Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Lost Coast Trail South, Aug 2022

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Lost Coast Trail on Chemise Mountain. It is dry, the manzanitas are stunted and gnarly, the lower branches of the conifers are devoid of leaves, the floor is a thick pile of dry leaves.

This was a total of five mile hike, out and back, and a climb of 800-1000 feet. The hike is part of the Lost Coast Trail South. We started from Wailaki campground, climbed up Chemise Mountain to Lost Coast trail, walked half a mile past the Chinquapin Trail junction. The entire day at Shelter Cove was foggy, but the fog didn’t get to the Chemise mountain top. This was also our last hike this trip and the most spectacular one. We had originally intended to start this hike at the Hidden Valley interpretative tail, but eventually chose the Wailaki campground for the ease of parking. The drive on Chemise Mountain road from Shelter Cove Road to Wailaki campground is exceedingly pretty. And again, like the Hidden Valley interpretive trail, we had this trail to ourselves.

We have been hiking frequently in Bay Area this year and a typical Bay Area hike is through the chaparrals, manzanitas, coastal oak, and madrone. The hiking paths are commonly trod upon, the signs are plentiful and the trail is a shared space with many others. The air smells sweet from California Bay. Here on the lost coast, the tree species is shifted towards the conifers but otherwise familiar. What is noticeable is the fact that the trails are far less trod upon and far less friendly to inexpert hikers. Shoes scrunch and slip on piles of dry leaves. Under the leaves lay gnarly roots that can make your footing unsteady. The sense of isolation is made even more complete when loud bird cries fill the air and the air smells of nothing.

Going past the creek near the Wailaki campground
Lush floor of reeds near the creek
Going past ferns
Along the steady climb up, here the vegetation is lush near a stream
Joining the lost coast trail – for about half a mile, we climb the steep side of a hill and there is a sense of vertigo.
Gnarly manzanitas along the way
From an overgrown outlook near Chinquapin trail junction
Chemise Mountain ridge, along Lost Coast trail between Chinquapin trail junctions

Written by locomotoring

August 19, 2022 at 5:21 am

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