Click to see a similar view on a foggy day. Share a Video . The terrain is undulating and passes through forested canyons and along scenic ridges. All logistical details have been updated as of January, 2018. Park in the pullout across from the visitor center and pay the $6.00 parking fee. The fact that a lot of these areas are hard to access make it ideal for overland exploring. Lost Coast Trail Description. It’s quite a slow and unpleasant half-mile. For that matter, it’s one of the most attractive campgrounds in any redwood park. Description. Just getting to the trail is a bit of an adventure. The Peter Douglas Trail showcases the diverse and spectacular treasures of Shady Dell while protecting its ecological integrity. We got a permit so a lot of the trails had untouched vegetation and a ton of fields with flower blooms for miles. After climbing over a pair of small knolls the trail more or less stays around the same elevation for a while, although there’s still a lot of up-and-down as it meanders engagingly through dense green woodland. Beware of poison oak and the hanging ferns that will cut you good if you go through them too quickly. Here’s the northern trailhead location in Google Maps. The loose, sandy soils within the remarkably steep-sided canyon have resulted in steep, sandy up-and-downs, slumped trails, and dangerously narrowed hillside cuts. GPS-enabled version of this map for mobile devices, The Roots of Motive Power’s August 2002 issue. To show all trails and roads, click the rightmost (layers) button at the top of the mapA GPS-enabled version of this map for mobile devices is available. Bob Harpell says. There aren’t actually a lot of places where you can camp under old-growth redwoods, and none of them can really compare to this campground. There isn’t a lot of poison oak, but with the occasional sprig hiding in the brush and lots of thorny brush, it makes things a lot easier to wear long pants. The worst part of the drive is the initial steep, narrow, sandy climb to the top of a bluff. It’s another easy descent through redwoods to reach Anderson Gulch. This portion of the Lost Coast Trail is in the less traveled Sinkyone Wilderness from the Usal Beach Campground Trailhead to Whale Gulch at the Northern End. The trail begins with a climb along an attractive redwood-covered ridge. The stretch of trail from Usal Camp to Wheeler camp features a good amount of hiking along the cliffs of the coast and winds through a number of forest areas with beautifully lush fern growth. We took Usal Rd from Hwy 1 to Shelter Cove, stopping at Usal Beach along the way. All in all it, was a worthwhile experience. The Lost Coast Trail continues north of Usal for 53 miles, winding up and down through the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park in Mendocino County and along the beach in the BLM Kings Range National Conservation Area, ending at the Mattole River in Humboldt County. Look for mile marker 90.88 on PCH. Camp Usal is an isolated camground in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Nadelos Campground. This trail, which extends the Lost Coast Trail to the south by 2.3 miles, makes it possible for visitors to explore the hidden gems of this legendary landscape, thanks in part to Save the Redwoods League donors. Trail Latitude (X): 39.814. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. The landscape changes, too, with more woodland and less scrub. There are many tall ferns, trees, and other plants that overhang the trail the whole time. About a half-mile in is a brief break in the woods with a nice viewpoint. A short spur to the left crosses a footbridge, leading to a beach with a view of the cliffs that you just walked over. Particularly Special Place. It lies in the King Range National Conservation Area and runs from the Mattole Beach trailhead to Black Sands Beach … Throughout the hike, no development at all is visible; this is one of the few spots on the California Coast that doesn’t have any roads or buildings. Fortunately the drive out is usually easier than the drive in. There aren’t any signs, but Wheeler Camp is spread out over about the next three-quarters of a mile of trail. The last 3.5 miles are unpaved, steep, & narrow. You'll have a great time if you can handle tough terrain, Lost Coast Trail: Bear Harbor to Usal Camp. Fourth annual Lost Coast trip for our Jeep group. The trail along the bluffs can be a bit treacherous as the bluffs are steep and the ground is soft. In the springtime you will see long stretches of blooming purple wild irises. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Getting to Usal beach can be a little tricky, but it is well worth the effort. Tolkan Campground We took Usal Rd from Hwy 1 to Shelter Cove, stopping at Usal Beach along the way. After a nice wide, level portion, there’s a steep, sandy, but slightly easier descent to Usal Beach. Any remains of the enclosure have likely been used for firewood, and all that remains now is a plastic vent pipe lying nearby in the grass. Humboldt State Redwoods (any campground, gets busy!) ! Turn north for approximately 6 miles onto unpaved, steep, narrow road. It’s one of the highlights of the hike. Old-growth redwoods in Little Jackass Creek Camp. A web browser that supports HTML5 is required to view the map. The sheer cliffs of the next stretch of coast are inaccessible by foot, so the trail begins inland several miles east from Shelter Cove, and doesn't return to the coast until near Needle Rock. Lost coast trail is amazing but overgrown and in pretty rough shape…would be fine for an experienced hiker. Overall, even though this is the biggest climb of the hike, it’s much less brushy and eroded and therefore not nearly as difficult as the previous climbs. It is challenging and beautiful. There are no park rangers or any other staff present, and I’ve heard that people illegally off-road on the beach, set off fireworks, and even shoot guns late into the night. The last two and a half miles of the hike follow an old section of Briceland Thorn Road. Fourth annual Lost Coast trip for our Jeep group. Usal Beach Is The Picture-Perfect Oceanfront Campground In Northern California That Belongs On Every Camper’s Bucket List. On a clear day the views of the coastline are stunning and you are almost guaranteed to come across some elk. Expect the whether to change at anytime it would be a good idea to bring some lite rain gear. Sarah wrote a fantastic review - check that out. Lost Coast South Needle Rock to Usal Beach Published 2014-08-20 21:51:06 UTC Story by Kyle Frost To the north. The next morning was our date to begin hiking. The trail was closed just past the cutoff down to Usal Beach. The challenging and remote Lost Coast Trail runs over high coastal bluffs and through deep canyons, with a few old-growth redwoods and black-sand beaches along the way. The Lost Coast Trail starts at Usal Beach at the south end of the park and meanders north for […] There are two campsites: one under the trees next to a brook in the bottom of a steep-sided canyon, and another in a grassy field next to the toilet. The overgrown trail descends to a small cove with a wide, secluded black sand beach, the most scenic beach on the trail. This whole section is very sandy and makes hiking a little more difficult. The trail mapped here is actually Jackass Creek (Wheeler) to Usal Camp. Wind your way down until you reach the Needle Rock visitor center, where there’s a gate across the road. Fourth annual Lost Coast trip for our Jeep group. The League purchased the grove, along with 957 acres known as Shady Dell, from the nonprofit Redwood Forest Foundation Inc. for $5.5 million in 2011. This piece of wilderness will make you feel like you are in another world. Bob Harpell says. The first two campsites are just before and slightly above the beach, and a third is right next to the beach; all are exposed to the sun and wind. To start at the southern portion, exit on Usal Rd off Highway 1 (this exit is unmarked, use the Hiking … Fortunately it’s much shorter, and it also has the best views of the entire hike, of the glittering ocean and the impressively tall, steep, redwood-covered bluffs both to the north and south. Exploring the famous Lost Coast is a Northern California adventure that never gets old, and there’s certainly no better place to set up camp. Located in a lush glen surrounded by precipitously steep, high, redwood-covered hills, the campground is set in an old-growth redwood grove (maybe part of the Sally Bell Grove), with 10 or 12 medium-sized redwoods visible from the trail. The Lost Coast Trail is divided into two sections. The trail meanders along the foot of high mountains in the King Range in southern Humboldt County and northern Mendocino County. Both roads are about the same difficulty. It’s a relief when the trail finally enters the woods again, where it becomes blissfully wide and clear (if I’m doing an out-and back, on the way back I’ll usually cut over to the dirt road at this point so that I can skip all the brush). During the summer dry season, I’ve never had any problem driving them in a Honda Civic, and I’ve even seen Mini Coopers and a Volkswagon campervan do it with no problem. Unusually, there are also maples; the lighter foliage of the maples contrasts with the darker, more formal-looking redwoods and gives the grove a distinctively friendly, leafy appearance. Taking other people's content (text, photos, etc) without permission is a copyright violation and NOT OKAY! It is astonishingly beautiful at each turn of the path. In fact this second hill feels like a smaller version of the first. I have on two occasions! Looks like I won’t be staying at Usal Beach. We spent the night in Shelter Cove, with most of the group camping at Wailaki Campground. We took Usal Rd from Hwy 1 to Shelter Cove, stopping at Usal Beach along the way. Lost Coast Trail To Jones Beach is 2 miles round trip; to Whale Gulch is 4.5 miles round tripThe land we now call Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, located about 225 miles north of San Francisco, has long been recognized as something special. It’s really remarkable to think you have, or will, climb to the top of the imposing bluffs. Located in a very under-developed area of California, the towns that exist on the coast are few and far between. I would probably come back with a friend but not solo, and start way earlier than 4:30 pm to finish in daylight instead of 9:30pm. Multiple hiking trails are found along the Lost Coast. Lost Coast Trail To Jones Beach is 2 miles round trip; to Whale Gulch is 4.5 miles round tripThe land we now call Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, located about 225 miles north of San Francisco, has long been recognized as something special. The views range from huge red woods to awesome ocean views . Bear Harbor. Several “locals” warned of a difficult trail. 1) About The Lost Coast Area. Someone put in a large yellow gate that was locked stating that the road was closed. This is one we all remember forever. From here you will have an excellent view of the ocean, the beach, and the forested area below. Wildflowers and wild strawberries abounded when we went there in April. At mile 1.5 the trail begins a steep and unpleasantly brush-clogged climb up an exposed hillside. This grove is actually an isolated part of Sinkyone Wilderness. Sinkyone Wilderness Segment- Lost Coast Trail is a 27.9 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Whitethorn, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. View of the beach at Little Jackass Creek. It’s the only Sinkyone campground to be so spread out. There are also some very steep sections along canyon walls where there is little footing. Certain campgrounds (Humboldt Redwoods, Mattole) fill up in the summer, so plan your adventure accordingly. The 10+ mile dirt&gravel road from Hwy1 into Usal is rough and only advisable in dry weather due to some muddy steep sections. The Lost Coast Trail continues north of Usal for 53 miles, winding up and down through the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park in Mendocino County and along the beach in the BLM King Range National Conservation Area, ending at the Mattole River in Humboldt County. Gorgeous hike (we did it the opposite way than the trail listed– from usal to wheeler) but pretty gnarly past anderson gulch (again going towards wheeler) with overgrown trails / trail-finding, bushwhacking, landslides from the recent downpours, and felled trees. So rugged, in-fact, that the state of California was unable to continue the well-known Highway 1 (otherwise known as “The One” to Californians) along this stretch of California coastline, and instead they had to continue Highway One inland. This trail may be approached from 3 main entry points: at the top of the King Range National Conservation Area, at the middle between the King Range and Sinkyone Wilderness (Needle Rock), or at the southern end of the Sinkyone Wilderness at Usal Campground. Dark Gulch and redwood-encrusted Timber Point. Anderson Camp is the least scenic of Sinkyone’s trail camps; it’s OK, but there isn’t anything exciting about it. A short trail leads to a secluded beach. It goes through the King Range National Conservation Area and ends at Black Sands Beach… This past weekend we tried to run Lost Coast Trail. The northern section starts at Mattole Beach and is 24.6 miles on mostly level terrain, following the beach and meadows. Bear Harbor is further North. If you have an hour, you may want to save the Sinkyone for another trip. The smallish dark sandy beach … Our objective was only to Jackass Creek, a mere 6.9 of those 19 miles to a beachside backcountry site. It ends at the mouth of the Mattole River in King Range National Conservation Area,more than 50 trail miles from Usal Beach. Note: I hiked the Lost Coast Trail in April, 2014. Near the bottom, the trail becomes brushy and overgrown again. Usal Creek is the southernmost drainage basin unbridged by California State Route 1 on California's Lost Coast.The unpaved county road following the westernmost ridge line south from the King Range crosses Usal Creek near the Pacific coast, but the bridge may be removed during winter months. Mattole Beach. The trail finally improves as it climbs out of the canyon, but then there’s more brush. We spent the night in Shelter Cove, with most of the group camping at Wailaki Campground. The coastline of the Lost Coast Trail is rugged and remote. If you have time to kill, follow the creek at Anderson towards the most incredible private beach you'll find on the north coast. Land managers require camping in designated campgrounds along the Lost Coast. The largest redwoods are right at the bottom of the hill; they tend to be slightly twisted and gnarled and lack the height or the magnificent, straight-as-an-arrow appearance of the redwoods in the major redwood parks. What could be a nice, easy, and scenic section is instead slow and annoying. Where the north trail winds along the beach, the south goes up and over every ridge and back down to every stream and creek. Also locals warned my ride that it's harvest season in fall so beware of your surroundings. The Lost Coast Trail continues north of Usal for 53 miles, winding up and down through the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park in Mendocino County and along the beach in the BLM King Range National Conservation Area, ending at the Mattole River in Humboldt County. The remote Lost Coast Trail is often faint and overgrown, so it’s especially reassuring to have a detailed, GPS-enabled map to help show you that you’re still on the trail. The coastline of the Lost Coast Trail is rugged and remote. The length of this section is misleading; it feels more like 10 miles and will take at least as long as a typical 10-mile hike. Little Jackass Creek (not to be confused with Jackass Creek, which is further down the trail at Wheeler Beach) has the most attractive campground of the hike. Usal Beach is the southern trailhead of the 63 mile Lost Coast Trail. Anderson Beach Anderson Beach is a hike-in beach in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. The Peter Douglas Trail showcases the diverse and spectacular treasures of Shady Dell while protecting its ecological integrity. This is Chase Grove. The full section is about 22 miles long, we decreased this mileage a little by ending at the slightly more convenient Needle Rock Visitor’s center for a total of 19.4 miles. The Lost Coast Trail is a popular summer backpacking route along the shoreline of a remote region in Northern California. The southern Lost Coast Trail continues further into Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, eventually reaching Usal Beach, about 32 miles from Black Sands Beach. The biggest worry is that you might meet a huge pickup truck coming the other way while you’re on a steep climb. Someone put in a large yellow gate that was locked stating that the road was closed. Little Jackass Creek Beach. October 13th, 2017 at 1:26 am; Max Says: Really sad to read about the squaters and issues up there. The trail system in Sinkyone is a simple there and back jaunt of over 19.3 miles from Needle Rock to Usal Beach. Length 12.6 miElevation gain 4849 ftRoute type Point to point Hikers here can continue north along the trail, or turn around. I love this trail! Reaching the ridgetop, the trail leaves the woods and becomes a little faint and overgrown, but with some nice ocean views. In July 2019 a small wildfire burned along Usal Road between the Usal Beach Campground and Highway 1, cutting off access to the campground and the southern trailhead. Take Highway 1 to Usal Road. If you're a difficulty junkie like me, hike out of Usal towards Anderson Camp. Hikers can view sea lions, tidepools and spectacular spring wildflowers. The toilet is completely exposed in the middle of a field. It is overgrown in parts and ticks can be an issue. I might consider taking the logging road in next time to go around the slide. The trailheads start here, and on the opposite end at Needle Rock up north. Hikers will discover dramatic views of the rugged Lost Coast, sprawling old-growth Douglas fir, majestic Roosevelt elk, and the tiny rare “secret pocket moss.” The trail is accessed from the south by taking Usal Road, off of Highway One. Usal Campground is remote, and is one of the southernmost points of the Lost Coast. The northern half, which is by far the most popular section, and what we hiked, is 25 miles from Mattole Beach to Black Sands Beach, with the trail mostly consisting of sandy - rocky beach and grassy bluffs. I was looking for some nice family camping and light 4 wheeling. Often the trail has simply slipped away down the bluff. The unspoiled and remarkably varied scenery includes remote black-sand beaches and patches of old-growth redwoods. A lot of downed branches in the wooded areas but nothing impassable. Turn left onto Briceland Road. California’s Lost Coast Trail, a 53 mile hike along one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines. Fourteen volunteers, whom either traveled out for the event or were recruited on site, removed seven cubic yards of invasive English Ivy from trees. No water so either bring a pack (I had 80oz) or filter, but there were only two sources I would even consider filterable. I ran from Usal Camp to Needle rock in just under five hours (4:53) and other than the difficulty of accessing the trailhead with a Prius was an awesome stint. Several “locals” warned of a difficult trail. Add a Symbol . The Lost Coast Trail traverses 25 miles of California coastline. 19.5 mi and 6k of gain. The entrance for Usal Road is easy to miss as there aren’t any markers aside from some yellow posts. A lot of the trail gets pretty brushy though, pay attention to your direction! Trail Longitude (Y): -123.839 The northern trailhead is about an hour and a half from Highway 101. There aren’t a whole lot of ocean views in this area, since most of the trail is lushly wooded and on summer days is often in the fog. In addition, the steepness and related geotechnical challenges of the coastal mountains made this stretch of coastline too costly for … Needing an off-road setup for rock crawling! The remote region is known as California’s Lost Coast is only accessible by a few back roads, but breathtaking scenary and recreational opportunities challenge us to explore this vast coastline. A hundred yards past the Usal Creek bridge lies a trailhead for the 16.7- mile, Lost Coast Trail up to Bear Harbor, a path dotted by trailside camps. The Wheeler Trail is an unmarked trail to your right that used to be a mainline logging road; until 1960 a sawmill was located right here at the bottom of the road, and timber was stacked up in the little valley between here and the beach. The middle section of the trail is a 9-mile ascent and descent of Chemise Mountain which stands 2,598 feet tall. In places it’s so thick that you can’t even see the trail or, for that matter, anything else except for grass. If you have an hour, you may want to save the Sinkyone for another trip. Until recently it was possible to drive this section, but a landslide near Needle Rock has made it too dangerous and the road is now closed to vehicles. This terrain is so rugged that no paved roads exist along the shore for more than 50 miles except at Shelter Cove near … The southern half of the trail is exceptionally challenging, with an extreme amount of up-and-down for a coastal trail. The Lost Coast Trail is one of the world’s premier wilderness beach treks. In fact the entire area is so secluded that even on a Labor Day weekend, I didn’t see a single person in the area all day. There are several camps along this route including Jackass Camp, Wheeler Camp, and Usal Camp. Lost Coast Trail: Bear Harbor to Usal Camp is a 20.3 kilometer moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Piercy, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The Lost Coast Tour is an alternative to touring down Highway 101, the Avenue of the Giants, and Highway 1 between Eureka and Fort Bragg. Click or tap to view the full-size map. We did a mellow 25 mile hike over 3 days on the Lost Coast Trail with 15 friends. There’s a little up-and-down as the trail continues through woods and open coastal scrub. After Little Jackass Creek Camp, the trail climbs steeply out of the canyon. Lost coast trail is amazing but overgrown and in pretty rough shape…would be fine for an experienced hiker. The road climbs though attractive countryside. As this business faded away in the 1930s, the area became known as the “Lost Coast.” All vestiges of lumber production have long ago been destroyed by fire. There’s a nice, easy descent through mixed woodland, then a short but brushy climb, and finally another easy descent through an attractive grove of small redwoods. The burbling of a little brook fills the grove, even in late summer. The trail crosses a ravine with a trickling creek where a few good-sized redwoods grow. This is the worst brushy section of the entire trail; it continues for about a mile but feels never-ending. Make sure to get a good map, these trails are barely marked and most of the camps are not. It's a Micro size geocache, with difficulty of 4, terrain of 2.5. The trail begins at the Usal Beach campground, named for the USA Lumber Company, which built a sawmill here in 1889. Much further down the trail is a final campsite in a small clearing next to some redwoods. This portion of the Lost Coast Trail can be overgrown and hard to navigate in some places. Camping: The entire area at Usal Beach area is part of the State Park and is open to camping. I'm in very good shape and it was not an easy hike but well worth it. I was able to make it through, but it was challenging. The Lost Coast is a mostly natural and undeveloped area of the California North Coast in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties, which includes the King Range.It was named the "Lost Coast" after the area experienced depopulation in the 1930s. The Lost Coast Trail starts at Usal Beach at the south end of the park and meanders north for […] See details . The top of the hill marks the end of the really hard part of the trail; the rest of the Lost Coast Trail has a much more reasonable level of difficulty. The tour can be included in your coastal tour or completed as a fun short tour that can be made into a loop or a point to point. Create Recommended Route or Trail . Description Usal Beach is the only drive-in campground, as well as the campground furthest south in Sinkyone; it’s conveniently located near Highway 1. Usal #1, Lost Coast Trail (GC4CJPW) was created by goldhelm1234 on 9/9/2013. The campground doesn’t take reservations and doesn’t even have defined campsites, but there always seem to be spots available. Conveniently, there’s a parking lot here if you’re planning on backpacking your way up the Lost Coast trail. After the beach, the trail continues through an attractive alder grove and open fields before reaching the intersection with the Wheeler Trail. This hike is HARD, but if you truly want to enjoy the north coast in solitude, it's absolutely worth it for experienced backpackers. The map shows the main body of the park as well as both the north and south access roads, including the Lost Coast Trail, Usal Beach Campground, and the Needle Rock area. Be advised—there was a rockslide last night that I encountered on my way out from camp about 1/4 mile North of the Dark Gulch Creek Crossing (first creek North of Usal Beach). Usal Road (Mendocino Country Rd 431) is found 13 miles north of Westport or 14.5 miles southwest of Legget on Highway 1. Worse, it’s unfortunately not very well-maintained. There aren’t any signs, but Wheeler Camp is spread out over about the … The trail actually begins as a closed, run down section of the Bear Harbor Rd. Go straight at the “four corners” intersection, where the road becomes dirt. This past weekend we tried to run Lost Coast Trail. The beginning of the road (Google Street View) is completely unmarked except for two warning signs. The League purchased the grove, along with 957 acres known as Shady Dell, from the nonprofit Redwood Forest Foundation Inc. for $5.5 million in 2011. Interestingly, there are a few isolated old-growth redwoods along the side of the road. The northern section starts at Mattole Beach and is 24.6 miles on mostly level terrain, following the beach and meadows. Wailaki Campround. There are some steep sections where the landslides have completely taken out the trail and are eroding, so take your time and use caution when scrambling over. 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