Description - For thousands of years before the first Europeans arrived, the Sinkyone Indians lived in this part of the coast. They occupied permanent villages alongside streams and rivers, and moved out in family groups to hunt and forage in the hills during the summer. They spent time along the coast fishing, gathering seaweed and shellfish, and hunting seals and sea lions, and harvesting the occasional dead whale that had washed on shore. Fish were an important source of food during the winter. All kinds of fish were caught, but the seasonal salmon run was especially important.
Copyright: California State Parks
Coastal view from Sinkyone Wilderness SP
Most park visitors today assume that human beings have had little impact on this area. But every trail, road, or flat spot has been modified by human activity. Game trails were turned into pathways for pack mules loaded with tanbark for the tanneries of San Francisco. Roads were carved and graded for lumbering operations. Open areas and marine terraces were farmed and used to pasture sheep and cattle. Occasionally, what appears to be a wagon road or a modern jeep trail is actually an abandoned railroad right-of-way.
Logging operations continued until well into the 20th century and wood products of various kinds were shipped to market from Usal, Needle Rock, Anderson's Landing, Northport and Bear Harbor/Morgan's Rock. Northport was not much of a port, but lumber schooners were able to take on their cargoes by means of a "wire chute," - a cable and block system that could run wood from the bluff to waiting schooners. Built in 1875, the Northport "chute" was one of the first of its kind on the coast.
Sinkyone Wilderness State Park was created in 1975 when the first 3,430 acres were acquired at Needle Rock. The park expanded in 1986 and now totals 7,367 acres.
- The rugged wilderness that once characterized the entire Mendocino Coast can still be explored and enjoyed in the 7,367 acre Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Since there are no main highways near the coast in this vicinity, the area has come to be called the "Lost Coast." It is very common to see Roosevelt elk.
Primitive hike-in (.25 miles) campsite: with no developed water supply, campsites are first-come-first served. Please contact the park directly for detailed camping availability information.
Recreation - Sinkyone Wilderness offers opportunities for backpacking and primitive hike-in camping. No facilities or access for motor homes or trailers. The park also offers opportunities for viewing spectacular scenery, viewing wildlife, viewing historic sites, surfing, swimming and windsurfing.
Climate - Summers are generally mild. Fog is often encountered near the coastline, with sunny, warmer weather more common inland in the foothills. Summer temperatures range from 45-75 degrees. Morning and evening fog is common.Winters are generally cool with considerable precipitation. Winter temperatures range from 35-55 degrees. Rainfall up to 80 inches per year, mostly occurring between November and May. Wear layers of clothing to accommodate cool to warm temperatures and good walking shoes. Rain protection should be included at any time of year.
Sinkyone Wilderness can be accessed 36 miles southwest of Redway/Garberville on Briceland Rd. Take Briceland Rd. off Hwy. 101. The Park is 36 miles southeast of Redway/Garberville. The last 9 miles are unpaved. The road may be impassable in wet weather.