Sinkyone Wilderness State Park

Hiking and Camping in Northern California

Sinkyone Wilderness State Park is part of the California Lost Coast, an area so wild and rugged that building roads is largely futile.  This is a place for hiking and camping in Northern California’s unique coastal wilderness, where you'll find splendid scenery and abundant wildlife. But come prepared. Facilities here are primitive, so bring extra food and water, just in case.

View from Sinkyone Wildnerness State Park

View from Sinkyone Wilderness State Park Photo © Michael G Jones /


Usal Beach Campground is the only place in the park that offers drive-in camping. The campground is located in a meadow area close to the beach.

Needle Rock and Bear Harbor Campgrounds offer environmental camping. Check in at the Needle Rock Visitor Center.

All these campsites are primitive, and include picnic tables, fire rings and nearby pit toilets.

camping at the California Lost Coast

Photo courtesy of BLM/Arcata

For backpackers, trail camps are available between Bear Harbor and Usal Beach on the Lost Coast Trail. All camping is first-come first-served.

Horse camping is allowed at Usal Beach Campground, Needle Rock, and Wheeler. Horses are not permitted on the Lost Coast Trail between Wheeler and Usal, and Whale Gulch north of the park's boundary.


With 7,500 acres of wilderness, there's plenty to see at Sinkyone Wilderness SP. The Lost Coast Trail runs for 22 miles along the length of the park, passing through old growth redwood groves, meadows, coastal chaparral and high bluffs overlooking the ocean. The views are spectacular, and you'll find tide pools and black sand beaches to explore.


California Sea Lions at Sinkyone Wilderness State Park

Photo courtesy of BLM/Arcata

As you would expect in a wilderness area, wildlife is abundant here. You'll probably spot some Roosevelt elk, harbor seals, sea lions, gulls and pelicans. This is bear country, so be sure to store your food and scented items properly.

Getting There

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Getting there isn't easy. There are only two county roads leading into the park, and both are steep and narrow. They're unpaved, and may be unpassable in wet weather. Campers, RVs and trailers are not recommended.

The northern section of the park is accessible from Briceland Road (Mendocino County Road 435), which will take you to the Needle Rock Visitor Center. The southern section of the park is accessible from Usal Road, which will take you to the Usal Beach Campground.

For more information from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) see Sinkyone Wilderness State Park.

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