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The Lost Coast - King Range & Sinkyone Wilderness
Mattole Beach to Randall Creek
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Wheeler, Anderson Cliff and Usal
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King Range National Conservation Area
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California Coastal Records Project: Mattole River Campground
California Coastal Records Project: Usal Beach
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Suggested Books
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 Seven - to Wheeler Map: Wheeler, Anderson Cliff and Usal
J. Smeaton Chase Grove
J. Smeaton Chase Grove
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North Coast
North Coast
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From Bear Harbor the trail climbs a bit and then continues fairly flat with plenty of ocean views. It also passes through some pretty dense old growth groves. It finally makes a fairly easy descent to the School Marm Grove. Here it flattens out and you will find a number of campgrounds. The best campsite here would be Wheeler Beach which may be the most scenic little beach we have ever seen. When we first arrived there were a few sea otters hanging out above the waves a few feet from shore.

Wheeler used to be a logging community. It even had a school. Just about where the trail heads to the beach there is a display with some information about the old town, as well as some pipes sticking out of the ground as part of some sort of environmental survey. Apparently the area is contaminated with something or other.

There are a few dirty and stinky outhouses in this area.

Day Eight - to Usal Map: Wheeler, Anderson Cliff and Usal
Old Wheeler Road
Old Wheeler Road
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Our original plan was to hike out to Little Jackass Creek, camp there and head out to Usal the next day. Unfortunately my knee had been in pain since our hike up Chemise Mountain (probably from the steep descent from King Peak with a full pack).

Our guide book described the next couple days hike as having an elevation gain and loss equivalent to hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up. With my knee as it was we decided to hike out by way of the considerably less severe Old Wheeler Road. One of these days we intent to go back and finish.

The old Wheeler Road is an old dirt road that climbs easily but steadily for the first few miles. You can't drive on it, but I believe that bicycles are allowed. After climbing for a few miles it descends at a very gentle grade pretty much all the way to the campground at Usal. Much of the ascent is in shade while most of the descent is going to be sunny. This is a fairly long hike so we left at the crack of dawn but arrived at our car at Usal by around 11:00 am. We went pretty fast, despite my knee, because it was such an easy hike.

Old Wheeler road is nowhere near as scenic as the proper trail is supposed to be, and there are no ocean views, but it's nice to know that there is an easier alternative should you be unable to continue along the trail.


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