Humbug Mountain is a mountain on the sea. Not near the sea like King Peak, but rising straight out of it. Accordingly, visitors may be forgiven for expecting scenic views the entire hike.
Humbug Mountain is a rainforest. A temperate rainforest mind you, but a rainforest nonetheless. This means super lush growth everywhere. Ferns on top of ferns on top of moss, and that’s only to start with!
The climb hike has two trailheads. The shorter of the two is located right off of Highway 101 and is hard to miss. The other is the better choice if you are camping at Humbug SP and starts from near campsite 95 and includes a short tunnel underneath Hwy 101.
The hike from the tunnel to the top is about 5.5 miles, half of the walk uphill and half downhill. The elevation change is ~1,700 feet/518m, but don’t be put off by the altitude gain, it is a fairly easy climb. About halfway the trail splits, one side goes east one goes west. We chose the west side going up as it was the shorter of the two and we prefer short steep ascents and longer shallower descents. For those of you hiking this in the afternoon, know that the east side of the trail is much cooler. Hindsight being what it is, we probably would have been more comfortable having the cooler stretch be uphill and the warmer stretch down.
The top of the mountain includes a grassy field and some benches. A good place for a picnic – as evidenced by the family doing just that when we arrived at the top. The view from the top consisted primarily of nearby trees.
Hiking through a rainforest is a surreal experience that defies easy explanation. If you have the opportunity to hike in one take it. It is worth the oppressive humidity : )