Del Norte Triplicate/Richard Wiens ABOVE: The Big Tree that rivals the redwoods on the Big Tree Trail.
If you frequent the North Coast, sooner or later you’re likely to venture inland —
really inland — to the Oregon Caves National Monument. When you do, you might want to allot extra time to check out the sights above ground.
This isn’t a story about the caves themselves, although the extraordinary 90-minute guided tour is highly recommended if you’re not afraid of the dark, or bats, or frequently walking in a crouch. Nearby hiking trails, one of them actually atop the caves, are impressive enough to warrant the 73-mile drive from Crescent City even if you aren’t headed into the void.