Planning next summer's cross country trip...

Vegan.Hiker

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I really enjoyed flying out to hike in the Uintas this past summer so I started planning next year's cross county trip almost immediately. My criteria are basically that it needs to be within 4 hours of a major airport and small enough of an area that 3 or 4 days is enough time to fully experience the area without feeling the need to come back. This means I'd rather save places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc, for when I have the time and resources to spend at least a full week there. Lastly the place needs to draw me in, whether I understand why or not.

For the past few weeks I've been undecided between Garibaldi Provincial Park in British Columbia to hike Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk, and the Lost Coast Trail in northern CA.

After speaking with the BLM a few times and receiving my Lost Coast Trail information packet from the BLM this past week, I'm almost positive that the Lost Coast is where I will be heading. When I had planned my Utah trip, I could not get the image of standing atop a Rocky Mountain summit out of my head. For the past few weeks, the image of camping on the black sand beaches of the Pacific Northwest are starting to call me in that same way.

Here's a picture of what the Lost Coast Trail planning packet from the BLM looks like. It costs $5 but is worth it if you are planning this trip. There's a full size glossy double sided map of the King's Range and Lost Coast. An 8 page information packet on how to plan the trip (shuttle logistics, permits, etc.) a copy of the 2014 and 2015 tide tables, a bunch of brochures on the areas wildlife, safety, LNT principles, etc. and a postcard of the Lost Coast. It was worth the $5 just for the quality map imo.

image1.JPG


For those not familiar with the Lost Coast Trail, here's a description from a website called SoCalHiker.net

"The Lost Coast is so named because this section of this section of land was too steep and rugged to build a road. Big Sur was tamed by Highway 1, but not the Lost Coast. Highway 1 veers inland 20 miles around this remote section of coastline. There are no roads or cars. Just getting to the trailhead is a journey in itself. King Range National Conservation Area, from Mattole Beach in the north to the village of Shelter Cove in the south. The trail is fairly flat (there are a few hills to climb) but the terrain is challenging. You go from hiking on coarse black sand to pebbly beaches; from slippery, wave-smoothed stones the size of bowling balls to the blessed solid ground of the flats. Sections of the trail are completely impassable at high tide, making timing and tide chart knowledge essential. And the weather is highly unpredictable."

I'll be flying into San Fran and leaving my rental car at the Shelter Cove parking lot and arranging a shuttle north to Mattole Beach and backpack the 25 miles southbound back to my rental car. It will take 3 days which sounds a bit long for covering just 25 miles but I was told over the phone by the BLM that it's impossible to do it quicker because there are many sections of the trail that are impassible except for at low tide... hence why they sent me the tide tables. There is another 50 miles of trail in the King's Range south of Shelter Cove but that section of trail is not directly on the coast and I will only have 3 vacation days at my disposal for this trip due to other family vacation obligations next summer.

Has anyone here ever done this trip? I'm hoping I can find a person or two that have done it that can offer some pointers and answer some of my questions as I plan this.
 
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Absarokanaut

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I have not. However I've read the Easter Bunny loves it there and knows some fabulous forage forays. You've got sense of humor, right Vegan? If not I promise to never do it again...or until you did develop a sense of humor.

In all seriousness I hope someone can help you here but if not soon enough I do recommend you ask in two different places:

1) Southwest Forum at Backpacker.com
2) Trailforums.com

Is there not a decent journal at Trailjournals.com?

I don't know but wish you great joy on every step. Raining like Hades there right now I think.
 

Bob

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IF you can get in to Backpacker dot com forum, you may get some info....... it's been wasted by management
 

Bob

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Yeah, Absarokanut....I gave up on the BP dot com site. Became so clunky and slow. Kicks me off pages if I could even open them. Lost too much good data in their transfer. Just generally crap....... Used to post a bit but haven't done any since switched over to the new and improved...joke. They are just trying to push everyone to facebook........ which I hate.

BCP is where its at anyway............ :dance: :wavespin:
 

Vegan.Hiker

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Thanks guys, I'll check out those other resources. I'll even venture into the apparent cyber wasteland of Backpacker.com to search for some info. The "To-Do in 2015" thread sounds great, but I wasn't just trying to say "hey I'm gonna do this'', I was really hoping to find a BCP member, or even a few members, who have done this trip and can serve as a first hand resource for planning it. When that other thread gets started I'll gladly outline all my upcoming 2015 plans though!

I'd be really surprised if there aren't at least a few people on here who have done this hike considering how many people seem to be from the west coast here. It's always easier to plan when you can talk to someone who's done it already. If I recall correctly @toejam is from CA, maybe I'll drop him a PM to see if he's done it.
 

Bob

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Bob

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Vegan.Hiker

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Just don't care for the life style from Cali up through Ore and Wash. I generally stay out of Colorado as well. Don't get me wrong, there are some very good people in those places and some very good outdoor activities. Just a lot of ideas and views I don't care for.... but I don't really want to get into a discussion on that, it's just my viewpoint. Probably get flamed........Besides, my hands are full trying to see the outdoors in the N Rocky Mtn/Intermountain area....

Oh lol. You're entitled to whatever opinions you want in my book Bob. I'm just planning a 3 night solo backpack though, not trying to find a place to raise a family, so those social factors don't really figure into my planning... I just wanted to make sure you weren't talking about something like bugs or rainy season, or something like that lol.

Your feelings are completely valid but I guess I'm a little different. Part of the reason I enjoy travelling is to deliberately experience different ways of thinking and doing. I may not end up agreeing or adopting those ways, but I feel the exposure broadens my own perspective regardless. To each his own!
 
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Bob

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Vegan.Hiker

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... in pretty much every state except the NE corner, so I have been around....

Well if you ever decide to check it out Bob let me know. I wouldn't recommend traveling too far to backpack most states in the NE, but I'd have a hard time believing any backpacker wouldn't love Maine and New Hampshire.
 
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Absarokanaut

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Edit: On a less controversial note having backpacked the Bechler and Boundary Creek multiple times I will say the worst mosquitoes I've ever experienced were in 1976 on Two Ocean Plateau, worse than Manitoba too. You could use all the repellex you wanted to that July and if you swatted the side of your horse you'd come up with a 100-150 bloody mosquitoes. I never saw that in the Winds either despite the mantra that range has the worst bug problem in the Rockies. But in in the end I agree, I'll take 3-4 weeks of horror here every several years compared to the annual cycle of various vampires out East.
 

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Backcountry Post

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All - This is an outdoors forum and this thread is about planning a hiking trip. Please leave the politics out of BCP. One post has been removed, not because it is right or wrong, but because this simply isn't the place. Thank you.
 

Bob

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Sorry Nick......I didn't intend my comment to take that turn.. Feel free to delete any of mine.

I deleted them ........ Nick if you would remove the blanks. Thanks
 
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Bob

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V H ....... I'd like to visit up that end of the country sometime, but it is a long ways away. I get back to North Carolina every couple of years as we have timber property I have to check on.... it's still a long way from NC.
 

Absarokanaut

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My apologies as well. Ig uess we all percieve insults and respond to them differently. Bob I'm a nice guy but I obviously don't take what I perceive to be masked insults well. Thanks for having the decency to delete your innuendo.

Peace,

John
 
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