Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Th drive back home from Orick was 6 hours without a trailer and 7-7.5 with one. Since driving in the Bay Area is a nightmare after 2-3 pm on weekdays we could either leave at 6 in the morning or try to hit the bay area after 8pm. We decided to drive a few hours south to Humboldt Redwoods, do a quick and easy ride, and then get back on the road to home.

There’s a nice horse campground at this park called Cuneo Creek Horse Campground. There’s even an AERC ride run out of that  campground, so we figured we’d park there and do a short ride. Well, the campground might be great, but the drive to get to it is a nightmare. The road is in terrible condition, with tire-eating potholes all over it. It also winds through huge redwoods that in most places are so close to each other that the road is one way and the turn-outs are only designed for small cars. We were both so ready to get off this road that we pulled into the regular campground and parked there just to not have to drive any further on that road.

Once parked, we tacked up and reviewed the map. There was a loop that looked like it would be about 4-5 miles, so we head out on that. Leaving the campground we met some other riders who had ridden over from the horse campground. Then we crossed a creek and the ponies got a chance to drink.


We actually ended up crossing the creek a few more times, which was nice from a hydration standpoint.


About 2 miles in, my husband thought it would be a good idea to hold his jammed water bottle out next to Eugene and squeeze it. The resulting noise and burst of water was terrifying and Eugene predictably took off bucking to get away from the demon attacking him. My husband fell off activating his vest. My first question was not, “are you okay”, but “what were you thinking?” Wife of the year award here, please. I told him later if I was trying to think of a way to spook him (in order to work on spooking or something) that would be pretty high on my list.

He got to do the rest of the ride with an inflated vest.


The ride ended up being a lot longer than we thought it would. As we started to go down hill at mile 5, Nilla started taking some off steps. One of her shoes had been hanging on on one side by only one nail. So I hopped off and sure enough, the other nail had pulled loose, so the shoe was only on by the nails on the one side. As a flexible Easyshoe, it was flopping around. I ended up walking the next almost 4 miles. Thankfully it was all downhill. I like hiking well enough so long as I don’t have to hike up hills although my riding boots aren’t the most comfortable for hiking.

We ended up going 8.7 miles and doing them pretty slowly since I was on foot for almost half of it.

gps track

After that it was back on the road for a long trip home. We stopped a few times. once for gas and then once for dinner where the ponies also got beet pulp.

beetpulp hi

We ended up driving over the Golden Gate Bridge and then through San Francisco at almost 10 at night. We finally arrived at the barn around 11, unloaded the ponies, fed them again, and then went home to collapse. It was truly an exhausting trip, but well worth it. I’m hoping we can get back to Cuneo for the endurance ride in September. If not, maybe we’ll just go camping there on our own. There are other parts of the park I’d really like to explore.

12 thoughts on “Humboldt Redwoods State Park

  1. Teresa

    Wow what a long day. Nilla seems to be travelling well in the new trailer, so that’s good.
    I had to giggle at your husband completing his ride with the ‘vest of shame’. 😀 Glad that he wasn’t hurt though.
    You will have to do some work with Eugene on exploding water bottles.

    1. Olivia Post author

      She’s doing much better in this trailer. She’s still not happy and kicks the door a bunch and doesn’t eat well, but she’s not actively killing herself, so that’s a win.

    1. Olivia Post author

      We actually did have to pass a water tanker going in and another horse trailer as we were going out. It was really hairy.

  2. Fig

    I laughed really hard reading this. That road was the WORST. Only seven miles into the park, it says! Oh good, we’re almost there! WHAT HELL IS THIS ROAD WHEN DOES IT END. I’m pretty sure it took us close to an hour to make it that seven miles.
    And then the water bottle demon. This was a brilliant post to wake up to.
    I hope you make it up there in September! It’s a beautiful ride, even if those last few miles in and out are awful.

    1. Olivia Post author

      Seriously, that road was absolutely the worst. I was convinced we were going to get a flat. Or crash the trailer going around a tree trying to avoid cars.

  3. Micaylah

    Oh my goodness Eugene’s little baby snip is SO CUTE AH! Also I just requested my “welcome packet” from AERC. I can’t wait to learn about endurance and start going on trails!

  4. Kara

    Your trip sounds like a very big adventure! Amazing with a newly trained mustang. So impressive!!!

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