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What to Do When You Visit

Planning your Summer vacation to Sol Spirit Farm & Retreats? There are so many things to do in the area, we created this guide to help you plan your day trips while you are staying with us.

Sol Spirit Farm & Retreats is located outside the town of Willow Creek, CA. Willow Creek sits on the Humboldt/Trinity county line about an hour inland from Eureka, and about two hours west of Redding on Highway 299. Many people never travel this highway because it doesn’t connect any large cities, but it is a gorgeous drive that runs through the mountains and follows the Trinity River to the east. We see bald eagles and osprey on the regular when driving this path.

Local Culture & History:

Once you arrive in Willow Creek, you’ll see a quaint little mountain town with tree lined streets and bigfoot references everywhere. That’s right, Willow Creek is known officially as “The Bigfoot Capitol of the World!”

This is because the famous Patterson-Gimlin Film was shot nearby, so many Bigfoot enthusiasts come to Willow Creek to set out on their Bigfoot sighting expeditions. While Bigfoot remains a mystery to all of us, the Willow Creek- China Flat Museum hosts a large collection of Sasquatch artifacts and local historical objects and is well worth the 30 to 60 minutes spent perusing the museum. Not just Bigfoot focused, you will also get a sense of the history of the Willow Creek area and its history of mining, logging and homesteading.

One likely reason for the sheer number of Bigfoot sightings in the area is that Willow Creek is surrounded by wilderness. And this beautiful, unspoiled nature provides many recreational activities that we love to share with guests.

River Float Trips:

My personal number one pick for a day excursion is doing a river float trip. I am not an adrenaline junky, so my idea of a great day on the river is a nice 4 to 5 hour kayak trip that is mostly gentle relaxing floating with a nice little class 2 rapid every 15 minutes or so just to keep it fun. My three favorite floats are:

The South Fork Trinity River from “Broken Bridge” to “Sandy Bar.” This is our home watershed and the put in for this float is walking distance from the farm. It is a wild and scenic river and you barely see any signs of human habitation during the whole day float. I’ve seen bald eagles, osprey, otters, bears, eels and salmon on this float over the years.

Because this river is undammed, there is only enough flow to do this float until about the first week of July, when it becomes too low and you might have to portage your boat over some of the shallower areas. This varies depending on the rain levels during the winter, so check in before you visit to see if this river is still an option for you. The take out definitely requires four wheel drive.

The main stem of the Trinity River flows strong all summer, so the next options are available through September. There are dam releases that happen at different times throughout the summer, so it is advisable to check in about releases before heading out.

The Trinity River from Hawkins Bar to the Salyer Bridge. This is another great, mostly mellow, 4 to 5 hour float on the main stem of the Trinity River. Again it is nice and relaxing with just the right amount of excitement, and both the put in and take out are about a 20 minute drive from the farm on mostly paved, two wheel drive roads. The put in on this float is easy, but the take out requires hauling all your stuff up a pretty steep hill. It’s worth it, but if this is a down side for you check out the next option.

The Trinity River from Salyer Bridge to Kimtu. This float is very similar to the other two floats and ends up at a popular local swimming hole. You carry your stuff DOWN the big hill mentioned above to put in, and the take out is super easy, just 100 feet or so from the parking area. You’ll end up right in downtown Willow Creek after your float and can grab some ice cream or a cold drink on your way back to the farm.

These three options are great for beginners, but it is probably wise to arrange a guided trip if you are not an experienced kayaker or rafter. If you are experienced, you can rent rafts and kayaks from Six Rivers Rafting in Willow Creek.

Unfortunately, a lot of the local rafting companies cater much more to thrill seeking whitewater rafting guests and are loathe to come down river for these mellower trips, but if we have a big enough group of guests wanting to do one of these mellower floats, we can usually make it happen, so get in touch if this sounds like your idea of a great day!

Whitewater Rafting Trips:

Adrenaline pumping whitewater rafting adventures are definitely a great option for thrill seekers. The Trinity River is home to world class white water rafting. The most popular run during the summer is the Pigeon Point Run, a class 3 run with one class 4 rapid “Hell Hole” that is sure to make you remember you are alive! The put in for this run is about an hour drive from the farm in Big Flat. There are several rafting companies that offer guided Pigeon Point trips.

Trinity River Rafting
Bigfoot Rafting Co
Six Rivers Rafting

Want a shorter, mellower experience? There is a great Inner Tube Float from Kimtu to Big Rock that takes 60-90 minutes with tons of spots to jump off and swim. We have inner tubes available to rent at the farm and can help you coordinate vehicles to have a vehicle at the take out. If you have your own tubes or Stand up paddle boards, they are great for this option.

Local Swimming Holes:

You also can just hang out on the river banks and swim at any of the great local swimming holes near the farm or in town in Willow Creek. Here are a few of our favorites:

“Broken Bridge” is a public swimming hole on the South Fork of the Trinity that is a short 10 to 15 min walk or a 5 minute drive from the farm. It is a great spot to head to after you check in to cool off before dinner. There is a great jumping rock and also people jump off the “broken bridge.” This place is popular with locals and folks coming from the coast to get some sun so on weekends it can be a bit crowded. Often in the late afternoon and evening, you will have this place all to yourself.

“Suprise Creek” is a beautiful swimming hole on the South Fork Trinity with a little waterfall in the spring and early summer. It is about a 15 minute drive from the farm on our road. You park in the forest service parking lot and take a short, easy hike to the river (beware there is a lot of poison oak on this trail!) It is a great place to hang out and swim for the day, and you can follow the river upstream to find all sorts of hidden beaches and beautiful landscape.

Kimtu Day Use Area this is a popular local beach with easy access, jumping rocks, and a great place to just hang out on your inner tube staying cool in the water. There is a $5 fee to park in the parking area, but ask us about borrowing a parking pass to avoid this fee. We have a couple available on a first come, first served basis.

Big Rock Another popular local swimming hole with easy access and no parking fee.

Fishing Trips: The Trinity River is home to some epic Steelhead, Chinook and Coho fishing. Beaver Creek Guide Service is a local native american owned and operated guide service we recommend. (Please note: it is advisable that you make arrangements to ship your catch home through your guide, as we do not have adequate freezer space at Sol Spirit to keep your catch for you.)

Wine Tasting:

Miles Garrett vineyards visit our friends Miles and Carla at their dry farmed vineyard and do a tasting of their coveted natural wines. Willow Creek is home to one of the first American Viticulture Association Appellations in the US, and the only AVA in Humboldt County. You can even ask Miles to show you the Gamay Beaujolais grape vines he saved when we took out the historic vineyard at Sol Spirit Farm. You can join their wine club and receive their wine in the mail when you arrive back home for a little memory of Willow Creek.

The Redwoods:

The ancient redwoods are incredible, and every person should experience them at least once in their lifetime. We have guests at Sol Spirit who want to add seeing the Redwoods to their trip, and we think you should. However, it is about 2 hours drive to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, and about 2 hours drive to the Founders Grove in Humboldt Redwoods State park. So in order to do the trees and the experience justice, we really recommend you visit the redwoods either on your way to Sol Spirit or on your way home, because if you try to eat breakfast at Sol Spirit and get back in time for dinner, you will spend most of your day driving and not have very much time to soak up the magic of the redwoods. Not that it can’t be done, we have guests do this all the time, but if you are just coming for the weekend and only have one day for excursions, I highly recommend you check out our local options and hit the redwoods on the way home.

If you have more time, then sure, spend one day visiting the coast and the redwoods! Our friends at Humboldt Canna Tours offer a day trip from Eureka that includes a farm and/ or nursery visit along with a guided redwoods tour.

Wellness Services:

Want to schedule a massage or facial during your stay? We have lots of great local practitioners to choose from.

There are fitness and wellness classes offered daily at Trinity Herbals and Wellness Center and often we can arrange for classes to be taught right here on farm with at least 4 participants and some advanced notice, so please inquire about this option on booking.

Local Foraging Expeditions

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