When Spanish explorers turned their ships north in the summer of 1775, they were searching for new territory for the Spanish crown. Nearly 300 miles north of San Francisco, they found safe harbor in a small but beautiful bay they called Trinidad. . The Spaniards erected a large cross on Trinidad Head and left the Bay of Trinidad prominently marked on maps of what would become the fledgling state of California. Many came to Trinidad to seek their fortunes--from fur traders and Gold Rush miners to pioneer homesteaders and timber barons. They found the land already inhabited by indigenous Yurok tribes, whose ancestral home encompassed the entire greater Trinidad region, bound by three rivers and filled with a vast and ancient redwood forest. Today, after more than a century and a half of boom and bust, Trinidad is a seaside oasis.