Lost Coast Information

10:22 p.m. on June 6, 2011 (EDT)
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5 forum posts

My partner and I are going to spend a week on the Lost Coast in California in late June/early July and I would love any information that could be provided from someone who has explored the area.

We are considering a 3 day backpack down Rattlesnake Ridge, along the coast, and up Buck Creek, starting and ending at the Saddle Mtn trailhead, and then day-hiking for a couple days. Had also considering hiking the 25 mi northern Lost Coast route, but staying on the beach the whole time and hiking through deep sand and small round boulders for much of the trip ultimately didn't sound appealing...

We are both experienced backpackers, and live in the Pacific NW. We are up for pretty much anything - would just like to experience this area, be in the backcountry most of the time, and get some good hiking in.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Thanks, Dara

9:13 a.m. on June 7, 2011 (EDT)
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63 forum posts

I hiked that area a couple of years ago and it is quite beautiful. I used the trailhead at Usal Camp. Took the Lost Coast Trail up to Wheeler at Jackass Creek. From here I took the eastward trail, Jackass Ridge Trail? Down Jackass Ridge and Timber Ridge which brought me Back to Usal Beach. Really nice loop hike. The Lost Coast Trail has a lot of up and down to it with a few deserted beaches along the way. The Sally Bell Grove of redwood trees is there along with some of the most amazing views. I went to sleep with the sound of seals or sea lions barking several hundred feet below me on the rocky coast. I awoke in the morning with a bull Roosevelt elk snorting at me while his mate and cub(?) grazed nearby on a near perpendicular slope.

As a cavet I will say that it was a bit unnerving hiking solo with a lot bear and mountain lion warnings posted at Usal Camp, but there were no signs or encounters.

The Lost Coast is a great area to hike. I hope you enjoy it.

12:55 p.m. on June 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for your thoughts! One of our concerns is poison oak, especially since there are supposedly a lot of downed trees on the east-bound trails this year, requiring some hiking through the brush. Did you have much trouble with it?

Also curious if you decided to go with regular hiking boots, or more of a water shoe?

6:31 p.m. on June 8, 2011 (EDT)
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I dealt with some downed trees on my hike but for the most part it wasn't a real problem. I had no trouble with poison oak. The trails were pretty clear going up and down and at the ridges. Alot of underbrush in the valleys. The number and variety of wildflowers was more then I had seen anywhere else, but I was going thru there in May. You see a lot of Banana slugs. Ugly little spuds but harmless.

I hiked in Asolo 520's a solid hiking boot and that worked well as the wet areas for me was pretty minimal. Wet in the valley's where the streams are but not enough for water shoes. At Wheeler, there is an old logging camp where Jackass creek meanders into the Pacific. I camped there and wore water shoes out of my camp to explore the creek areas.

July 23, 2014
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