(somewhat urgent) Lost Coast Question!!!
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
(somewhat urgent) Lost Coast Question!!! on 06/22/2011 20:04:40 MDT Print View

Howdy all,
I'm leaving for the Lost Coast tomorrow; will be staying with a friend in Sausalito on Thursday night, driving to the trail on Friday morning.

The original plan:
Starting at Usal Camp in Sinkyone, hike all the way to Mattole, then turn around (about 100 miles total). The plan is for ~5 nights/6 days.

The concern:
As I have no idea about the area, I'm a bit worried about some of the road reports I've read about the 6 mile drive into Usal Camp. I have a Honda Element, which has a little ground clearance, and I'm not scared of off-road driving, but I don't have 4WD. Most reports say that this road *can* be OK for passenger cars in the summer, but I've also heard it can be muddy and pretty rutted well into summer if there were heavy rains. I'm concerned I'm heading in a bit early, as we're not quite in full swing summer...I also hear it's steep, narrow, and has few spots to back up/turn around. I really don't want to waste a day (or worse) of my trip with off-road car mayhem.

Another concern is leaving the car there for a week; I've also heard through the grapevine that Usal Camp can be a heavy party spot on weekends.

Should I be worried? I have no idea how reliable these sources are. I couldn't reach any rangers today about road conditions.

Think I'd be better off leaving the car at Shelter Cove, heading south to Usal, then back to Shelter Cove and then north to Mattole and back? One advantage is that I could leave half my food in the car before heading north...

Any input is appreciated.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Ken Thomson to the rescue... on 06/22/2011 20:07:37 MDT Print View

via speedy PM.

Looks like I'll go with the Shelter Cove parking plan.
Thanks!

art dimof
(artdimof) - F
Lost Coast tides on 06/22/2011 21:32:53 MDT Print View

If you have not hiked this section of coast before be very aware of the tide charts. High tide can cut off beach quickly leaving you up against sheer cliff with no where to go. There are also rogue waves that can drag you off the beach and into deep water. Dont let this worry you though just be aware. My son, a couple of friends and I did Shelter Cove north to The Flat at night, about ten miles in under 3 hrs without problem.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: (somewhat urgent) Lost Coast Question!!! on 06/22/2011 23:47:48 MDT Print View

Ken Thomson knows this trail probably better than most.

My only comment would be that let you know that the road down to Bear Harbor has been closed to traffic for 5+ months due to a land slide.

Jim Carr
(jcarr) - F

Locale: Humboldt County
Lost Coast on 06/24/2011 13:49:26 MDT Print View

The road to Bear Harbor is now open. At least it was on Mothers Day week end. I could see where the slide was and has been fixed. I do recomend a high clearence car 4 wheel drive is not needed.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Lost Coast on 06/24/2011 15:53:12 MDT Print View

Very very sweet to hear! I have been trying to get down there since last summer and its been totally closed off.