continental U.S., the Lost Coast provides one of the most remote wilderness treks in the lower 48. Following Mattole Road, however, you enter into the Southern Interior of Humboldt County, passing sheep and cattle ranches. The tiny hamlets of Petrolia and Honeydew are hardly more than flyspecks across the window as you pass down the road, until you reach the steep windy road that leads you over the pass just to the side of Grasshopper Peak, and into another valley full of giant of Redwoods, which crowd into the narrow road like so many grim sentinels. Finally, your 65 mile journey ends when you reach the famous Avenue of the Giants, only a stones throw from Highway 101. Mattole Road is mostly two-lanes, although they're usually very narrow lanes, with plenty of curves. Even though it's a while before the ocean comes into view, it's still an awesome drive.

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