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.
For thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived, the Sinkyone Indians lived in this part of the coast. They occupied permanent villages alongside streams and rivers, and moved out in family groups to hunt and forage in the hills during the summer. They spent time along the coast fishing, gathering seaweed and shellfish, and hunting seals and sea lions, and harvesting the occasional dead whale that had washed on shore. Fish were an important source of food during the winter. All kinds of fish were caught, but the seasonal salmon run was especially important.
Most park visitors today assume that human beings have had little impact on this area. But every trail, road, or flat spot has been modified by human activity. Game trails were turned into pathways for pack mules loaded with tanbark for the tanneries of San Francisco. Roads were carved and graded for lumbering operations. Open areas and marine terraces were farmed and used to pasture sheep and cattle. Occasionally, what appears to be a wagon road or a modern jeep trail is actually an abandoned railroad right-of-way.
Logging operations continued until well into the 20th century and wood products of various kinds were shipped to market from Usal, Needle Rock, Anderson’s Landing, Northport and Bear Harbor/Morgan’s Rock. Northport was not much of a port, but lumber schooners were able to take on their cargoes by means of a “wire chute,” – a cable and block system that could run wood from the bluff to waiting schooners. Built in 1875, the Northport “chute” was one of the first of its kind on the coast.
North end of wilderness – (Needle Rock): 36 miles southwest of Garberville/Redway on Briceland Road. Take Briceland Road west from Redway. Briceland Road becomes Mendocino County Road 435. The last 3.5 miles are unpaved, steep, & narrow.
South end of wilderness – (Usal Beach): Approximately one hour north of Ft Bragg on PCH or 15 miles west of Leggett on PCH from Highway 101. Look for mile marker 90.88 on PCH. Turn north for approximately 6 miles onto unpaved, steep, narrow road.
ROADS MAY BE IMPASSABLE IN WET WEATHER. RV’S & TRAILERS NOT RECOMMENDED.
Latitude/Longitude: 39.9231 / -123.9422
Summer 45-75 degrees. Morning and evening fog is common.
Winter 35-55 degrees. Rainfall up to 80 inches per year, mostly occurring between November and May.
For More Information, Contact:
120 S Franklin St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437