Virtual Guidebook to the Northern California Coast and Coast Ranges
Confusion Hill
South Fork of the Eel River California


Confusion Hill is one of those strange little tourist traps from the early days of family road trips, similar to the Mystery Spot and the Oregon Vortex. My parents would never stop at them, but they were impossible to miss, with billboards announcing them for miles in advance. Several still survive along the South Fork Eel River (but I still avoid them).

This upper canyon of the South Fork is plagued by perennial landslides. Just north of Confusion Hill there is one of the most intractable, so bad that Caltrans decided to build two huge bridges to bypass it. The southern bridge, completed in 2009, is 1395 feet long and 253 feet above the river, the northern one 531 feet by 140 feet high.



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Confusion Hill, a classic roadside attraction on the Redwood Highway

(June 22, 2010)


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Confusion Hill offers gifts, snacks, mysterious anomalies and a train ride

(June 22, 2010)


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On the southern of two new bridges on Highway 101 at Confusion Hill, bypassing landslides on the original Redwood Highway

(June 23, 2010)


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After years of expense Caltrans decided to bypass the Confusion Hill slides with two new bridges

(June 22, 2010)


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Huge landslides, as here at Confusion Hill, are common on Highway 101 along the South Fork of the Eel River

(June 22, 2010)


Next Locality: Smithe Redwoods State Reserve