Adventure's Gold Coast

Mountain Biking the Hotel Gulch Road

    Photo: Map by Laszlo Kubinyi

SINCE THE LOST COAST TRAIL isn't two-wheel compatible, mountain bikers will want to head to the Hotel Gulch Road, a higher, parallel route about a half-mile inland. It delivers some of the same vistas, although much more of this trail is cloaked in deep forest. It follows an untended old logging road that climbs steeply out of Usal Camp to 1,500 feet before it drops toward Anderson Creek. A couple of downfalls and landslides require hike-a-bike, but it's all ridable if you have gears and gumption. About a mile downhill from the first crest, where you'll be hot no matter how brisk the day, a 30-foot waterfall tumbles into a shallow pool. After I cooled off there, I rode on, following undulating ridges that traverse rare old-growth redwood groves, dropping into the abandoned logging site of Wheeler, 12 miles from the trailhead. This is a good place to turn back, because you have to relive three long climbs before the bumpy descent back to camp. For more information, call Sinkyone Wilderness State Park at 707-986-7711.

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