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Old 03-15-2009, 02:06 PM   #1
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TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast


I am currently making preparations to run from Fresno to Seattle, following the Pacific Coast in early April of this year. Might not be the highest opportunity for clear sunny weather… but that is all I have to work with right now. I plan to hit the Pacific coast near San Francisco, CA and exit the coast at Crescent City, CA. I have about four days to scout around on the CA coast (looking for places to come back and spend more time at a later date). Camping only. Tentative schedule looks like:

Fresno -> San Fancisco -> then North to somewhere around Westport (depending on what time of day I leave Fresno).
Westport -> Lost Coast area (Sinkyone Wilderness State Park).
Lost Coast -> Redwoods National Park for a couple nights at different locations.

Then b-line home.



Recommendations / advice welcome.



Thanks,
---TWOLOST---



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Old 03-15-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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Re: TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast

Twolost, do you have any time for exploring in the Seattle area? If so, I can suggest some possibilities out our way on the Olympic Peninsula. Can't help with the CA coast though.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:33 PM   #3
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Re: TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast

Twolost; here are some recommendations for you for Northern California.

North of Westport on Hwy 1 is Usal Road. Spend the night at Usal Beach, but I don't recommend driving further up on Usal Road. There is a lot of brush on the road and it will scratch your rig.

Drive up the Avenue of the Giants. It Starts just north of Garberville and ends at Pepperwood. Here you will find the BIG trees.

Some nice developed campgrounds in Southern Humboldt County include Richardsons Grove, Hidden Springs, and Burlington. You will be right in the middle of the giant redwoods at any of these campsites.

Take the tour of the sawmill at Scotia. It is now the Humboldt Redwood Company. It was once the Pacific Lumber Company until Maxxam Corp did a hostile takeover and ran it onto the ground.

Take a day drive from Redway to Shelter Cove.

Take a day drive starting at Weott to Petrolia, to Capetown, to Ferndale. Spend a day and night in Ferndale.

Developed campgrounds in Northern Humboldt County include; Patrick's Point (right on the ocean), and Prairie Creek (Herd of Elk are always here)

You won't find a lot of opportunity for boondocking on public lands along the coast. Most of the public land (Six Rivers National Forest) is inland.

This is just a few places but it will give you a taste of what to come back for.

I tried attaching a Google Earth KMZ file but the site wouldn't accept it. Let me know if you want it and I will email it to you.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:29 PM   #4
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Re: TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie56
Twolost; here are some recommendations for you for Northern California.

North of Westport on Hwy 1 is Usal Road. Spend the night at Usal Beach, but I don't recommend driving further up on Usal Road. There is a lot of brush on the road and it will scratch your rig.
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Charlie is a friend my mine and last September we followed an earlier recommendation of his to take the Usal Road. We continued north from Usal Beach, past the official traffic sign which said "No Through Traffic"....that sign was erected because of the deep ruts Charlie left when he went through. The ruts were no problem but the brush....no, it wasn't really brush that was along the road but TREE BRANCHES which extended in from the left, right, and above! I still haven't buffed out all of the scratches yet!
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:50 PM   #5
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Re: TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast

I love the Lost Coast area. I'd recommend a night or two at the Needle Rock Ranger Station. It's pretty secluded and would be a great spot to set up the van. I've only been there once before I bought the SMB, but keep wanting to go back with the van. Coordinates are: 39°56'34.36"N 123°57'54.51"W.

Shelter Cove is kind of a cool place we've stayed at a few times. The Black Pebble beach just north of the main part of town (if you want to call it a town) has some of the most violent surf I've seen. We've stayed at the Oceanfront Inn a few times (http://www.sheltercoveoceanfrontinn.com). There's the hotel portion and a house that you can rent the upstairs, downstairs or the whole house (we've stayed there many times). If you want a break from camping, I highly recommend the house.

Enjoy!

Phil
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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Re: TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast


Thanks a million guys. I definitely want to spend more time out exploring and less time buffing the sides of the van. For narrow roads/trails with thick overhanging vegetation and the like, I would prefer to use my two wheeled attachments/companions instead (i.e. dual sport m/c or bicycle).

Thanks,
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:12 PM   #7
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Re: TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast

farther north outside of Crescent City, check in and around Jedediah Smith State Park. There are some back roadsand camping opps that will lead you up and around to Hwy 199 where you can then make a beeline to I-5 via Grants Pass. Alternatively, keep going up 101 into Oregon ---some of the nicest scenery on the OR coast--and cut over on Hwy 42 or farther north 38 at Reedsport.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:04 AM   #8
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Re: TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast

That reminds me that if you head up the Oregon coast to Gold Beach, then cut inland on Jerry's Flat Road to Agnes (following the Rogue River), you can then grab another road that heads up over the mountains and can eventually end up at Highway 5. Again, I was there before I had the SMB, but seem to remember there are many opportunities to camp out along the river or up in the mountains. It was a beautiful drive.

I don't know the particulars of the whole route from Gold Beach to 5, but a little research should get you there.

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Old 03-16-2009, 03:07 PM   #9
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Re: TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast

Make sure to take the short 1 lane paved road through Jedediah Smith State Park. Very nice drive thru big trees. It's one of the nicest campgrounds I've been in as you're not Jammed so tightly together but it might be busy now. Bald hills road was kind of cool and it's close by. Gold Bluff has a place to camp on the ocean but...sometimes the people are homeless looking and the sites are jammed in there offering little privacy It was not for me but the walk at the end of the road is super cool and not to be missed. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=415

Usal was the best for camping and worth the drive in. In October we were there and talked with a guy who drove all the way through but his Jeep was completely covered with mud. The road from HWY 1 to the beach is easy and I took my trailer in.

Ate at Capt Flints in Fort Bragg and after we got back saw the movie overboard while flipping through the TV and noticed it was filmed there. Good food at the Grotto in Cresent City.

Have fun

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Old 03-16-2009, 11:13 PM   #10
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Re: TWOLOST: Scouting the North California coast


Thanks everyone. I can see that I am going to be zig-zagging all over the place now.

Cheers,
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