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The Lost Coast: Stories from the Surf
Hiking the California Coastal Trail: Oregon to Monterey
Nearby Campgrounds
Humboldt Redwoods State Park 16 miles
Benbow Lake State Recreation Area 29 miles
Richardson Grove State Park 30 miles
Standish-hickey State Recreation Area 38 miles
Russian Gulch State Park 68 miles

Trail Journals

The Lost Coast - King Range & Sinkyone Wilderness

Pages:   Introduction   1   2   3   4
Day Five - to Nadelos Tenting Area Map: Shelter Cove
Bear Creek
Bear Creek
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This was meant to be a rest day. We woke up to find it bright and sunny. This was the first sunny day at sea level since we started and it remained this way for the rest of the trip.

We went across the street to the campground where we got breakfast. My brother was not impressed with his croissant breakfast sandwich, but my sausage and spicy potatoes were delicious.

We started walking up the road hoping to find somebody to give us a ride. There were signs at nearly every turn saying that a camper had crashed there and listing the years that crashes had occurred there. I assume that the people who make these signs must be doing pretty well since they have to be replaced every year after the crash. There is a general store along the road where you can resupply. They have basic stuff as well as fruit and cold drinks and old record albums along the walls that chronicle the various stages in Michael Jackson's physical appearance.

Shortly after passing the general store we got a ride the rest of the way to Nadelos. I must say that this is the nicest road side campground I have ever seen. It is surrounded by old growth Douglas Fir and has a nice little stream running through it and there is a short trail with interpretive displays that connect it to the next campground. It costs just a couple dollars to stay there.

Day Six - to Railroad Camp at Bear Harbor Map: Needle Rock and Bear Harbor
Towards the Top
Towards the Top
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PostcardMap This Picture

From Nadelos Tenting Area the trail climbs over a few forested switchbacks to the ridge. Once on the ridge the trail continues to climb to Chemise mountain, but it is not a very steep trail. For the most part the climb is rather gentle.

The trail passes through some forested areas with mushrooms, but a lot of the trail is fairy open surrounded by bushes and short trees. You get plenty of views of the rugged mountains to the east as well as ocean views. At places you can look back at Shelter Cove.

The trail is more forested during the descent and you eventually come across what appears to be an unfinished structure. Who knows, maybe it's finished now but it didn't look like any work had been done on it for some time. You should take a break here because the next section is going to be about the most hair-raising descents imaginable. From here the trail plunges to Whale Gulch. This is a very steep and slippery trail that drops off to the ocean directly to your right. The steepest part of this trail passes by a house with a barking dog and a cock-a-doodle-dooing rooster.

Once you arrive at Whale Gulch the trail remains mostly flat the rest of the way to Bear Harbor. First you pass by a marsh with a small hill separating you from the ocean and then you come out to a flat area a couple hundred feet above the ocean. There are a few campgrounds here before you get to the Needle Rock Visitors Center which has some very comfortable chairs on the front porch.

From the visitors center you follow the dirt Briceland Road to the parking area where the road ends. There are about 3 or 4 different campgrounds right next to each other. Bear Harbor would be the best of these but it was full so we stayed at Railroad Camp. Just as we arrived a herd of Elk was passing through. There must have been nearly 20 of them of all ages with one buck who had an impressive set of antlers.

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