Explore the most popular trails in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The rugged wilderness that once characterized the entire Mendocino Coast can still be explored and enjoyed in the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Since there are no main highways near the coast in this vicinity, the area has come to be called the "Lost Coast." Sinkyone Wilderness State Park is located within "Bear Country". State Park regulations require that visitors store all food and scented items properly at all times. Hours: sunrise to sunset

backpacking
bridge out
over grown
washed out
7 days ago

I have to agree with the comment of "what trail?" Of course the views are spectacular, the wildlife was awesome, we did see a bear which is ALWAYS an awesome sight, but the Poison Oak, the Stinging Nettle EVERYWHERE, Manzanita overgrown, VERY brambly, some of the trail is completely washed out so it's a bit tricky not to slide down the side if you're not extremely careful! A few HUGE downed trees that you have to climb over or under (pain in the butt with a backpack!) Once we got to Jackass Creek, we saw that an outhouse had been washed away down the creek (with potty in toe). There was also a bridge that was no longer, just the remanence of it. We decided to follow the creek in order to access the ocean hoping for a place to stay the night and BAM there it was and it was AMAZING! It was no easy task getting through all the obstacles but we made it and it was well worth it. Be aware that there is a bear living nearby this gorgeous "site" but we left each other alone! :) It's a difficult trek all in all with so many things to deal with. Having said that, I would not do this again unless it was "maintained" again. If you do decide to take the challenge, WEAR LONG PANTS AND LONG SLEEVES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gorgeous area and definitely a tough hike. We only made it a few miles north of Usal before it became too hot and overgrown than we were prepared to take on that day. Came out with a few falls, scratches and bruises, but some very nice photos. Definitely one we would like to try again with more preparation!

Loved every minute of it.

Lost cost hike was awesome!

hiking
blowdown
over grown
1 month ago

Absolutely one of the most amazing trails I have ever taken. As a backpacking trip, there was very little foot traffic and some of the spots were absolutely stunning. Low maintenance of the trail and lack of human interactions have left the elk, black bears, deer and other wildlife a beautiful haven. The wild plant life and the redwoods are something from a fantasy.

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
2 months ago

Trail? What trail. You are following a deer track that is overgrown, washed out and the bushes and brambles feel like they are trying to throw you into the ocean. Glad I had trekking poles to help with footing, but they are constantly tangled. Poison oak, wild berries with thorns, stinging nettle. No thanks. I will use the horse trail. Only way I would do this "trail" is without a pack.

Could be a standout hiking trail but unfortunately the trail from USAL trailhead toWheelers camp is extremely overgrown with brush including poison oak and stinging needle. Wear long pants and long sleeved shirt to avoid inevitable exposure to poison oak. Would also recommend GPS as trail has some poorly marked sections. This trail is truly a diamond in the rough. If the State’s intention is to keep it remote and inaccessible they have succeeded. With a little maintenance this could be a 5 star hike!

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
2 months ago

Beautiful views on the western side, but not quite worth the poison oak and thistles in the sun to get them. Much slower than expected due to lots of sun exposure and extraordinarily overgrown sections of the trail. WEAR PANTS, bring poles, and a long sleeve shirt. There is poison oak along the entire western half. Incredible beach campsites though, so worth it if you're prepared. Eastern portion is a walk in the park, large fire road all the way Wheeler's back to Usal. Lots of shade, no poison oak.

backpacking
bugs
over grown
3 months ago

Great loop, that does not require permit and allows you to have great beach + redwoods views. Started at usal beach campground. To arrive you need to take usal road, which is in bad conditions, for 6 miles. I drove a Toyota Corolla, and did not have any major issue. The trail is not well maintained with lot of high grass, but you can follow it easily most time and with the help of a gps and a map you won't face any major issue. I would absolutely recommend wearing long pants and hiking poles are helpful as well. you can do an overnight in jackass campground for a 2 day backpacking trip, or if you have more time and want to enjoy the beach also stop at wheeler. Would totally recommend this route if you like solitude and wilderness in your backpacking trips!

Awesome hike from the Needle rock visitors center down to the beach at BearHarbor Camp. We went in late October. Skies were sunny, we started at 2:15 pm, back to the visitors center by 5:30. 1.5 hours in with photo stops, played on the beach for 45 mins, the fog came in, the hike back was 1 hour at a quick clip. There are elevation changes, this is definitely moderate. About 6 miles round trip. The views are stunning. We drove in by Jeep, 2 wheel drive - it can get bumpy and steep / narrow roads. If raining, definitely 4 wheel drive. Bring $8 cash to park at visitors center! There are massive elk in this area - gorgeous, be aware when driving!

My track shows only the trailhead at Usal Beach where we started our adventurous and wonderful 4-day backpack trip.

hiking
Monday, July 09, 2018

Hiked the southern Lost Coast Trail (Sinkyone Wilderness) with my son in early July 2018. Stared at Hidden Valley, out at Usal beach 3 days and 3 nights on the trail. Many beautiful sections on the trail, especially the tracks through the redwoods and near the coast (jones beach to bear harbor especially.) Sections through the dry, exposed tall grass and scrub sections were VERY challenging. Impossible without poles. Trail has collapsed in many sections. Lots of trees across the trail in higher sections. Lower sections overgrown with nettles & thorns. No trail maintenance in many years. Recommend long pants and long sleeves and gloves and boot traction covers (seriously!). Sinkyone VERY different from Kings Range section. Multiple 1000 ft plus elevation gains and losses. More time in the redwoods, very little on the beach. But ample rewards for the adventurous and prepared! Relatively few hikers on the trail. No problem finding nice campsites at backcountry sites. No problem with water at stream crossings. Lots of Elk, especially at Jones beach. No evidence of bears. In summary, a challenging AND rewarding hike. Not for newbies or unprepared. 3 full days recommended for full southern section.

backpacking
Saturday, March 31, 2018

I loved hiking this trail, but you should be warned, even though this trail is rated as moderate, it can be technical and the southern half is physically demanding, and you could easily get lost. Most of the maps are inaccurate, especially when it comes to mileage and the actual trail path, especially on the coastal bluffs. The northern half is not that bad. Just be advised that the 'road' from Needle Rock to Bear Harbor is not a 'road' nor has it been for over a decade. It is now a trail. The section from Bear Harbor to Usal is the most challenging. The trail is decent all the way from Bear Harbor to Wheeler and Little Jackass Camp. It can be steep, trekking poles are advised. The section from Jackass Camp to Usal is little more than a deer trail in sections. There are sections that are overgrown, no real trail maintenance has been done in at least a decade. The camps and trail crossings are not well marked or marked at all. Bring a GPS and SAT phone or SPOT for safety. Tree falls and slides are routine and you may wish you had rope and climbing gear to get out of the canyons, even on the trail. We did this with a guide that has done it several times and even he almost got lost. The exit points to Hotel Gulch Road are also not well marked at all. So, be prepared. This is the lost coast. There is a reason they call it that.

backpacking
Sunday, February 18, 2018

It can be a long hard hike or a nice stroll. Depending on how far you wanna go. There is so much to see between needle rock and flat rock!

backpacking
Sunday, February 18, 2018

This is are second home!!! There are lot of unmarked trails that take you to the beach. make sure your aware of the tides that ocean Is an angry one!

hiking
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Not sure what the previous review said about most of it is walking on a beach. None of the trail is on the beach. Few things to note about this trail. The road leading to it is about 6-7 miles of some sketchy one lane dirt road filled with giant potholes, mud, rocks, debris, steep climbs and decent, and barely any room to move over if another car approaches you. If it has been raining a lot in the area and you don't have the proper vehicle, you'll probably get stuck in mud. That said, the trail is very nice, but also sorta sketchy in some places. There are orange and pink ribbons tied to various things that act as the trail marker but they just vanish after about 2-3 miles if you start at the southern most point. The trail is very narrow with lots of growth which makes it difficult to see where you should be going. It's not entirely obvious either if you think you can look at tracks on the ground. Sometimes the trail forks that lead you to dead ends, and you won't realize it's a dead end until the trail just suddenly stops. Trekking poles are sorta useless in some spots due to all of the growth and extremely narrow sections (like, less than the width of your foot in some spots). It constantly snags on your poles. They are extremely helpful once you get to the parts where the trail eroded away off the side of cliffs where you need extra balance. The views are spectacular though. Nice hike.

Beautiful beach with black sand but not for day hikers! Day hikers starting in Shelter Cove will be buffeted and sand blasted by winds from the north. Trail is mostly walking on the beach. Slow going and not much fun. Very cold creeks to cross every mile. Must take off shoes and wade across. No bridges. So many other beautiful beaches that are much more friendly to day hikers. Skip this one!

The trail from Needle Point/Bear Harbor to Usal is tough, but not impossible. My recommendation is hiking from Needle Point to Wheeler or Little Jackass because those are the best camps. Little Jackass has both redwood and beach camps with tons of fresh water. If you hike to Anderson Camp, follow the creek to the ocean for the most incredible private beach. The trail between Anderson and Usal is extremely difficult and steep, not for the faint of heart.

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