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Humboldt County, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

County of Humboldt
Aerial view of Humboldt Bay
Aerial view of Humboldt Bay
Official seal of County of Humboldt
Interactive map of Humboldt County
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
CountryUnited States
RegionCalifornia North Coast
IncorporatedMay 12, 1853[1]
Named forHumboldt Bay, which was named after Alexander von Humboldt
County seatEureka
Largest cityEureka
 • TypeCouncil–CAO
 • Chair[2]Virginia Bass
 • Vice Chair[3]Steve Madrone
 • Board of Supervisors[4]
  • Rex Bohn
  • Michelle Bushnell
  • Mike Wilson
  • Virginia Bass
  • Steve Madrone
 • County Administrative OfficerElitshia Hayes
 • Total4,052 sq mi (10,490 km2)
 • Land3,568 sq mi (9,240 km2)
 • Water484 sq mi (1,250 km2)
Highest elevation6,956 ft (2,120 m)
 • Total136,463
 • Density38/sq mi (15/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific Time Zone)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Area codes707, 530

Humboldt County (/ˈhʌmblt/ (listen)) is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 136,463.[6] The county seat is Eureka.[7]

Humboldt County comprises the Eureka–ArcataFortuna, California Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located on the far North Coast, about 270 miles (435 km) north of San Francisco. It has among the most diverse climates of United States counties, with very mild coastal summers and hot interior days. Similar to the greater region, summers are extremely dry and winters have substantial rainfall.

Its primary population centers of Eureka, the site of College of the Redwoods main campus, and the smaller college town of Arcata, site of California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, are located adjacent to Humboldt Bay, California's second largest natural bay.[8] Area cities and towns are known for hundreds of ornate examples of Victorian architecture.

Humboldt County is a densely forested mountainous and rural county with about 110 miles (177 km) of coastline (more than any other county in the state),[9] situated along the Pacific coast in Northern California's rugged Coast (Mountain) Ranges. With nearly 1,500,000 acres (6,100 km2) of combined public and private forest in production, Humboldt County alone produces twenty percent of the total volume and thirty percent of the total value of all forest products produced in California.[10] The county contains over forty percent of all remaining old growth Coast Redwood forests,[11] the vast majority of which is protected or strictly conserved within dozens of national, state, and local forests and parks, totaling approximately 680,000 acres (1,060 sq mi).[12]


The original inhabitants of the area now known as Humboldt County include the Wiyot, Yurok, Hupa, Karuk, Chilula, Whilkut, Tsnungwe and the Eel River Athapaskan peoples, including the Wailaki, Mattole and Nongatl.[13] Spanish traders made unintended visits to California with the Manila Galleons on their return trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565. Humboldt County was formed in 1853 from parts of Trinity County. The first recorded entry by people of European origin was a landing by the Spanish in 1775 in Trinidad.[13]

The first recorded entry of Humboldt Bay by non-natives was an 1806 visit from a sea otter hunting party from Sitka employed by the Russian American Company.[13] The hunting party included Captain Jonathan Winship, an American, and some Aleut hunters.[13][14] The bay was not visited again by people of European origin until 1849 when Josiah Gregg's party visited.[14] In 1850, Douglas Ottinger and Hans Buhne entered the bay, naming it Humboldt in honor of the great naturalist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt, and the name was later applied to the county as a whole.[15]

The area around Humboldt Bay was once solely inhabited by the Wiyot Indian tribe. One of the largest Wiyot villages, Tolowot, was located on Indian Island in Humboldt Bay. Founded around 900 BC, it contains a shell midden 6 acres (2.4 ha) in size and 14 feet (4.3 m) deep. It was the site of the February 26, 1860 massacre of the Wiyot people that was recorded by Bret Harte, then living in Union, now called Arcata. Between 60 and 200 Wiyot men, women, and children were murdered that night in the midst of religious ceremony. Tolowot is now a restricted site and a National Historic Landmark.[14] In 2019, the island was restored to the Wiyot tribe, and is now known as Tuluwat or Duluwat island.

State historic landmarks in Humboldt County include Arcata and Mad River Railroad, California's First Drilled Oil Wells in Petrolia, Camp Curtis, Centerville Beach Cross, the city of Eureka, the town of Ferndale, Fort Humboldt, Humboldt Harbor Historical District, the Jacoby Building, The Old Arrow Tree, Old Indian Village of Tsurai, the Town of Trinidad, and Trinidad Head.[14]

On February 5 and 6, 1885, Eureka's entire Chinese population of 300 men and 20 women were expelled after a gunfight between rival Chinese gangs (tongs) resulted in the wounding of a 12-year-old boy and the death of 56-year-old David Kendall, a Eureka City Councilman. After the shooting, an angry mob of 600 Eureka residents met and informed the Chinese that they were no longer wanted in Eureka and would be hanged if they were to stay in town longer than 3 p.m. the next day. They were put on two steamships and shipped to San Francisco. No one was killed in the expulsion. Another Chinese expulsion occurred during 1906 in a cannery on the Eel River, in which 23 Chinese cannery workers were expelled after objections to their presence. However, some Chinese remained in the Orleans area, where some white landowners sheltered and purchased food for the Chinese mineworkers until after racial tension passed. Chinese did not return to the coastal cities until the 1950s.[16]


According to the United States Census Bureau, Humboldt County encompasses 4,052 square miles (10,490 km2), of which 3,568 square miles (9,240 km2) is land and 484 square miles (1,250 km2) is water.[17] Cape Mendocino is the westernmost point in California (longitude 124 degrees, 24 minutes, 30 seconds). Humboldt Bay, the only deepwater port between San Francisco and Coos Bay, Oregon, is located on the coast at the midpoint of the county.

Humboldt County contains a diversity of plant and animal species, with significant forest and coastal habitats. In coastal areas there are extensive amounts of redwood forests.[18] A prominent understory shrub is the toyon, whose northern range limit is in Humboldt County.[19]


Mouth of Humboldt County's Little River on the Pacific Coast
Mouth of Humboldt County's Little River on the Pacific Coast
Rockefeller Forest, the largest remaining old-growth Redwood forest on earth, is located within Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
Rockefeller Forest, the largest remaining old-growth Redwood forest on earth, is located within Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Humboldt County's major rivers include (in order of flow-cubic meters per second-from largest to smallest):

The smaller rivers include Redwood Creek, significant due to amount of its flow; the Van Duzen; the Eel River syncline group composed of the South Fork, the North Fork, and the Salt River; the Mattole, Salmon, Elk, Bear, and Little rivers.

Seismic activity

Historically, Humboldt County and the entire far north coast have had many earthquakes over 6.0 magnitude.

The 1992 Cape Mendocino earthquakes were a series of three major earthquakes that occurred off the coast of Cape Mendocino, California on April 25 and 26, 1992, the largest being a 7.2. Ninety-five people were injured and property in the county sustained considerable damage.[20]

In 2010, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck offshore, 33 mi (53 km) west of Eureka, resulting in only minor injuries and some structural damage to houses and utilities, and no fatalities reported.[21]

The town of Arcata is built on top of an accretionary wedge. This was formed by the subduction of the Gorda plate underneath the North American plate.[22]


The coastal zone of the county experiences very wet, cool winters and dry, mild foggy summers. In the winter, temperatures range from highs of 40–59 °F (4–15 °C) to lows of 32–49 °F (0–9 °C). Coastal summers are cool to mild, with average highs of 60–69 °F (16–21 °C) and frequent fogs. Coastal summer temperatures range from highs of 64–70 °F (18–21 °C) to lows of 46–55 °F (8–13 °C). In the populated areas and cities near the coast, the highest temperatures tend to occur at locations just a few miles inland from Eureka and Arcata, in towns like Fortuna, Rio Dell, and smaller unincorporated communities located somewhat further away from Humboldt Bay. In these locations summer highs are 70–75 °F (21–24 °C). The coastal zone experiences a number of frosty nights in winter and early spring, though snowfall and hard freezes are rare. Coastal winters are cool and wet. Winter rainstorms are frequent, with averages from 30 to 100 inches (760 to 2,500 mm) a year, depending upon elevation.

Inland areas of the county also experience wet, cool winters. Snowfall is common at elevations over 3,000 ft (910 m) throughout the winter months, and is even deep enough at higher elevations to have inspired the opening of a small ski lift operation (now defunct) on Horse Mountain, near Willow Creek, for several decades in the late 20th century. Summer displays the sharpest difference between the coastal and inland climates. Inland regions of Humboldt County experience highs of 80–99 °F (27–37 °C) depending on the elevation and distance from the ocean. Occasional summer highs of 100 °F (38 °C) are common in eastern and southern parts of the county including Orleans, Hoopa, Willow Creek, Garberville, Honeydew, and inland river valleys.

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for warmest and coldest months in selected settlements of Humboldt County[23]
Location Month Temp (°F) Temp (°C) Month Temp (°F) Temp (°C)
Eureka August 64/52 18/11 December 55/40 12/4
Arcata September 62/51 17/11 December 54/38 12/3
Ferndale August 71/52 22/11 December 56/39 13/4
Willow Creek July 94/52 34/11 December 50/35 10/1
Garberville August 87/53 31/12 December 49/37 9/3
Shelter Cove August 69/53 21/11 January 57/45 14/7
Orick August 69/49 21/9 January 52/37 11/2



As of the 2000 census, the population of Humboldt County was 126,518. As of that census, there were 51,238 households in Humboldt County, and the population density was 35 people per square mile (14/km2). By 2006, the population was projected to have increased to 131,361 by the California Department of Finance.[24] There were 55,912 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km2).[citation needed] The racial makeup of the county was 84.7% White, 0.9% Black or African American, 5.7% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2.5% from other races, and 4.4% from two or more races. In 2017, 11.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino according to the United States Census Bureau. 13.3% were of German, 10.7% Irish, 10.3% English, 7.4% American and 5.7% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.1% spoke English and 4.6% spoke Spanish as their first language.

There were 51,238 households, out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.2% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,226, and the median income for a family was $39,370. Males had a median income of $32,210 versus $23,942 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,203. About 12.9% of families and 19.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.5% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[25]
1790–1960[26] 1900–1990[27]
1990–2000[28] 2010–2015[6]

The 2010 United States Census reported that Humboldt County had a population of 134,623. The racial makeup of Humboldt County was 109,920 (81.7%) White, 1,505 (1.1%) African American, 7,726 (5.7%) Native American, 2,944 (2.2%) Asian, 352 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 5,003 (3.7%) from other races, and 7,173 (5.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13,211 persons (9.8%).[29]


Places by population, race, and income

The Lanphere Dunes, a protected coastal environment
The Lanphere Dunes, a protected coastal environment

Lead (2017-18)

Humboldt County children are at greater risk of dangerously elevated blood lead levels than Flint, Michigan's - and almost double that of any other California county measured. The cases are concentrated in Eureka's Old Town and downtown areas.[38][39][40]


Humboldt County is known for its impressive redwood trees, and many acres of private redwood timberland make Humboldt the top timber producer in California. The lush river bottoms adjacent to the ocean are for producing rich, high-quality dairy products. Somewhat further inland, the warmer valleys have historically produced abundant apples and other fruit. More recently vineyards have been planted in the Trinity, Klamath, Mattole and upper Eel river.

Locally based companies

Company Location Years Operated Industry Highlights Current Status
Kokatat Arcata since 1971 watersports outfits the US Coast Guard and US watersports teams for 1992 and 1996 Olympics locally owned
Cypress Grove Chevre Arcata since 1983 cheese bought by Emmi AG; still in Arcata
Humboldt Creamery Fortuna since 1929 dairy cooperative bought by Foster Farms Dairy; still in Fortuna
Lost Coast Brewery Eureka since 1989 brewery locally owned
Wing Inflatables Arcata since 1991 watercraft used by Navy SEALs locally owned
C. Crane Company Fortuna since 1976 electronics retailer locally owned
Wildwood Manufacturing Arcata since 1970s guitars locally owned
Wildwood Banjos Arcata 1973–2008 banjos moved to Bend, Oregon, and closed in 2018
Moonstone Guitars Eureka since 1974 guitars locally owned
Coast Seafood Eureka since 1941 seafood bought by Pacific Seafood; still in Eureka
Holly Yashi Arcata since 1981 jewelry locally owned
Eel River Brewing Company Fortuna since 1994 brewery locally owned
Six Rivers Brewery McKinleyville since 1996 brewery locally owned
Mad River Brewing Blue Lake since 1989 brewery locally owned
Humboldt Brewing Company Arcata 1987-2005, 2021- brewery locally owned, bought and moved, then returned in 2021
The Sun Valley Group Arcata since 1969 flowers locally owned
Yakima Racks Arcata 1979–2005 roof racks outfitted race vehicles for 1984 Summer Olympics bought out and moved to Portland, Oregon
Restoration Hardware Eureka 1979–2010 home furnishings moved to Corte Madera, California
Moonstone Mountaineering Arcata 1977–2006 custom outdoor gear bought out and closed by Columbia Sportswear in 2006
Fire and Light Originals Arcata 1995–2019 glassware closed in 2019
Loleta Cheese Factory Loleta 1982–2019 cheese closed in 2019
Pacific Lumber Company Scotia 1863–2007 logging declared bankruptcy and bought by Mendocino Redwood Company
Arcata Transit Authority Arcata 1971–? bikes and outdoor gear closed and succeeded by Kokatat
Blue Puma Arcata 1971–1986 outdoor gear early user of Gore-Tex sued by Puma and reorganized to become Kokatat
Downhome Arcata 1978–1980 custom sleeping bags moved to Deadwood, Oregon, and closed c. 1993


Humboldt County is known for its quality family-operated dairy farms. The Humboldt Creamery, a significant producer of high-grade ice cream and other dairy products, still operates from the original headquarters located at Fernbridge adjacent to the Eel River.[41]


As part of the Emerald Triangle, Humboldt County is known for its cultivation of cannabis, estimated to be worth billions of dollars.[42][43] Proposition 215 allows patients and caregivers who are given a doctor's recommendation to legally (State level only) grow up to 99 plants in Humboldt County.[44][45] However, in the years before Prop 215 (early 1970s – late 1980s), Humboldt County saw a large migration of the Bay Area counter-culture to the region. Many came looking to purchase cheap land, and ended up growing marijuana to pay for their land. Especially around Garberville and Redway, the rural culture and hippie scene eventually collaborated to create a rural hippie community in which marijuana became the center of the economy and the culture. Many people prospered by producing marijuana for California and other states because of its reputation for quality.[46] A Redway radio station, KMUD, in the past has issued warnings and alerts to the region with information on whereabouts of law enforcement on their way to raid marijuana gardens.[47][46]

The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting is the multi-agency law enforcement task force managed by the California Department of Justice, formed with the prime purpose of eradicating illegal cannabis production in California. The operations began in the late 1970s, named the Northern California Sinsemilla Strike Force in 1979, but the name CAMP became used after its official establishment in 1983. While the influence of CAMP in Humboldt County has waned with decriminalization of marijuana, there is a renewed interest at the state level regarding valid growing permits and environmental concerns. As a result, CAMP is today still utilized as a policing body, in accordance with the DEA.[48] Yearly CAMP reports, published by the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) are available online through Cal Poly Humboldt's Special Collections. Starting in 1983, the annual reports detail the organizational structure and names of individual participants, a summary of the season's activities, tactics, and mention of special successes, trends and hazards.[48]

County officials and the industry have encountered challenges in the transition from an illegal, underground economy to legal recreational cannabis sales that began in California in 2018.[49]

Parks and recreation

National protected areas

National Park
Conservation area
Recreation area
  • Samoa Dunes Recreation Area – Bureau of Land Management
Wildlife refuge

State protected areas

Tide pools
Recreation areas

County parks

Arts and culture



Humboldt County is in California's  2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman.[65]

In the state legislature, Humboldt is part of the  2nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Mike McGuire,[66] and the  2nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Jim Wood.[67]

Election audits in the county since 2008 have used a distinctive system which has spread elsewhere. They scan all ballots and release a file of the images with a digital signature, so candidates and the public can recount to find if the official totals are correct. They also release software to let the public tally the images electronically.[68] The first time they did this they found the official software omitted 200 ballots.[69][70][71][72]

Voter registration

Cities by population and voter registration

Party preferences

From 1920 to 1984, the county was a noted bellwether area, voting for the national winner of every Presidential election. Since 1988, Humboldt has swung heavily to the Democratic Party at the Presidential and congressional levels, and is now one of the most Democratic areas in the state outside the Bay Area and Southern California. The last Republican presidential candidate to win a majority in the county was Ronald Reagan, a Californian, in 1984.[74]

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Humboldt also had a substantial number of people affiliated with the Green Party, but that number has declined in recent years; however, the Green Party has had its best performance by presidential and gubernatorial candidates of any county in the United States in Humboldt County, with Jill Stein gaining her largest county-level number of votes in Humboldt in 2016.

United States presidential election results for Humboldt County, California[75][76]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 21,770 31.36% 44,768 64.48% 2,886 4.16%
2016 18,373 30.61% 33,200 55.32% 8,441 14.07%
2012 18,825 32.63% 34,457 59.73% 4,404 7.63%
2008 21,713 33.94% 39,692 62.05% 2,563 4.01%
2004 25,714 39.03% 37,988 57.66% 2,184 3.31%
2000 23,219 41.48% 24,851 44.40% 7,902 14.12%
1996 19,803 35.52% 24,628 44.17% 11,326 20.31%
1992 18,299 30.49% 28,854 48.07% 12,868 21.44%
1988 21,460 41.15% 29,781 57.11% 905 1.74%
1984 27,832 51.64% 25,217 46.79% 842 1.56%
1980 24,047 49.39% 17,113 35.15% 7,532 15.47%
1976 18,034 41.58% 23,500 54.18% 1,838 4.24%
1972 22,345 48.83% 21,132 46.18% 2,286 5.00%
1968 16,719 46.17% 16,476 45.50% 3,019 8.34%
1964 12,909 33.53% 25,515 66.27% 75 0.19%
1960 18,074 46.71% 20,391 52.70% 226 0.58%
1956 19,019 52.57% 17,025 47.06% 133 0.37%
1952 19,949 60.10% 12,949 39.01% 293 0.88%
1948 10,979 47.19% 11,268 48.43% 1,019 4.38%
1944 9,127 42.93% 12,083 56.83% 50 0.24%
1940 9,470 43.00% 12,329 55.98% 225 1.02%
1936 6,808 35.97% 11,909 62.93% 208 1.10%
1932 6,795 42.22% 8,723 54.20% 577 3.58%
1928 9,162 69.75% 3,726 28.37% 247 1.88%
1924 6,767 56.82% 845 7.09% 4,298 36.09%
1920 6,528 69.89% 1,778 19.04% 1,034 11.07%
1916 5,786 51.14% 4,103 36.27% 1,424 12.59%
1912 93 1.09% 2,887 33.76% 5,572 65.15%
1908 4,221 65.02% 1,206 18.58% 1,065 16.40%
1904 4,930 73.22% 1,249 18.55% 554 8.23%
1900 3,902 66.32% 1,698 28.86% 284 4.83%
1896 3,142 55.37% 2,465 43.44% 68 1.20%
1892 2,416 44.53% 1,844 33.98% 1,166 21.49%
1888 2,773 55.94% 2,014 40.63% 170 3.43%
1884 2,184 53.89% 1,450 35.78% 419 10.34%
1880 1,490 50.49% 735 24.91% 726 24.60%


Humboldt County is known for an unusual number of missing person cases. It was highlighted as part of the 2018 Netflix documentary Murder Mountain.[77]

The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.

Population and crime rates
Population[30] 133,585
Violent crime[78] 541 4.05
  Homicide[78] 8 0.06
  Forcible rape[78] 33 0.25
  Robbery[78] 117 0.88
  Aggravated assault[78] 383 2.87
Property crime[78] 2,270 16.99
  Burglary[78] 1,057 7.91
  Larceny-theft[78][note 4] 2,513 18.81
  Motor vehicle theft[78] 475 3.56
Arson[78] 51 0.38

Cities by population and crime rates

Cities by population and crime rates
City Population[79] Violent crimes[79] Violent crime rate
per 1,000 persons
Property crimes[79] Property crime rate
per 1,000 persons
Arcata 17,748 78 4.39 702 39.55
Eureka 26,843 145 5.40 2,176 81.06
Ferndale 1,360 3 2.21 17 12.5
Fortuna 11,752 33 2.81 496 42.21
Rio Dell 3,358 19 5.66 57 16.97


The List of schools in Humboldt County, California shows the many school districts, including charter and private schools, at the elementary and high school level. Post-secondary education is offered locally at the College of the Redwoods and California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt (Cal Poly Humboldt). Blue Lake's Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre offers accredited three-year Masters of Fine Arts in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre. Humboldt County has the lowest starting teacher pay scale in the whole state of California.[80]



The Times-Standard is the only daily newspaper in the region; in continuous publication since 1854, and owned by Media News Group since 1996,[81][82] they also print three weeklies: the Redwood Times,[83] the Tri-City Weekly,[84] and Northcoast 101.[85] Other local publications include The Independent,[86] the North Coast Journal,[87] the Ferndale Enterprise,[88] the Two Rivers Tribune,[89] the Isis Scrolls,[90] and The Lumberjack.[91] The Arcata Eye [92] and the McKinleyville Press[93] merged in August 2013 to form the Mad River Union.[94]


Humboldt County's locally produced television stations, NBC station KIEM and PBS station KEET, are based in Eureka. KIEM produces the only local TV newscast and KEET is the only PBS station in the region. Since 2017, CBS affiliate KVIQ has been a low-powered station operated as part of a duopoly with KIEM, sharing the same studios.

Fox affiliate KBVU, a semi-satellite of KCVU, is based in Chico and ABC affiliate KAEF, a semi-satellite of KRCR-TV, is based in Redding. In previous decades all major networks had production capacity in Eureka.

Local internet media

Locally internet based media include:[citation needed]

  • Lost Coast Outpost
  • Red Headed Black Belt




Community media

Community broadband networks and public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable tv channels provide air time for local voices on Access Humboldt.[115] Cable TV channels are carried by Suddenlink Communications[116] and local programs are provided online through the Community Media Archive.[117] The Digital Redwoods initiative of Access Humboldt is developing local networks to meet comprehensive community needs, including public, education and government purposes.[118]


Historic Fernbridge (1911) on the "Road to Ferndale" - California State Route 211
Historic Fernbridge (1911) on the "Road to Ferndale" - California State Route 211

Major highways

Public transportation

  • Humboldt Transit Authority operates two fixed route transit bus systems:
    • Redwood Transit System provides intercity service to and within communities between Trinidad and Garberville, including Manila, King Salmon, Field's Landing, Loleta, Fernbridge and Fortuna. HTA also offers service between McKinleyville or Arcata and Willow Creek and an express bus between Arcata and College of the Redwoods when classes are in session.
    • Eureka Transit Service, operated in the City of Eureka, provides local service on four scheduled routes (one hour headway) in Eureka and its adjacent unincorporated communities. Connections can be made to the Redwood Transit System at several places in Eureka.
  • Arcata and Mad River Transit System, operated by the City of Arcata with funding from Cal Poly Humboldt. A&MRTS provides fixed route local bus service on two scheduled routes (one hour headway) in Arcata and an additional route between the Valley West Neighborhood and the university when classes are in session.
  • The city of Blue Lake and the Blue Lake Rancheria operates the Blue Lake Rancheria Transit Authority.[119] This provides fixed route intercity transit bus service (one hour headway) between Arcata and the Blue Lake Rancheria Indian Reservation and casino and local service within the city of Blue Lake.
  • Del Norte County's Redwood Coast Transit operates fixed route intercity transit bus service between Arcata and Crescent City or Smith River.
  • Amtrak Thruway bus has stops in many towns in the region, including Eureka, Arcata, and Fortuna. These stops are not managed by Amtrak and therefore have no services beyond serving passengers. Full service is only provided at the train station in Martinez, near San Francisco.


Arcata-Eureka Airport is located in McKinleyville (north of Arcata). Commercial flights are available. Other general aviation airports are located at Dinsmore, Garberville, Kneeland, Murray Field (Eureka), Samoa Field and Rohnerville (Fortuna).


Port of Humboldt Bay is on Humboldt Bay, California's second largest natural bay.


Name Month Location Citation
Apple Harvest Festival October Fortuna [120]
Arcata Oyster Festival June Arcata Plaza [121]
Azalea Festival June McKinleyville [122]
Avenue of the Giants Marathon May Humboldt Redwood State Park [123]
Blackberry Festival July Westhaven [124]
Blues by the Bay July Eureka [125]
Brew at the Zoo May Eureka [126]
Chicken Wingfest September Eureka [127]
Craftsman's Days November Eureka [128]
College of the Redwoods Wood Fair June Eureka [129]
Fortuna Rodeo July Fortuna [130]
Fourth of July Festival July 4 Old Town Eureka [131]
Humboldt Pride September Arcata [132]
Godwit Days (Birding festival) April Arcata [133]
Humboldt Arts Festival May Arcata/Blue Lake [134]
Humboldt County Cup November Eureka [135]
Humboldt County Fair August Ferndale [136]
Humboldt Film Festival March & April Arcata [137]
Humboldt Juggling Festival April/May Arcata (HSU) [138]
Humboldt Redwoods Marathon October Southern Humboldt [139]
Mushroom Fair November Arcata [140]
North Country Fair September Arcata [141]
Organic Planet Festival September Eureka [142]
Reggae on the River August French's Camp [143]
Redwood Acres Fair June Eureka [144]
Redwood AutoXpo July Fortuna [145]
Redwood Coast Jazz Festival March Eureka [146]
Redwood Run June Southern Humboldt [147]
Rhododendron Festival and Parade April Eureka [148]
Roll on the Mattole Summer Mattole Grange [149]
Summer Arts and Music Festival June Benbow [150]
Swauger's Station Day July Loleta [151]
Tour of Loleta (by Bicycle) July Loleta [152]
Tour of the Unknown Coast (by Bicycle) May Southern Humboldt [153]
Trinidad Fish Festival June Trinidad [154]
Trinidad to Clam Beach Run February Trinidad [155]
Truckers Christmas Parade December Eureka [156]
Two Rivers Harvest Festival October Willow Creek [157]
World-Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race May Arcata to Ferndale [158]
Zootini August Eureka [159]
Redwood Coast Up in Smoke BBQ Competition June Blue Lake [160]

In popular culture


Return of the Jedi, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, After Earth, The Tree of Life, Outbreak, Swiss Army Man, The Majestic, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, A Wrinkle in Time, The Call of the Wild, Salem's Lot, Almost Heroes, Jennifer 8, The Love Witch, Willow Creek, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, Humboldt County, The Gnome-Mobile, Woodshock, Gun Glory, A Death in Canaan, The Enchanted Forest, Valley of the Giants, The Valley of the Giants (1919 film), The Valley of the Giants (1927 film), The Immigrants, A Lass in the Lumberlands, Jezebel's Kiss, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes, She's in Portland, and more.[161]

TV shows

Much of The WB's Hyperion Bay and the CBS show Blue Skies as well as an episode of Moonlighting were filmed in Humboldt County. The infamous Patterson-Gimlin film was filmed on Bluff Creek near Orleans, California.

Humboldt County has also been the subject of multiple documentary miniseries including Discovery Channel's Pot Cops and Netflix's Murder Mountain.

Humboldt County has also been featured in episodes of On the Case with Paula Zahn, The Profit, Hamilton's Pharmacopeia, Top Gear, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Survivorman, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Finding Bigfoot, Treehouse Masters, Rescue 911, Walking With Dinosaurs, Somebody's Gotta Do It, Monsters Resurrected, Weediquette, Dan Rather Reports, Monster Fish, Beachfront Bargain Hunt, and many more.[161]

Humboldt County has also been the filming location for countless national television advertisements, including many major car commercials.[161]

The Tv show Virgin River is set in Humboldt County.


In the book Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov there is a possible pun using the county's name (Humboldt) in connection to the main character's name (Humbert Humbert). This appears on page 108: "With the help of a guidebook I located [The Enchanted Hunters inn] in the secluded town of Briceland." This 'secluded town' could very well be a reference to the unincorporated Briceland of Humboldt County, making The Enchanted Hunters in 'Humboldt Land', continuing the novel's grotesque fairy-tale veneer.[162]


The Carson Mansion of Eureka
The Carson Mansion of Eureka


Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Indian reservations

Humboldt County has eight Indian reservations lying within its borders. Only four other counties in the United States have more: San Diego County, California; Sandoval County, New Mexico; Riverside County, California; and Mendocino County, California. The Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation is the largest in the state of California, a state that generally has very small reservations (although very numerous) relative to those in other states.

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Humboldt County.[163]

county seat

Rank City/town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Eureka City 27,191
2 Arcata City 17,231
3 McKinleyville CDP 15,177
4 Fortuna City 11,926
5 Myrtletown CDP 4,675
6 Humboldt Hill CDP 3,414
7 Rio Dell City 3,368
8 Pine Hills CDP 3,131
9 Cutten CDP 3,108
10 Hoopa Valley Reservation[164] AIAN 3,041
11 Bayview CDP 2,510
12 Willow Creek CDP 1,710
13 Ferndale City 1,371
14 Blue Lake City 1,253
15 Yurok Reservation[165] (partially in Del Norte County) AIAN 1,238
16 Hydesville CDP 1,237
17 Redway CDP 1,225
18 Westhaven-Moonstone CDP 1,205
19 Garberville CDP 913
20 Fieldbrook CDP 859
21 Scotia CDP 850
22 Indianola CDP 823
23 Manila CDP 784
24 Loleta CDP 783
25 Shelter Cove CDP 693
26 Miranda CDP 520
27 Karuk Reservation[166] AIAN 506
28 Trinidad City 367
29 Orick CDP 357
30 Benbow CDP 321
31 Weott CDP 288
32 Fields Landing CDP 276
33 Samoa CDP 258
34 Alderpoint CDP 186
35 Myers Flat CDP 146
36 Phillipsville CDP 140
37 Trinidad Rancheria[167] AIAN 132
38 Table Bluff Reservation[168] AIAN 103
39 Big Lagoon CDP 93
40 Redcrest CDP 89
41 Blue Lake Rancheria[169] AIAN 58
42 Rohnerville Rancheria[170] AIAN 38
43 Big Lagoon Rancheria[171] AIAN 17

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ Other = some other race + two or more races
  2. ^ Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native
  3. ^ a b Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
  4. ^ Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.


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Further reading

External links

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