It is important to note that you will get lost, trying to find the Lost Coast Trail. It is also important to note, that the 6 miles of dirt road will cause you to leave with a collapsed motor mount, and cracked suspension of your 2008 Nissan Altima.
The drive from San Diego to Usal Beach Campground was awesome, and awful at the same time. I was so hungover leaving San Francisco, but so distracted by the beauty of the 1 that I was just confused of what to feel. I was so hungover, in fact, that I forgot to print the directions to get to Usal Beach campground. This link should help you get there. I didn’t read the part about the dirt road at mile 90.88 on highway 1 after leaving Leggett. I also didn’t realize I would have zero cell phone service at all. Neither did I realize that there would be no signs pointing you in the right direction. Not one. I drove all the way to Westport Beach. I was hungover, and confused. I finally got 1 bar of reception around Westport Beach and quickly looked up how to get there.
Heading SOUTH on the 1 from Leggett, find mile marker 90.88, and turn right onto Usal road (unmarked). Since I was now heading North from Westport to Leggett, I found the mile marker and turned left. I made it to the road!
The road was my worst nightmare. I bottomed out too many times to count. A big ol truck would have been helpful. My 4 door sedan was screaming at me. I quote “Usal Road is a narrow, winding, sometimes steep dirt road that was at one time a part of the stage line between San Francisco and Eureka. During the rainy season this road is impassable for most vehicles and is not recommended for trailers or large RV’s anytime of the year.”
I finally made it down the 6 miles to the vague and unmarked campground to find a TON of people just absolutely raging down there. Still no service. I was meeting 6 people there, and was concerned that I might never find them. I was in the twilight zone. But it was beautiful!
After driving around for 20 minutes, I found GOAT and Roc Doc awaiting me. They had not brought beer (mistake) but I did (hero). We started chugging and laughing about how terrible the road was to our cars, and if we would find Gandalf later on. We made a sign out of a piece of notebook paper and a pen, which was illegible and unnoticable if you were in a moving car.
However they found us, we were all reunited, we drank, shared stories, and mentally prepared for the next week. We were finally at Usal Beach Campground, and tomorrow – we would be starting our adventure on the famed Lost Coast Trail!