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Fishing for interest in Usal Ridge / Lost Coast trail run


I Jeep, therefore, I am..
Greensboro, Ga
I posed this question in another post, but figured it deserved it's own post to gather opinions. Last year I organized the Usal Ridge / Lost Coast trail run. This run is the same as the day-one part of the Jeep Jamboree Lost Coast run. The run begins with a gathering in Garberville and ends up at Usal Beach which is about 1/2 hour north of Fort Bragg on the coast. The run itself takes about 2 - 3 hours, depending on the pace and how often folks want to stop along the way.

It's not really all the difficult of a trail run, but depending on weather conditions, some mud sections along the trail could prove to be fun. But the nice part is the scenery along the way...just spectacular! This makes this event more of a "family" oriented event where your passengers (read wife/S.O. and kids), don't get all beat up along the way :D At the end of the run, there's a neat beach section at Usal beach where you drive your rig around on the beach.

Last year we hosted it on Memorial Day weekend to take advantage of the 3 day weekend, but in hindsight, it made it difficult for some to obtain campground sites at they filled up around that time. If we were to hold it again, I would recommend something other than Memorial Day weekend this time around. Late April, into May are good times as the rains begin to taper off by then. If you need a point of reference for drive time, Garberville is about 3 hours north of Santa Rosa.

Anyhoo.... How much interest would there be for another Usal Ridge run? Just trying to get some feedback since several of you attended last year, and I didn't want this event to appear to be a "been there, done that" type of thing....

Temps along the coast stay pretty constant for the most part. Figure about 60 - 70 degrees, depending on weather conditions (ie clear, cloud cover, fog, sometimes rain). You being from Fresno, it may be a relief to you or a bit on the too "cool side" side of things. We we ran last year, there were some folks lying on the beach and some braver ones in the water. Water temps can be pretty cold along the North Coast. But there is a creek that runs through the area / camp ground, and then dumps into the ocean. There's a lot of exploring the kids could do there in knee deep water and still have a blast, when they're done romping on the beach.
I wanted to do this last year but had a death in the family. Pick a time and I will make work somehow. Chuck, I saw the run trail in a mag and it looked to be one for everyone especially the Family.

Just count me in.

By the way, I am also planning on Camp Jeep Cal. if anyone else is thinking about going it is Aug. and should be fun to be with that many Jeepers.
It's not really all the difficult of a trail run
So does that mean an older('89), stock XJ would have no problems? I'd go during the summer, or just as a passenger on the right weekend, since I don't have any Jeep here in Davis.

Also, what is going to be at Camp Jeep? I'm 99% sure I am going anyway, but it's always nice to get more information. I don't think the Jeep website has been updated lately.
A stock XJ would do fine. The trail has some occassional fun challenges, but nothing a stock XJ couldn't handle. :)
I dont mean to but in on Ivans thread with Camp Jeep. The Camp is three days of runs, driving classes, concerts, games, tech talk with the Jeep engineers and you usually get to drive any of the Jeep vehicled they brought there. It is fairly expensive though something like $300 for the weekend but everyone says it is well worth it. They send me a card every year and I will have to locate it to give all the registration info.
General consensus seems to be May. How about we set the date of Saturday May 17th as the run. That keeps the event away from Memorial Day weekend (crowds and traffic), and Mother's day (gotta keep that day open to garner points ;) )

Folks can then travel Friday afternoon/eve. Have the event on Saturday, and have a free day Sunday to travel back or hang around the area. Worst case travel time from the Bay area is about 5 - 6 hours. Obviously, the further away you live, the more time you'll need to commute.

As more folks concur with the date, I'll start another thread at a later time and post directions, meet location, campgrounds / lodging so that you can start planning.

It was a lot of fun last year. Hope you folks can make it!!

Any day but that!!! It is my sisters wedding day and I have a feeling that I cannot miss it, or if I did I would not be in the family anymore.
No problem for me as I live in Eureka which is about an hour away from Garberville... the date is still flexible. I'm still open to other dates. If people would rather do it Memorial Day weekend to allow more travel time, or to arrange schedules, that is fine. Would you folks prefer that? :)

General consensus points towards Memorial Day weekend. At this point, I would recommend Sunday as the event day. Travel up Saturday, travel back Monday.

I'll research local campgrounds and post a new thread at a later date.....

A stock XJ would do fine. The trail has some occassional fun challenges, but nothing a stock XJ couldn't handle. :)


Is this trail still a trail?

Is this trail still cool for 235/75r15 and no rock rails?

Is this trail still cool in late April to early May?

Is this on the calendar for this year?
Yeah if its 3” budget lift 30” tires friendly im down
I first ran this trail back when it was part of the Lost Coast Jeep Jamboree USA sanctioned trail run. Stock XJ's are no problem. One can see the occasional beater family sedan type of car on the trail, when the road is dry.

As far as I know, this trail is normally open, except during the really wet season. Memorial Day weekend is about the earliest you could run the trail, because it won't be as muddy. With the current weak rain season, the trail should be great after Memorial Day weekend.

In the past, the run would meet in Garberville, and then proceed to the Whitethorn area on Briceland Rd, until one comes to "Four Corners". The Usal Traill heads towards the left, heading south. The other direction to the right, will take you to Shelter Cove. There is a sign there to show directions. Once you complete the trail, you end up at Usal Beach Campground, where one can then camp for the evening. A full tank of gas will be plenty to run the trail. Just tank up in Garberville, if that is where you start.

The traill is sort of maintained by the County, as they run a blade over it every now and then. Other than a potentially short muddy section this time of year, the rest the trail is what you would expect in a backwoods trail. It's a gorgeous and scenic trail to run. This would rank in a great family fun run.

One odd event that happened when I last lead a NAXJA run there years ago, was that some local cut a small tree down across the trail to block it. This was a short distance away from the Usal Camp ground side. Probably some pot grower trying to discourage travel on the trail duriing harvest season. One of the XJ's on the run had a winch, so we just moved the tree aside. A small chainsaw or bow saw would have been handy too. No other incidents to bother us. However, I would highly recommend staying in proximity of the trail, so as to not stumble into any grow operations. This is Humboldt County after all. Just stay on the main trai until you reach Usal Campground and you'll be fine.....
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