Lost Coast - Best place to stage out of?

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by mb300, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. mb300

    mb300 Adventurer

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    Hello all,

    GF and I are heading up to the Lost Coast in Aug for a few days of dual sport riding (on little bikes).

    1) I was planning on camping around the Shelter Cove area, but she wants a motel room. At $180+ a night in Shelter Cove, a motel isn't going to happen.

    2) Plan B is now to stay in Garberville/Redway or the Fortuna area. We could either ride-in or trailer-in each day (I prefer to stay off of pavement with knobbie$). Yes I know this is a sucky way of doing things, but this is what happens when your GF starts riding...


    Q1- Where would you recommend staying for 2 or 3 "day trips" into the Lost Coast? If we trailer-in where would you recommend staging?

    Q2- Where can we get fuel in the Lost Coast region? I have a 100-120 mile range, she can only go 75-90 miles.

    Q3- Will we get hassled for having out of state bikes that technically aren't CA legal? We're legally plated in AZ but tires aren't DOT / no turn signals / horn / etc. It hasn't been a problem while riding off-road in CA, as we rarely touch pavement or even gravel roads. This will be our first time on the 'mean streets' of northern california ;)

    Obligatory girl on moto pic:

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"We could either ride-in or trailer-in each day..."

    The 'Lost Coast' is mainly 'dual-sport' riding.
    Quite a bit of pavement to get there and move from place to place.

    What sort of distances do you ride?

    Here's examples of 'dirt' sections... (these are only rough mileages).
    Other sections of these roads are pavement.

    Usal Road - 25 miles.
    Horse Mtn road (at Shelter Cove) - 15 miles.
    Monument Peak - 15 miles.
    Sherwood Forest road near Willits - 20 miles.
    Mina Road (Covelo to Kettenpom) - 20 miles.
    Bell Springs - 25 miles.
    Dyerville Loop - 20 miles.

    Some other areas... Ruth to Red Bluff, Mendocino Forest, Indian Valley,
    you can accumulate more dirt miles.

    >"Q1- Where would you recommend staying for 2 or 3 "day trips" into the Lost Coast? If we trailer-in where would you recommend staging?"

    Motels ? Redway/Garberville, or maybe Fortuna for the north end.
    Other areas... Hayfork, Clear Lake etc.

    >"Q2- Where can we get fuel in the Lost Coast region? I have a 100-120 mile range, she can only go 75-90 miles."

    Near the Lost Coast... Shelter Cove, Redway, Honeydew, Petrolia, Fortuna, Rio Dell. Honeydew and Petrolia are small tanks at the 'stores'.

    >"Q3- Will we get hassled for having out of state bikes that technically aren't CA legal? We're legally plated in AZ but tires aren't DOT / no turn signals / horn / etc. It hasn't been a problem while riding off-road in CA, as we rarely touch pavement or even gravel roads. This will be our first time on the 'mean streets' of northern california ;)"

    IMHO: On 'back roads'... you probably won't get hassled.
    Main highways (101) might be a problem though... can't tell you for sure.

    Bikes are quiet?... or noisy?
    #2
  3. mb300

    mb300 Adventurer

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    > The 'Lost Coast' is mainly 'dual-sport' riding. Quite a bit of pavement to get there and move from place to place.

    10-4, I'll ditch the knobbies and put some intermediate tires on the bikes.


    > What sort of distances do you ride?

    Short by ADV standards - mostly limited by narrow hard seats.


    >Motels ? Redway/Garberville, or maybe Fortuna for the north end. Other areas... Hayfork, Clear Lake etc.

    We found a place in Rio Dell on AirBNB-- it looks pretty close to the dirt.


    >Near the Lost Coast... Shelter Cove, Redway, Honeydew, Petrolia, Fortuna, Rio Dell. Honeydew and Petrolia are small tanks at the 'stores'.

    Cool. Google maps didn't show any fuel except at Honeydew, good to know there is more out there.


    > IMHO: On 'back roads'... you probably won't get hassled. Main highways (101) might be a problem though... can't tell you for sure.

    We won't be on any major roads at all (her bike won't pull highway speeds).


    > Bikes are quiet?... or noisy?

    Quiet, Her bike is 1/2 as loud as a lawnmower. Mine has the stock off road exhaust (which is as quiet as a big bore thumper gets, which isn't very quiet, but we're very conscious of being good neighbors when riding). Loud pipes might save lives but they definitely close riding areas...


    Thanks for the info!

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. Hobbes950

    Hobbes950 Darth Kitten

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    Not all of us :evil
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  5. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Been here awhile

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    Make sure to ride Bear River Ridge Road out of Rio Dell.... one of my favorites. Great vistas.
    #5
  6. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"We found a place in Rio Dell on AirBNB-- it looks pretty close to the dirt."

    Yes... Bear River Ridge out of Rio Dell. It is about 15 miles of dirt that takes you to the county paved "Lost Coast Road'.

    Other back road access to Rio Dell is the 'Blue Slide' road, which leads to Ferndale.

    The problem with Rio Dell is that 'south access' is via highway 101... for about 10 miles. (The Avenue of the Giants starts at that point.)

    If you can do that much highway, you will be alright.
    #6
  7. mb300

    mb300 Adventurer

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    I'm working on turning this city girl into a class A redneck. I've got her riding a dirtbike, drinking craft beer, and eating poutine, but it will still be a little while before she's happy to sleep in the moto van....
    #7
  8. mb300

    mb300 Adventurer

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    > Make sure to ride Bear River Ridge Road out of Rio Dell.... one of my favorites. Great vistas.
    > Other back road access to Rio Dell is the 'Blue Slide' road, which leads to Ferndale.

    Thanks for the tips guys! I love this site.

    > Bear River Ridge out of Rio Dell. It is about 15 miles of dirt that takes you to the county paved "Lost Coast Road'.

    Is google maps calling it "Mattole Rd"?
    http://goo.gl/maps/caya3
    40.418961,-124.398656
    #8
  9. mb300

    mb300 Adventurer

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    > The problem with Rio Dell is that 'south access' is via highway 101... for about 10 miles. (The Avenue of the Giants starts at that point.) If you can do that much highway, you will be alright.

    Her tiny bike isn't going to make it down the 101; no way it's going to do 60+mph. We're now thinking that we might spend 2 nights up in Rio Dell, then move south for the 3rd night. Probably Redway. Any other suggestions?
    #9
  10. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"Redway. Any other suggestions?"

    Redway is a good place.

    Routes: (Shorter to longer).

    1) Shelter Cove (gas)/Horse Mtn Road/Ettersburg Rd/Shelter Cove back. (20 miles dirt)

    2) Alderpoint Road/Dyerville Loop/Ft Seward/Alderpoint road back.
    (20 miles dirt)

    2) Shelter Cove (gas) /Chemise Mtn Rd/Sinkyone Wilderness/Usal Road and back on Whitethorn Road/Old Briceland road to Garberville aiprport. (60 miles dirt)

    3) Alderpoint road/ Bell Springs Rd/101 (55mph) then Latonville-Dos Rios/Poontkiny to Covelo (gas)/Mina Road to Kettenpom (gas)/Zenia, and Alderpoint back to Redway. (70 miles dirt)

    Most of the dirt is 'USFS' or otherwise County Road dirt/gravel.

    Buy a "Benchmark Maps" California road booklet.
    Good for general route planning.

    http://www.amazon.com/California-Ro...15&sr=8-1&keywords=benchmark+california+atlas

    If you want similar riding to this photo: Mendo Natl forest.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Been here awhile

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    Another great resource is the California Coastal Byways book by Tony Huegel. He is here on adv as 'byways'... I have used his Coastal and Sierras books for route and trip planning. Many of the roads mentioned by TZ are outlined in this book. Highly recommended!

    http://www.backcountrybyways.com/calicoast.shtml
    #11
  12. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I think what people are saying is pavement riding is necessary to do any of the riding around the Lost Coast,it isnt an ohv area. People dont stage and ride dirtbikes there,Ive seen Rangers out checking bikes even on Usal Road.

    If your on a bike with out turn signals and other CA related stuff there's a chance a local cop could see you and wonder why.
    #12
  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    They may stop you to ask about the lack of turn signals, but I believe you are technically legal as long as your home state allows it. Just use hand signals around other traffic.
    #13
  14. El Zorrillo

    El Zorrillo charity case

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    Spark arrestors. If you do get checked by rangers, this is one thing they will almost definitely check for.
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  15. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    I drove the Lost Coast yesterday... it is only 5 miles from the last
    'Avenue of the Giants' to Scotia/Rio Dell exit.

    If she can maintain 55, she will be fine.
    Otherwise... you can loop back to the motel and come back with the truck to retrieve her.

    I haven't seen a cop on the lost coast back roads... for a loooong time.
    #15
  16. mb300

    mb300 Adventurer

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    > Routes: (Shorter to longer).

    Thank you!


    > I think what people are saying is pavement riding is necessary to do any of the riding around the Lost Coast,it isnt an ohv area. People dont stage and ride dirtbikes there

    Yup, this is a sightseeing dual sport trip for us, not an off road trip. I didn't quite realize how much pavement there was going to be. I broke down and bought some Shinko 244s for her bike. I'll be putting the 17s on my bike for this ride.


    > Spark arrestors. If you do get checked by rangers, this is one thing they will almost definitely check for

    Always equipped with SAs. I've lived in high risk fire areas, I WONT be starting one.


    > I drove the Lost Coast yesterday... it is only 5 miles from the last
    'Avenue of the Giants' to Scotia/Rio Dell exit.

    Cool. I'll take her bike out for a spin and see if it can sustain 55+ mph.


    >Another great resource is the California Coastal Byways book by Tony Huegel.

    Bought it. Thank you amazon. And thank you to everyone for your suggestions.
    #16
  17. melville

    melville Long timer

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  18. Hop-Sing

    Hop-Sing Been here awhile

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    Class A Redneck, Girls will be girls, but a class A redneck does not drink craft beer, or eat ?. No we drink Buds and eat cows. At night we lay our head on the ground and watch stars.

    No moto van or staging, thems for city slickers.
    #18
  19. dickensheets

    dickensheets smprparatus

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    I am gonna agree with this.

    A redneck doesnt drink craft beer till hes over 40. Ask me how i know.

    Shelter cove hotel for $180 is a true bargain. Serously. Rio dell has no ocean front anything. Get the shelter cove motel and call it the price of good living. You can walk to the bar and the beach in 5 min.

    The money and effort you spend on horsing around the 101 will more than cover it. The ladys want to be comfy at night. Dont cheep out on this one bro.

    From shelter cove hike south about 2 miles along the beach. There is an old aircraft carcass among the sand crabs. It went in the breakers after a dual engine flameout. Circa 1997. I was USCG at that time and arrived too late. Yada yada.

    Ryan. Originally from the Lost Coast. Now living in New Mexico.
    #19
  20. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"Rio dell has no ocean front anything."

    True enough.
    #20