Usal Beach Dispersed Camping | Wild Camping

United States

Details

Verified:
about 1 month ago
Altitude:
187.8 masl
Website:
None

Amenities

Electricity:
No
Wifi:
No
Kitchen:
No
Restaurant:
No
Showers:
No
Water:
Natural Source
Toilets:
Pit Toilets
Big Rig Friendly:
No
Tent Friendly:
Yes
Pet Friendly:
Yes

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Description

Large dispersed camping area at the southern end of the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. At the entrance there is a sign reading that you are supposed to pay $25 for primitive camping but we didn't see any fee boxes and obviously nobody paid. If you're coming from the north in a regular passenger car, a big rig, or towing a trailer, do not attempt to take Mendocino County Road 431 as it is very rough, narrow and winding.

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Wonderful camping! There was only one other camper when we arrived. Stayed right on the beach. The other camper was a local who said it is usually much busier. Road in is rough and was petty rutted. A 2wd high clearance vehicle might be ok but nothing too large. No sprinter vans.

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fantastic spot. highly recommend. 6 miles of moderate rough road. watch for heavy rain or large swell as the sites close to the beach can flood.

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I wish I didn't have a fear of heights and cliffs.. we had to back two vans back down the mountain.. know your limits... if you have those fears don't do it!

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Pretty cool spot next to the beach. No service and a rly tough road, still saw someone in a Hyundai Sedan doing it. If you have high clearance would recommend this spot.

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Couldn’t make it further than 2 min down the road in our 2wd van unfortunately. Large rut and some sand that had our wheels spinning out. Definitely would be possible in a 4wd. Sad we couldn’t stay.

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super sick camping! so gorgeous, right on the beach. there's tons of spots slightly off the beach that r great for non 4wd cars, but if you've got that then the whole beach is open for camping! incredible.
it was definitley crowded but not a big deal, still found a relatively secluded amazing spot. it was loud though! lots of partiers and fireworks lol.
we drove the road in a subaru outback and it was fine, pretty narrow road.
would 100% come back here

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Super rough road in using Usal Rd, more suited for 4x4 trucks which is what we saw mainly down there. We made it with an e250, but have some new scratches and pushed it pretty hard getting out there. Not recommended unless you’re okay with beating up your rig some. There’s a mud pit halfway through that is intimidating looking but doable. Then once at the bottom it’s very muddy in the campsites and the beach sand is very loose and not driveable without 4wd. But that being said, it’s a special place once you get down there and so green and covered with wildflowers now. We found a nice spot in the trees next to the stream, sounds of ocean waves crashing and lots of birds. Saw 3 different park rangers drive through there while we were there which was surprising. Send it!

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Made it out here for the second time with my 2WD 2”lifted tesla. Mud pit halfway out that ended up being easy with snow tires. Mud pits at the end that we didn’t bother attempting (although a low clearance Audi Sedan successfully made it through). Very nice stay for a Saturday night. Some music but the people playing it turned it off at a reasonable hour.

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awesome spot in the woods but access to the beach and little river running through. the road in is steep and can be bumpy but just go slow and watch where you are driving. I wouldn't come down here if it's been raining.

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Google Maps might take you to this entrance which is incorrect. The right one is just up the street, notably uphill right off the road.

EDIT: I’m dumb, entrance is up the road

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A bit of a technical drive it, but can be made in a two wheel drive vehicle. Lots of Trucks SUVs and even a few Subarus. Sand can get soft on the beach, be cautious of where you drive. Spectacular views and miles of open shoreline.

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As with previous comments, it’s a challenging road to get in but it was fun in our Jeep. Loved being able to camp right in the sand. Yep, lots of other campers as well but lots of space to spread out, at least the two weeknights we were there.

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This place should be permanently closed. Made the PITA drive to get down here at 4pm on a Friday and there must have been 200+ people here. Unreal. Garbage and toilet paper all over the place. People blocking the roads to get anywhere. We turned around and left and will never attempt this on a weekend again. Possibly try to check it out if we’re around here on like a Tuesday or something but not likely since it might not have many people but will probably be trashed. Wouldn’t want to attempt this road in wet conditions.

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Lots of people in the weekend. Vans and rooftop tents galore. Plenty of space near the beach though. So pretty cool during the day.

After dark it becomes a bit of a zoo with people setting of fireworks, loud music, vehicles driving in and out.

I managed to get there in 2wd. But there are some very big holes filled with water. It is a risk to go all the way to the beach.

No cell. But Starlink worked like a charm near beach.

If you are ok with not sleeping too well for a night it can be a fun experience, but it can be overrun with people who dont know how to be respectful in nature with others.

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When searching for a place to stay near this area it was a no-brainer to visit Usal Beach. All the comments are spot on. One of those iOverland gems! I actually really enjoyed the drive in, beautiful wooded section and higher up cliff side section a with amazing views (plus cell service up there), made it more of an adventure! My Tacoma fully laden with RTT made it no worries at all. Didn’t need to put her into 4WD even down at the bottom near the beach where there are some pretty big muddy puddles. I’d just watch out for these if you are in 2WD or have low clearance. Beach is huge and plenty of sites to choose from. Everything is informal but lots of fire circles people of made in the past. I must’ve lucked out as I was there on Friday night and it was pretty civilized. Only one family of rednecks turned up with 10 kids, fireworks and a huge drone they decided to fly over everybody’s campsite! Fortunately they were only there for about 45 minutes then drove off again. Slept soundly all night listening to the waves crashing in.

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Awesome spot! Road is not that bad as described but I would not do it with an RV. Beach is clean and quiet and we saw lots of wild life. We were lucky to have a sunny day because it was very foggy the next day which is supposed to be normal at this time of the year

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Calling the trail to get here a “road” is a bit of a misnomer, but it’s doable with 4x4 or without if it’s dry…probably. I wouldn’t want to do it in a big 3/4 ton with a camper though since there’s limited opportunity to let someone by going the other way. Might be possible without 4x4 but I most certainly wouldn’t go ask the way down to the beach. Really steep towards the end. The only part I was concerned about was the bridge, but I crawled underneath it and it looks like an old train trestle, held my jeep just fine when I crossed it. The campsite itself is amazing! Frogs, ducks, the beach is right there and you listen to the waves all night. Only a couple other people out here at the end of February. Looks like it gets more business when it’s warmer. A fair bit off the beaten path though.

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Road was rather terrifying coming in, though it was nighttime. The beach is beautiful, and there are tons of sites. I saw mainly 4x4s making the drive, though I succeeded in my rwd e350. I also saw a fwd Toyota Sienna leaving so that says something about the road. Not too bad I guess. Will be returning.

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Worth the drive!! Various vehicle types made it down here but be prepared for anything

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This spot is BEAUTIFUL! It’s a must for tent campers and truck campers. I would not go on this road if you have an RV, TT, or even a tall sprinter van. It is a difficult road in those vehicles but pretty easy in a good truck/suv.

The site: amazing. There are so many campsites that you could go any day and find one. You can camp on the beach or in the forest. All are beautiful. We would’ve stayed there for much longer than 4 days if there was phone service!

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Chain saws at 1 am , fireworks at 2 am, techno acid at 3 am, middle aged people running around screaming at 4 am, drunk Offroading at 5 am.

This is a typical weekend here.

Must visit place on weekdays.

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Only go to this place Monday thru Thursday. Thursday night thru Sunday is a jungle. 200 people at this beach, partying all night until 4 am shaking the ground with bass. all kinds of people. Families, older, younger, teens.

We thought we could deal with the people Friday night... boy were we wrong. don't be like us. we got maybe a hour of sleep.

Guy drove a 20ft camper down the road got stuck on the side of the road for 3 days.

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A couple outhouse toilets. The one closest to the beach was tagged “full”. Guess not a lot of maintenance is done. The road was great. I didn’t use 4 wheel drive until the mud pits before you hit the sand. A two wheel drive sprinter made it thru a really deep one surprisingly. Heavy rains lately and more to come will make the beach inaccessible for 2 wheel drive.

The road in was a piece of cake. Not sure why all the comments about it being rough or dangerous. I drove in at 15-25 mph at times. Some steep descents at the end. Beautiful scenic drive among young redwoods. Even saw a bull Elk at the start of the road off highway 1 foraging.

1 bar of LTE of Sprint/T-mobile on my rooftop tent towards the end of the beach. Also noticed a few spots on the road in at high elevation with service randomly. At ground level I had to walk around to find a spot to send texts. I was even able to post a picture.

It’s midweek winter abs surprisingly at least a dozen cars throughout but still private enough with multiple car lengths in between each site.

Fire rings made by others.

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As described. Really awesome beach with dramatic tides and lots of wildlife. Can def see how it could get crazy down there during busy weekends. Road in was fine. Didn’t need 4x4 but high clearance was a must. We camped off the beach in the forest. Much warmer / less wind. Didn’t know anything this lawless and free existed in California. Will 100% return.

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Beautiful free remote camping. Lovely beach and nice hiking trails. Plenty of camp options once you make it out there.
Avoid weekends.

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Stayed three nights at Usal. Great campground., sites at the beach and in woody meadow areas. Getting there: we were a small truck and 15ft trailer. There were some pull offs to allow other cars to pass on narrow sections. It was definitely a bit sketchy with the trailer attached. (Our tow hitch ball came loose). Took 33 mins vs 26 w/o the trailer. We planned our arrival and departure times just right (arriving in the evening and leaving super early) to avoid running into oncoming traffic with the trailer. Make sure to get gas before heading there. Was $4.80 just south of Usal.

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Omg. Amazing! I truly don’t think I’ve ever camped anywhere near as perfect. The road in did terrify me, and back out. Very narrow and rough. Luckily I have AWD. But I have a pretty low clearance car, Subaru crosstrek. I made it though. I wish I had been staying a whole week that’s how perfect this place is. I hope it stays as remoter as it is. Was there on a mutes day night with barely anyone else.

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Stayed on the beach two nights. Made it in on 2wd but grateful for the V8 a few times. Got bogged on the beach but unstuck pretty easily with traction boards, could have been avoided. Arrived Wednesday night and it was already starting to get full. A good number of large washed up trees in camp some folks were using axes to get their wood for fires. All around nice, just a bit crowded so we're leaving before the weekend.

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What an absolutely fabulous gem of a camp ground, well worth the trek off the beaten path. All the camping areas are pretty well partitioned off from each other, so even when it got more busy we still had a feeling of solitude. Bathrooms were mid-to-low grade pit toilets, no water, plan accordingly. Got pretty full on the weekend and some partying locals on the beach Friday and Saturday nights (music & fireworks), while week days/nights were much more sedate. The drive in takes about 45 minutes and is easily passable in dry weather by any AWD vehicle with at least basic CUV/Subaru grade ground clearance, and we even saw a few brave/crazy folks in Civics/Altimas and the like.

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This is one of those spots in iOverlander that you have to go! Plain beautiful beach, basically private (we were here midweek offseason so completely alone), you are between two mountains in one of those paradise beaches. Road in is rough, but totally doable on low clearance AWD or 4x4. 2WD can go if carefully navigating, if you have traction boards for the odd case you get bogged, then just go! we saw Elks and Fox at the beach. We camped right at the beach, but you can camp on the forest with more shelter.

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A rugged forested campground with outhouses and picnic tables and fire pits. Huge elk and fox roam around. Usal road north from hwy1 was the worst road we have ever encountered. A recent rain storm has washed a lot of the road away so there are many holes and trenches, as well as angled roads which felt like our 4wd suv would roll over. Some of the road was right next to steep cliffs which made it seem even worse. A lot of the road is barely wide enough for 1 vehicle, so you cant really turn around or move over if another car is coming the opposite direction. Best of luck to you.

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Beautiful FREE spot!! The road from the south (was the only road open now) is 11km rough and took us 45 minutes with a 4x4. We saw only 4x4 cars on the spot. You can stay on the beach (it’s firm sand) or in the forest next to the beach for some more shelter. Lots of rooftop tents here! We saw elk and coyotes! There is a clean pit toilet and fire rings.

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One lane “road” entering off of highway 1 is very rough, 4WD not necessary however-just go slow and easy(took about 40min of crawling to get out to the beach). Here on a Monday/Tuesday in early October and there has been light traffic out here. Wonderful, very remote views of the ocean and beautiful sunsets! Camp ground is surprisingly big, you can set up along the river bed, in the woods, or just drive right out to the beach. Did all this in a RWD van. It’s totally worth the rough drive out here if you’re planning to stay for more than a day or two. Please pack out all your trash!!

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Glorious few days spent here - expecting a much worse road and was pleasantly surprised. Certainly not smooth but no problem for my 1988 dodge b250 campervan. Anything with reasonable clearance will be fine - although wouldn’t have fancied it after rain. Quite a bit of trash left by ghastly Americans, particularly fireworks from 4th July parties - all in all a wonderful place however, despite a bit of rubbish. Nice and quiet after summer - although some 4x4ers razzing around the beach on Saturday.

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Great spot down on the beach. plenty of campsites with trees for hammocks. You can drive down onto the beach. We did in our 2w drive sprinter van. It is very rough gravel road getting down. but we did it in about 30-40min.

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Long one lane dirt road in, in rough condition but most vehicles driving very slow probably able to make it.
A very surprising amount of people down there for the road you have to take to make it but it is summer after all.

Beautiful light, sounds of waves crashing in the background. Lovely place to camp.

Hiked up to the special Candelabra Redwoods. Amazing!

4x4 will get you a beach camp spot...

Don’t count on a quiet remote vibe if it’s summer though...

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We were here for the 4th of July weekend and it was a beautiful area but way too packed with people. Illegal fireworks were going off until past 1:30am making it impossible to sleep. Throw in a few roosters and I would have sworn I was back in Mexico camping. Maybe nice during off season but summer was a big no for me.

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Amazing site, many different spots depending on wind, view or privacy. Sometimes a bit busy, but usually nice people. Elk hang out in the river bed. Bumpy, narrow and steep road to get there, but very worth it, we stayed 3 nights. 😎

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Nice and remote camping with benches and fire pits... seems to be free to use. It was incredibly foggy when we were here so didn’t see much. Road coming in from the south is a dirt road in pretty bad condition, we made it in our sprinter style van but not sure it was worth the stress for just the one night. No information here about local hikes either

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Amazing beach and forest, even saw an elk grazing. However weekends in the summer are crowded with kids partying, drunks everywhere, and lots of noise into the night. Try to go during non peak times.

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Great location. Stayed 2 nights. Approx. 45 min on dirt road to reach bottom/beach. Forest meets the beach. Various campsites - forest and or beach. Elk walk’g through. Disappointed on the trash!!! PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTERWARDS!!! Pack in/Pack out! BE RESPECTFUL!

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Best, favorite campsite ever. Gorgeous, peaceful, lots of beach and areas to explore

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Beautiful spot. From south you can reach this place with a normal car.
The street from north was locked with a gate.

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Very Very nice Place!!! its a Oasis with lots of nice spots to camp, nice River, and Amazing Beach! lots of Elk here. Poeple tould me its Free! if you come from South its 10 km dirt road, duable without 4x4 if its dry. but high Clearance recomendet!

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Large dispersed camping area at the southern end of the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. At the entrance there is a sign reading that you are supposed to pay $25 for primitive camping but we didn't see any fee boxes and obviously nobody paid. If you're coming from the north in a regular passenger car, a big rig, or towing a trailer, do not attempt to take Mendocino County Road 431 as it is very rough, narrow and winding.

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