Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lost Coast of California

Want to get away from it all? Really get away? Thick tangles of wild Sweet Peas, sun dappled meadows of Lupine, fat gray squirrels and tiny quaint settlements tucked into little valleys? Then the Lost Coast may be the place for you. Where is the Lost Coast, you ask? It begins where Hwy. 1 (North) ends. The best and most scenic route is to drive to the quaint Victorian town of Ferndale and head for the coast over the hills and through the picturesque valleys. We took Mattole Rd. on a beautiful drive to the tiny town of Petrolia. From Petrolia you can take a side trip to the ocean (and beach camping) by following Lighthouse Rd.
To continue your trip, backtrack and resume your trek through the Mattole Valley. If you enjoy camping, look for the Arthur W. Way County Memorial Park. This is one of the prettiest campgrounds I've come across; lovely, well kept sites divided by grassy berms situated along the winding river. If camping isn't your thing, look for the funky little Mattole River Country Cabins which the owners have been in the process of renovating. They're cute and reasonable.
Late spring is a great time for this trip. After our plentiful rains this year the wild flowers were particularly spectacular. Wildlife is abundant and camping areas plentiful if not always easily accessible. That, of course, is what makes it the "Lost" Coast. Our final destination was the Sinkyone Wilderness and Bear Harbor.
Coming next: Camp Cooking on the Coast and Bear Harbor.

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