Tour of the Unknown Coast Century
This ride starts out easy enough, across the flat Eel River Valley. A few small hills on the way to Rio Dell and Scotia will wake up the legs before riders reach the Avenue of the Giants. At Mile 30, the route turns west under Highway 101 onto Bull Creek Flats Road, and for the next few miles riders will enjoy some of the smoothest pavement in Humboldt County. At Mile 39 riders begin the seven mile climb up to Panther Gap, the high point of the ride at 2700 feet of elevation.
The adventure truly starts on the downhill to Honeydew followed by the trip north through the wild and scenic Mattole Valley. Rough pavement (including several stretches of gravel road), the inevitable headwind along the coast and the formidable Wall and Endless Hills which stand between tired legs and the finish line in Ferndale make this one of California’s toughest 100 mile courses.
The first rest stop is in Rio Dell at Mile 14; the second rest stop is at the Immortal Tree, Mile 26; the third rest stop is at Mile 39, at the base of the Panther Gap climb. Lunch will be provided at the Mattole Grange at Mile 62, and a final rest stop is located at the base of the Wall, Mile 79. After this last rest stop, riders will still have 20 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing to go before reaching the finish line, and are advised to resupply accordingly.
Riders who are concerned about long climbs, steep descents and rough pavement will prefer the Avenue of the Giants century route.
Avenue of the Giant's Century
This ride features miles and miles of smooth pavement through tall redwood trees with views of the Eel River and its South Fork. The route has significantly less climbing than the classic Tour of the Unknown Coast century route, but it is definitely not flat!
The first 30 miles of this ride follow the same route as the classic Tour of the Unknown Coast century. The routes diverge in Dyerville, where Avenue of the Giants riders will bear left and cross a bridge over the South Fork of the Eel River (Tour of the Unknown Coast riders will turn right and pass under Highway 101 toward the coast at this point). Riders continue to follow the Avenue of the Giants to the turnaround point just before reaching Phillipsville.
The first rest stop is in Rio Dell at Mile 14; the second rest stop is at the Immortal Tree, Mile 26; the lunch stop is at the turnaround point, Franklin K Lane Grove, at Mile 49. Riders will reach the Immortal Tree rest stop again at Mile 73, and the final rest stop in Rio Dell is at Mile 85.
If you want more than 50 miles, but aren’t quite ready for the full century ride, try the 100k ride on for size. It follows the same out-and-back route as the 50 mile ride, but continues beyond the Immortal Tree rest stop for an additional six miles on the beautiful Avenue of the Giants. The turnaround location is at the Dyerville Overlook, with a view of the confluence of the Eel River with its South Fork. You’ll find several signs posted here which provide information about the history of the area. Note: there will be no services for riders at this site.
The first rest stop is in Rio Dell at Mile 13.5; the lunch stop is at the Immortal Tree, Mile 25. Riders will pass by the Immortal Tree again at Mile 36.5. The final rest stop is at Mile 48 on the return through Rio Dell.
This beautiful ride travels through the Eel River Valley to the small towns of Rio Dell and Scotia, then on to the Avenue of the Giants and its majestic redwood trees. Riders will turn around at the historic Immortal Tree.
The first rest stop is in Rio Dell at Mile 13.5; the lunch stop is at the Immortal Tree, Mile 25. The final rest stop is at Mile 37 on the return through Rio Dell.
This ride is a pleasant trip across the scenic Eel River Valley, with one short hill on the way out of Ferndale and some gentle climbing on Price Creek Road. Price Creek Road crosses several bridges and cattle guards and has a few short sections of gravel.
There will be snacks and beverages at the turnaround point on Price Creek Road (11 miles from Ferndale). The ride returns to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds by the same route.
This ride has NO hills at all and stays off main roads. It is a safe and scenic ride through farmland to the north and west of the town of Ferndale. Snacks & beverages will be provided en route. This ride is recommended for families with young children.