California Lost Coast

borabora

Active member
I was wondering if anyone has made it to California's Lost Coast in their Sprinter 2WD or 4x4. The road to Shelter Cove is notoriously terrible and there are anecdotes of people getting stuck or not making it up inclines. I have an unmodified 144 and am wondering if it would be foolhardy to attempt the road during good weather.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
Are you talking about Mattole Road? (Ferndale to Weyott via Petrolia and Honeydew?) I did it in my AWD Asstro. There are some narrow bits, single-lane, and some pretty tight hairpins, but barring weather induced roadway issues (a lot of it is unpaved) I'd not hesitate to tackle it again in Frito. Nice drive. Near zero traffic, but it was March. Very slow driving, very twisty. Possible overhanging foliage clearance issues.

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Bobnoxious

Made in the USA Qualité Supérieure
Used to be breakfast, lunch, dinner view. IMG_3022.JPG
 

borabora

Active member
Are you talking about Mattole Road? (Ferndale to Weyott via Petrolia and Honeydew?) I did it in my AWD Asstro. There are some narrow bits, single-lane, and some pretty tight hairpins, but barring weather induced roadway issues (a lot of it is unpaved) I'd not hesitate to tackle it again in Frito. Nice drive. Near zero traffic, but it was March. Very slow driving, very twisty. Possible overhanging foliage clearance issues.

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Yes regarding the area, but that would be going out of my way since I am coming from the south. I am wondering about the road that goes from Redway to Shelter Cove. It has a bad reputation but probably pretty much the same as what you drove. Thank you!
 

Bobnoxious

Made in the USA Qualité Supérieure
GE lives in Canada, clear across the continent for crying out loud, he wouldn't know.

Check here or AAA and if ya keep listening to GE, AA.

 

glasseye

Well-known member
Yes regarding the area, but that would be going out of my way since I am coming from the south. I am wondering about the road that goes from Redway to Shelter Cove. It has a bad reputation but probably pretty much the same as what you drove. Thank you!
Looks like a piece of cake, Shelter Cove Road. It's paved.
 

borabora

Active member
GE lives in Canada, clear across the continent for crying out loud, he wouldn't know.

Check here or AAA and if ya keep listening to GE, AA.

Well, you know, I can tell you about the road between Dawson City (Canada) and Tok (Alaska) even though that's a 2500 miles away from where I live...
I was hoping to hear from someone who has driven the Lost Coast access road in a Sprinter. A fairly adventurous friend has driven it in a 4x4 Tacoma and says he wouldn't do it in a 2WD -- but he is somewhat infatuated with 4x4.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
Can you be more specific about which “Lost Coast Access Road” he’s referring to?
For me, “The Lost Coast” is the piece that‘s right on the ocean on the Petrolia road.
 

RVBarry

Active member
My question was about the road from Redway to Shelter Cove.
Satellite view in Google maps shows a maintained, paved road.
Kings Peak Rd running north from there looks like graded dirt.
 

VanGoSki

Active member
I did that whole loop that Glasseye posted on a big touring motorcycle some years ago. I don't remember any of it being particularly challenging, just windy and incredibly isolated.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
Beautiful. I gotta get me a drone.
 

Mr. Bills

New member
There is a paved road to Shelter Cove. The section of road from Redway to Shelter Cove is also paved - narrow winding two lane.

The route from the south along the coast to the turnoff to Shelter Cove is different and is referred to by locals as Usal Road.

Usal Rd. is dirt, one lane in many sections, rutted after the rains and muddy during the rainy season. There are tight stretches and narrow hairpins. Sometimes easily passable in 2WD, sometimes not so much. A tall roof Sprinter may have clearance issues in spots, so might a 170" WB version on the tight turns and switchbacks.

The dirt roads heading north and northeast from Shelter Cove to Mattole and elsewhere are wider and easier than Usal Road.
 
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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Are you talking about Mattole Road? (Ferndale to Weyott via Petrolia and Honeydew?) I did it in my AWD Asstro. There are some narrow bits, single-lane, and some pretty tight hairpins, but barring weather induced roadway issues (a lot of it is unpaved) I'd not hesitate to tackle it again in Frito. Nice drive. Near zero traffic, but it was March. Very slow driving, very twisty. Possible overhanging foliage clearance issues.

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Drove that road in a 08 Sprinter in dry weather. No issues.
 

SprinterSnale

'05 T1N 3500 - NorCalSprinterCampout
I reckon the “Lost Coast” namesake is because Highway 1 could not be engineered through the area and was forced inland around the area. Usal and Bear Harbor roads are epic and 2wd friendly. I don’t get in there much anymore as dogs are not allowed because of the elk heard. Shelter Cove road is a first gear downhill ( and I don’t care who is behind me) affair. The only road my brake warning has ever lit up because I had a full load of of my daughters belongings when she moved there and took it in 3rd. While Usal and Bear Harbor roads are not nearly as steep following the coutures of the landscape to late 1800 logging operations.
 

Bobnoxious

Made in the USA Qualité Supérieure
Lived a spell north of there. View from dinning room window and not a house in view. Coastal living was nice. I could see the Milky Way.IMG_3850.JPG
 

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