Journey Among Giants: Navigating Howland Hill Road Amidst California's Majestic Redwood Canopy

Del Norte County, in the US state of California, conceals a gem - Howland Hill Road. Not only is it a mesmerizing drive through the towering redwoods, but it also holds the distinction of being a filming location for the 1983 movie, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Howland Hill Road

Measuring the Mystique: How Far Does Howland Hill Road Stretch?

Spanning 10.94km (6.8 miles) from Crescent City to Hiouchi, this road is a blend of ascents, reaching its zenith at 195m (643ft) above sea level.

Weathering the Route: When is Howland Hill Road Accessible?

Be wary of winter visits; storms may render parts of the road inaccessible. Also, annual resurfacing works during May, June, or July could disrupt your plans, as heavy machinery operates on the road during this period.

Behind the Scenes: Star Wars and the Redwood Connection

Northern California's Howland Hill Road is not just about nature's grandeur. It has cinematic history, having been a prominent location for 1983's Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. It’s one of the most scenic drives in the Redwood National and State Parks. The road offers arguably one of the most picturesque redwood drives. Do halt at Stout Grove, a spot believed to showcase redwoods at their most scenic. A leisurely drive, absorbing the surroundings, typically spans 35-45 minutes.

Navigating the Giants: Driving Tips and Insights for Howland Hill Road

Constructed in 1887 for linking mining towns with Crescent City port, this erstwhile stagecoach road presents a narrow route, intensifying your proximity to the colossal redwoods. It's an intimate drive; you're so close, you could nearly touch these towering trees. If you're driving large vehicles, trailers, or RVs, reconsider, as the road's width might not be accommodating. The summer also welcomes mosquitos in abundance, so arm yourself with bug repellent.

Under Your Wheels: What to Expect on Howland Hill Road

Initially crafted as a plank road, Howland Hill Road welcomes standard passenger vehicles. Its surface, a mix of hard-packed gravel, can range from being as smooth as paved roads to a challenging stretch riddled with potholes, contingent on maintenance schedules. So, be prepared for both the serene and the slightly rugged terrains.