Thousands of years before the Europeans ever reached the coast of California, Native Americans lived a rich and cultured life in the area now known as Humboldt County. Today their fascinating history is preserved and exhibited at the Hoopa Tribal Museum. This tremendous collection displays the heritage of the Yurok, Hoopa and Karuk tribes that once dominated the area. You will be amazed at the master craftsmanship that these people displayed in their basketry. These wonderful artifacts are so well crafted that they have lasted hundreds of years. Check out the redwood dugout canoes that are half sides of redwood trees, which have been hollowed out to create naturally constructed canoes. Also, be sure to see all the hand tools that were used by the tribesmen to create the many artifacts on exhibit.
What is even more special about this museum is the fact that the Tribal Museum is a “living museum.” Nearly all the artifacts that are housed in the museum are on loan from Native Americans who use them for many unique rituals and ceremonies that are still a part of their lives.
Hwy 96 in the Hoopa shopping center (google maps)
Big Lagoon is formed by a long sand spit that separates it from the Pacific Ocean. The spit is really a continuation of Agate Beach, and is a premier beachcombing location. Here the determined walker can find a profound solitude amid the elements, not to mention agates, jades, jaspers, agate “moonstones” and occasionally, though rarely, a real moonstone.
Big Lagoon County Park is located at the south end of Big Lagoon. It offers 25 campsites, picnic tables, fire rings and flush toilets. Several of the campsites are right on the lagoon, offering increased privacy and great views. Camping is $20 a night, first come, first served, and dogs are permitted for an extra two dollars each. Firewood is usually available to be purchased from the camp host, and campers are permitted to gather driftwood to burn. For the daytime visitor there is a day use fee of two dollars.
Big Lagoon is popular with kayakers and wind-surfers, and is a favorite fishing spot for cutthroat trout. The shore is easily accessible for small boat launching.
7 miles north of Trinidad. Take Hwy. 101 to Big Lagoon Park Road and follow the signs. (google maps)