Where We Are

Situated along the Pacific Ocean in the Northwest Corner of California, Humboldt and Del Norte counties occupy a land area very close to that of the State of Connecticut, yet our population, at about 140,000, is only 5% that of Connecticut's. More than half of our citizens cluster in communities around Humboldt Bay, located in the middle of the Humboldt County Coast. These communities include: Eureka, the county seat and largest town with about 25,000 people; Arcata, the home of Humboldt State University (one of 20 California State University Campuses) with about 15,000 people; McKinleyville with around 15,000 people, Fortuna with around 10,000; and the Victorian Village of Ferndale with about 1,500 people. Eighty-five miles to the north, Crescent City, with about 12,000 people is Del Norte County's largest community. The remaining population is scattered over some 5,000 square miles of either narrow coastal plain or the rugged coastal mountain ranges

The climate ranges from perpetually mild (with abundant rain and frequent fog) along the coast, to hot summers and cold winters in the mountainous interior. Although a geographic part of California, this two county corner is ecologically part of the Pacific Northwest (Baja Oregon??)

We have 5 wild rivers (Mattole, Eel, Mad, Klamath & Smith) entering the Pacific along more than 150 miles of rugged coastline. There are many State Parks and one National Park with several National Forests where most of the nation's giant coastal redwood trees are found. Seasonal hunting, as well as year-round fishing, hiking, boating, surfing, world-class white water kayaking, golf and many other outdoor activities can be found.

Humboldt State University, and College of the Redwoods (in Eureka) enrich the area in both education and culture. We also have more artists and galleries than almost any area of comparable size in the nation, and we boast a long history of excellent local music, including, at HSU, the largest classical music library north of San Francisco (275 miles due south). Humboldt State University also sponsors "Center Arts" that is responsible for bringing international talent to the Northcoast: everyone from the Peking Acrobats, to the Emerson String Quartet, to Wynton Marsalis, to BB King and many others.

There are a number of nationally known music festivals in the area including the Dixieland Jazz Festival (Eureka) in March, Blues by the Bay (Eureka) in July and Reggae on the River (Garberville/Benbow) in July/August.

Logging, commercial fishing, dairy farming and tourism are the main commercial industries. Humboldt Bay is a deep water port, and the bay also provides over 60% of California-grown oysters, celebrated by the Oyster Festival held in Arcata every June.

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