These are maps from gmap-pedometer.com
They are very similar to the maps on Andreas site, but the route corrections we made are incorporated here. And there are some alternatives that we think are worthwhile. These maps are defined to run counter-clockwise, so if you build profiles (by clicking the "elevation" link on the left side) keep that in mind.
Chico to Highway 89 near Chester (73 miles):
This description doesn't go all the way into Chester. You will need to detour to Chester if you need food.
Highway 89 near Chester to Burney (82 miles)
Burney to McLeod (65 miles)
This is NOT the route Andreas describes. We couldn't make his route work up near Stout Meadow and Grizzly Peak. We haven't ridden this route, but it is shown on the AAA map, and the USFS map shows it as more substantive roads than Andreas route, and therefore probably has adequate marking.
Better than the route on this gmap-pedometer would be to turn off route 11 between the two reservoirs and take 39N06 over the top of Grizzly Peak, then pick up Andreas route. But that road isn't shown connecting on google maps, and may or may not be well marked on the ground. If you can copy the info from the book I mention in the blog that describes the Grizzly Peak route, then use that instead. (If you follow the Grizzly Peak route, then you would not go through McCloud.)
McLeod to Weed (46 miles)
Weed to Callahan (44 miles)
Callahan to Forks of Salmon (47 miles)
Forks of Salmon to Orleans (25 miles)
FOLLOWING ANDREAS ROUTE from Orleans to Arcata:
Orleans to Hoopa Bridge (33 miles)
Hoopa Bridge to Arcata (47 miles)
(this map routes you to the Arcata town square. If you don't want to go into town you can skirt it by staying north and then west of town).
ALTERNATE Orleans to Arcata. This is not part of Andreas route. But this change gives you more time on the coast, including excellent and redwood scenery. Andreas route has very little coastal scenery, and I think this alternative makes for a better trip, particularly if you've never been up as far north as the Klamath River mouth:
Orleans to Orick via Bald Hills Road (51 miles)
[The paved highway from Orleans to Weitchpec is very lovely and has very little traffic. There is a very small shop in Weitchpec. We have not been on Bald Hills Road, but it is described in detail in “Guide to California Backroads & 4-WD Trails” by Wells. There are two grocery stores with reasonable selection in Orick, which has nothing else to recommend it.]
Orick to Arcata (39 miles)
[The disadvantage of this alternate route is that it puts you on highway 101 from Orick to Patricks Point State Park for 15 miles. This is likely to be a shock after hundreds of miles of quiet roads, but keep in mind that hundreds of cycle tourists ride the California coast every year spending a lot of time on busy roads like this. But the scenery is fantastic, and once you get south of Patricks Point State Park you are on side roads for the rest of the way to Arcata. Trinidad is an up-scale little town with a great grocery store, cafes, and a beautiful small harbor]
Fantastic loop north from Orick (43 miles. Optional, but maybe best part of whole trip)
[For this region you'll want a copy of the Trails Illustrated "Redwood National and State Parks" map.]
In July 2008 we backpacked 550 miles along the coast from the Columbia River mouth to Arcata. The piece of the coast recommended here was as nice as anything we saw on the whole trip, and I really highly recommend this part.
The trail along the coast in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is fantastic, and the Klamath River mouth is outstanding. The Klamath river is a major salmon river, and is one of the few undammed protected rivers. The wildlife and scenery there at the mouth are great.
There's a very nice private campground on the Klamath River mouth near mile 20.1 on the gmap (http://www.kampklamath.com). You can poke around their website to see photos of the area. I believe there is a very small grocery store and cafe in the small town of Klamath.
Back in Arcata the Alternate rejoins Andreas Route:
Arcata to Ferndale (31 miles)
Ferndale to Honeydew (43 miles)
Honeydew to Briceland/Usal Road junction, via Avenue of the Giants, Redway, & Briceland (70 miles)
ALTERNATE: Honeydew to Briceland/Usal Road junction, via the coastal route - Wilder Ridge Road, Kings Peak Road, & Chemise Mtn Road (27 miles)
This stays close to the coast, rather than heading inland to pass through the redwood forests. If you take this route, you should get the King Range National Conservation Area map. There is apparently a gas station in Shelter Cove (slightly off route on the coast). This route is paved for the first 8 miles south of Honeydew (while still on Wilder Ridge Road. Then it is dirt for 12 miles. Then paved for about 4 miles, and dirt for the final 3 miles. (We have not been on this route.) Although this route is close to the coast, it is primarily through forests with only intermittent views of the ocean.
Usal Road, from Briceland Rd junction to Highway 1 (24 miles)
Highway 1 / Usal Rd junction to Laytonville (37 miles)
Laytonville to Middle Fork Eel River bridge (enter National Forest) (38 miles)
Eel River Bridge to Alder Alder Springs Station junction (33 miles)
Alder Springs Station junction to Willows Walmart (39 miles)
ALTERNATE: Alder Springs to Willows Walmart (38 miles)
This is simlar to the last map, but differs for 5-6 miles between Rattlesnake Firefighter Memorial and Gillespy Ranch. This route is on a major dirt road on the north slope of the ridge, whereas the prior map is on the paved road on the southern slope. This route should be a little cooler on a hot day due to the aspect.
Willows to Chico (33 miles)