For Love of This Area: The Humboldt Challenge

Not since Hooked on Humboldt have we seen a marketing strategy for this area so bold and innovative. And–it wasn’t done by a marketer hired by the County, it was done for love—love of this beautiful area. Humboldt State computer science student, Connor Callison, unveiled The Humboldt Challenge this week.


The Humboldt Challenge is a monthly set of adventures that, when completed, will be rewarded with prizes from our team and sponsors. To participate in The Humboldt Challenge, complete at least five adventures off the adventure list and take photos at each destination (BE CREATIVE!) Then post your picture with the hashtag #TheHumboldtChallenge

It’s as simple as that!

“I stayed up for 12 hours straight working on it the first night,” Callison said. “I became obsessed with it.”

“Mainly I want to get people out doing things,” he explained. He said he became interested when looking into Next Generation Eureka, a group interested in getting young adults between the ages of 16-30 involved in the process of planning the future of that city.

“Not many people in my age group are involved in voicing our opinions about planning,” he said. Callison, who just graduated from Eureka High last year, explained that people his age are always saying there’s nothing to do.

“There’s so much stuff to do!” he insisted and set out to make a site that encouraged young adults to enjoy this area. “So I created the website with the intent to get people out and doing things—Hopefully, it will stimulate the economy.”

“I could just have compiled a list like 101 Things to Do in Humboldt but they already exist…so I created a challenge,” he said. Everyone, not just young adults, is invited to go on five of the ten adventures listed–everything from climbing Strawberry Rock to visiting Arts Alive. Then, he said, “Get a cool image with different angles, crops and poses.” After that, post the images on either Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtag #TheHumboldtChallenge. The prizes will be awarded at the beginning of the next month.

The response he said has been phenomenal. “This idea has exploded!” he enthused. He has already been approached to meet with county and Eureka city officials. “We are meeting next week,” he said. On the first two days the site was up, “I had over 2000 unique visitors,” he stated.

Callison who was born and raised here is hoping to sell ad space to finance the prizes offered but, he repeated, this is “about getting people out and doing things!”



  • Thumbs up kid

  • Link not working. Where do I find “the list”?

  • Charlotte McDonald


  • The link doesn’t open for me either.

  • Conner. I am beaming with pride that you are my nephew and that you have such intellect to introduce this incredibly positive alternative to the citizens of Humboldt County to recognize the fasinating beauty that abounds us all. Our community seems to be focused so much on what is bad about Humboldt that we’ve seem to have forgotten why we choose to live here. Your aunt Lisa and I were out walking King Salmon beach the other day and we stopped and took in the scenery and said out load, ” look at this beautiful area we live in. There is so much to do and so much to be seen right in our back yards.” Thanks for redirecting our focus to the positives of Humboldt.

  • I would like to share some ideas if I may ! You can try all you want, to list “all the things to do in , Eureka, Arcata or even Trinidad & especially, “Humboldt”. But Humboldt County will never be any more than it is. Yes nature lot’s of WET, fungus, mold spore drenched Redwood Trees & more Nature. How many times can you climb the same hill? And, Arts alive is exactly the same as it was 12 years ago. Drugs & depression abound in Humboldt, hippies, aggressive street people and wanna be naturalists. Sorry but truly helping the younger generation would be to bring REAL culture in like an authentic Museum, an IMAX theater for the absolute entertainment value, Promote the Symphony already there (they are great), or better yet bring in REAL live legitimate theater these Broadway groups tour (not locals trying to be discovered yes the locals are sweet and talented but they are not they are not Broadway quality. Many cities have what they call the “Broadway Series” then name it after their city like “Broadway Eureka”, Sounds good ! And more of a variety of finer Restaurants that offer more of a variety of food and ambiance. These ideas take financial backing and I do not think that Humboldt County cares enough to take the risks of Truly Growing! Just sayin… Good luck and I do mean it !!

    • Yikes, you committed the ultimate sacrilege when you reduced Humboldt to no more than just “nature lot’s of WET, fungus, mold spore drenched Redwood Trees & more Nature.” Yes, it’s interesting that Connor has incorporated at least one non-nature event. And I could see more being added (What about a Taste of Humboldt?) But, I like our forests, our tidepools, our mountains (ever climbed Kings Peak?), our rivers (rafting anyone?), our elk, our seals, our birds (Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge is fantastic!), our dunes, our oak meadows and….I’ll stop now but I think you need to add a few different hikes to your adventures before you reduce everything to “mold spore drenched Redwood Trees!”

    • Inspiration through perspiration There are doers and watchers . Doers find adventure . Watchers wait for others to point it out. nice job actually doing this and not just thinking it might be a good idea ! I think this is a great idea and may help turn watchers into doers ! Good job !
      When you do something awesome , people will hate on you because of jealousy . They show you you are on the right path . There are many ways to climb the same hill . You jut have to have imagination! What better way than to challenge people !

  • Jake Drake--Happy Camper Redwood Tours

    Humboldt County is about so much more than marijuana and homelessness. Kudos to you Conner for nudging folks to get out and explore. There are magical nooks and crannies everywhere!

  • I ♥ wild humboldt

    Thank you kym for your comeback!!
    That person ought to move to the city if they want that stuff and leave the gross wet forest mountain ocean rivers to us hickys. And obviously hasnt explored our county enough!

    Please dont move to new places and try to change it to what you’re used to; if you dont want to adapt then dont move here.

    If I want to see Broadway plays I will go to NY. If I want city stuff I go to SF, its not far at all though you do havta drive thru those horrible mossy forests (&some huge tree farms) to get there.

    Many people came to this area to get away from Imax and symphonies etc so they could hear and see the real deal among other things. Watching a redwood forest tour in an Imax theatre in humboldt sounds ridiculous and just what LA would like.

    Last I heard we’re not really looking for more folks to move here unless you’re a health care professional. Please move away and tell your friends how awful it is here for your kind…. unfortunately it can be pretty awful for us to have you.
    We do not wish to become a vacation rental community nor do we need to draw in tourists and residents who do not appreciate the amazing natural environment here.

    We get visitors from literally all over the world and I don’t mean trimmigrants. Go to the lost coast during europes month vacation time and see how many Europeans travel here just to see it.

    Not to mention the dollars our county gets from movies filmed here because of our nature&lack of mini-malls everywhere within our colorful communities.

    There are people here who (gasp) are not single focused on making money for personal gain or for Imax theatres but desire good community for their families above all. Small businesses abound!

    Take home message; if you hate it here and hate the rain and forests and people then please GO! Be glad to help you with moving costs. I for one do not want to see humboldt turn into santa Cruz.

    For a younger local guy to launch a project like this says a lot, he has been here his whole life and seems to love the area a lot. Thank you, we need the next generation to keep appreciating and protecting our wildness!!!

  • I read somewhere some people had recently moved to the country and then complained about the smell of manure and roosters crowing…ummm…yeah…it’s the country. Really?

    Leave Humboldt the beauty that it is. You want the big city, then go there. You want a Broadway show then go to the big cities and see one. Go to New York and see one.

    Good on ya young man. 🙂

  • ok
    i’ve read the article and the comments that been here a few days
    i also agree that once you seen a moss covered log or tree you seen them all
    but what i see from this young persons site might be different than others .
    says JUST GET OUT , get away from normal youth things ; drinking , getting drugs and skewering off all day . it tells me there is more out there to be fun than drugs or drinking .
    i have gone out many times all around northern ca. and even though i been there , done that , seen that , there are always things i say WOW , NEVER LOOKED THAT CLOSE BEFORE
    think its about doing things away from normal young people things of being wild .
    i like it
    might expand to the next counties over
    i know a great hot springs hole in northern lake county but it takes 5 hours to drive to from upper lake

    • Makeyourlifeshine

      You are so right! We just spent an hour GETTING OUT and re-exploring the trails in Sequoia Park. There is ALWAYS something new to see! Not to mention recounting the endless hours spent there as a child. I ♡ The Humboldt Challenge. 😉

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