When hiking southward, Timber Ridge is the last major climb before Usal Creek. From Dark Gulch to Timber Ridge is just under 1000 feet of elevation gain. Continuing southward, there are numerous ups and downs as the trail alternates between heavy woods and open, grassy slopes which often provide good views downcoast. The trail then turns inland and descends on switchbacks through redwoods to Usal Camp.
Usal Camp is a large, drive-in campground along Usal Creek, and includes an expansive sandspit and beach. The road in from Highway 1 is tortuous, narrow and rutted, and takes nearly an hour to traverse.
South of Usal Creek, the CCT goes along Usal Road, then along the shoulder of Highway 1 heading south. The views are spectacular here, but watch and listen for traffic, since the road is narrow.
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The Coastal Trail alignment shown on these maps has
not been sanctioned by any agency of the State of California