October 26, 2015 Leave a comment
Little Jackass Creek to Usal Beach Campground – 7.5 miles
Total Trip – 56.40 miles
The last 7 miles were treacherous! So if you are planning on hiking north and starting from USAL Beach Campground, tune in. Waking up on the beach, for the last time, was a little depressing, but happy at the same time. I knew I would be camping on my way back to Phoenix, wherever I wanted, but I also knew this was the last day of our journey. I was kind of in a rush, because I needed to use the privy, and got lost coming out of Little Jackass Creek for a good 30 minutes. I found the privy and realized I had left my TP at the campsite. I was covered in burrs and thorn scratches from going off the trail accidentally so I decided I could hike 7.5 miles in 2-3 hours and be fine. The first half mile was all uphill in a jungle, it was beautiful and I got some amazing views.
So after that really steep uphill, it was a really steep downhill, coming down the other side. The trail was pretty much straight bushwacking at this point. There was no maintenance and the brush that grows there grows really fast and thorny. I felt like I got lost 7-8 times in this day. Luckily, on my descent I ran into 2 hikers heading north. I thought they were crazy for hiking this path uphill, which was a weird thought as I was doing pretty much the same thing as they were. This section didn’t feel like the Lost Coast Trail to me. There were some good views, but altogether it was a hot mess.
I made it down to the next campsite, where I had another uphill awaiting me. I rested at the river and pushed on. The foliage was dense jungle, I had to keep my trekking poles in front of me so that my face would not get all scratched up, my arms and legs were both bleeding, and I smelled. Sound like fun? The trail ended up on this desert terrain that went up and around mountains, very rocky, and switch backed a couple times. I thought I was going the wrong way again. There was one section, in particular, where the trail turned and went back the direction I Was coming from, and decided to take me all the way back down to the beach, before turning around and going back up. I was devastated for about 45 minutes until I found that I was indeed, on the trail again. Hiking this alone was a mental challenge. So FYI, most of the pretty stuff is NORTH of Little Jackass Creek. There are a couple good views before, but not much.
All of a sudden, I was done, and it was about 11 am. My beautiful car was sitting right where I left it, with clean clothes in it, and PBR that magically stayed cold! I drank a couple before Roc Doc and Goat meandered out of the woods. I saved them each one beer. We all chilled and decided to camp out near Leggett so we could get some beer and food. We had a fire, got trail drunk, and had ourselves a nice little evening.
All around, I recommend hiking just the Northern section of the Lost Coast Trail if you are with a large group and don’t have a lot of time. If you aren’t with the kids, and have some extra time, feel free to get lost on the Lost Coast Trail, and hike the whole thing. It’s worth it!