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  • Megan Lynch

Embrace Indigenous Travel: A Long Weekend Itinerary in Yurok Country

A traditional Yurok house.

It's summer vacation season, when the late nights, road trips, and backyard BBQ’s blur into one endless weekend.

But what if there was a way to turn a typical summer weekend into a truly transformative experience? A vacation so unforgettable, you forgot to take a picture? That's where Indigenous travel comes in.

Indigenous travel is a different kind of summer getaway—one that not only promises excitement, but also offers a profound connection to culture, history, and the natural world.

Many tourists are motivated by a desire to explore and gain knowledge about different cultures, and Indigenous Peoples are active participants who have control over which parts of their culture are shared and which ones are not.

Imagine a journey where you can explore breathtaking landscapes, engage with Indigenous guides, and gain a deeper understanding of their traditions and wisdom.

It's time to step away from the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary.

We’ve crafted a long weekend itinerary complete with exploration, culture, and outdoor adventure to ensure you get the full Yurok Country experience.

Things to keep in mind:

  • This itinerary is planned with a Friday arrival, a full day of adventure on Saturday, and a Sunday afternoon departure.

  • We’re assuming that travelers drove from Southern California (Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.)

Day 1: The Redwood Hotel & Casino is your Basecamp

  • Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail

  • Redwood Hotel & Casino

  • Yurok Discovery Park

  • Abalone Bar & Grill dinner

A guest wheeling their suitcase behind them as they walk by the Redwood Hotel & Casino.

While there are plenty of scenic byways worth stopping for, the magic of the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail is unforgettable. Located just off Highway 101, this easy hike through old-growth redwoods is a popular destination for a reason. The mostly flat trail winds through the cool, damp shade of centuries-old redwoods and other tall conifers that phone pics fail to capture.

Check-in, unpack, and settle into Yurok Country.

Get back on the 101 and continue towards your base camp, The Redwood Hotel & Casino. The Redwood Hotel & Casino is one of the few Holiday Inns that has its own unique branding complete with traditional Yurok designs.

After check-in, it’s a short walk to Yurok Discovery Park. The park features a simulated Yurok village constructed using traditional materials such as redwood planks and Douglas fir poles. The village honors and celebrates Yurok customs, crafts, and history. You can walk the park from start to finish in 10 minutes following the images of local wildlife engraved in the cement path.

Make your way back to the hotel and have dinner at the Abalone Bar & Grill. The beer-battered fish tacos and the mouthwatering clam chowder bread bowl are crowd favorites.

Clam chowder spilling over a bead bowl, served at the Abalone Bar & Grill at the Redwood Hotel & Casino.

Day 2: Outdoor Adventures

  • Klamath Jet Boat Tours

  • Picnic and hike at the Redwood National Park or on the coast

  • Drinks and axe throwing at Redwood Hotel & Casino

Guests on a Klamath Jet Boat Tour, waving with their arms up in the air.

What better way to explore and appreciate Yurok Country than to connect with a local guide?

An experience for the adventurous at heart, this half-day tour of thrills and spins begins at the Klamath estuary called “Rek-woy,” the Yurok name for “where the freshwater meets the Pacific Ocean.” As you take in the gorgeous mountain views, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings of black bears and soaring ospreys. Experienced river guides narrate the journey as you travel 45 miles upriver. Layer up for the cool Klamath mornings, but be prepared to shed them as the day heats up. Don’t forget your sun protection!

After the 2-hour jet boat tour, head into town for locally sourced snacks.

The Pem-Mey gas station sign with the "Welcome  to Yurok Country" digital sign in the background.

It's lunchtime, and supporting local businesses is a responsible choice for travelers. Just a 3-mile drive from the jet boat tours, you'll find Pem-Mey Fuel Mart, a Yurok-owned store offering Chester's Chicken, sandwiches, and local snacks. Choose your favorite treats and head to Redwood National Park for a memorable picnic amidst the ancient giants.

The Redwood National Park boasts Earth's tallest trees. Whether it's your first or tenth encounter with redwoods, prepare for a delightful experience. The extensive trail network spans hundreds of miles, offering countless hiking opportunities. Try the quick Big Tree Wayside hike or embark on the unforgettable Fern Canyon Loop trail, where ancient ferns and towering 30-foot cliffs transport you to a bygone era.

With over 70 miles of coastal trails, Yurok Country offers more than the magic of the redwoods. Among our favorite hikes is the scenic 5.5-mile Wilson Creek to False Klamath Cove. This trail is ideal for leisurely walks, allowing you to explore tidepools and indulge in whale watching along the way.

Rocks and the shore of Wilson Creek Beach in Yurok Country.

Spend the late afternoon with cocktails and axe throwing.

The Abalone Bar & Grill has a full-service bar, so grab some drinks and appetizers and make your way to the backyard lounge. Spend the rest of your evening relaxing, chill by the fire pit or join in some free axe throwing with the Steelhead Axe Throwing Club.

Redwood Hotel & Casino guest throwing axes at the Steelhead Axe Throwing Club.

Day 3: Canoes & Departure

  • Yurok Country Visitor Center

  • Canoe tours

  • Drive home

After you’ve checked out of the Redwood Hotel & Casino, head over to the Yurok Country Visitor Center.

Before you check in for your canoe tour, there's plenty of time to learn about the rich culture, traditions, and inspiring art of the Yurok people. The gift shop is a great place to purchase a souvenir before you head home.

The canoes are living, breathing spirits made from old-growth redwoods that have naturally fallen. Naturally fallen redwoods are rare to find, which is why you’ll be riding in one of the only three traditional dugout redwood canoes in the world that are open to the public.

Two Yurok canoe tour guides steering a traditional dugout canoe.

As these handcrafted vessels glide across the water’s surface, our expert guides will provide information and storytelling about the Klamath River's wildlife, geography, and history.

Upon arrival from your 2 or 4-hour tour, you’ll drive straight home from the Klamath to the Bay.

Summer is the greatest gift—the gift of time.

You have the time to explore your interests. The time to imagine, to create, to play. You have time to immerse yourself in another world—maybe a world you didn’t know existed. Don’t waste this precious time researching for your next adventure.

Book your trip to Yurok Country. It Begins Here.


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