The Lost Coast: Camp Usal

Camp Usal is an isolated camground in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Located in a very under-developed area of California, the towns that exist on the coast are few and far between. The fact that a lot of these areas are hard to access make it ideal for overland exploring. Multiple hiking trails are found along the Lost Coast. Sinkyone highlights several of these trails. If you can make it to them, the views this rocky coast line offers makes the journey well worth it.

Camp Usal
Camp Usal

One of the biggest appeals of overlanding is being able to drive to a location, and call it home for the night. Dark was quickly approaching, and we settled on Camp Usal near the side of a grassy cliff. After two straight days of driving from South Dakota we were absolutely beat. We were thankful that setting up our all-terrain truck camper only composed of unlocking four latches, and essentially just popping it up into place.

Camp Usal
Seal’s heads dotted the shoreline

The Lost Coast

We checked out our new home by walking along the beach, and it wasn’t before long we saw a few seals in the distance. Their funny little heads popping out of the water played out like a game of hide and seek. The seals were seemingly taunting each other with their barks. The comedic show was more than enough to take our attention away from the crisp fall weather. Wind was cold and strong coming off the Pacific Ocean. We briefly considered igniting an improvised rock fire pit, left from previous travelers. Ultimately, we decided we were ready for bed. We hopped in our camper, flipped the furnace on, ate a healthy dinner of Poptarts, and started drifting off. The wind howled all night long, but we were so exhausted it didn’t phase us.

Tide Pool Paradise

The tide was low the following morning in Camp Usal, which opened up a new area of exploration. Making our way down the beach, we came across star fish, urchins, seaweed, sea slugs and of course more seals.

Camp Usal

The first dolphin sighting was made even more exciting by the fact that we had just climbed on top of a big rock. This was cause for some well timed “dabbing.” Walking down the coast it’s fun to imagine how most of it was completely covered by water the night before. Checking out all the nooks and crannies on the rocky shore was a great time. You never know what the next rock might turn over.

This was a tidepool paradise. Plenty of little creatures were trapped, and perfectly content in tiny pools all over the area. The sun warmed the pools and took away the icy coldness that the Lost Coast waves usually brings.

Camp Usal

We could have spent all day exploring the remote beauty of the Lost Coast but we had to remind ourselves that this was just the first stop on our journey North to take on the California Redwoods. After packing up, we headed back on the same dirt road we came in on.

Camp Usal
Leaving Camp Usal, road leading off the beach
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