Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Hello All!

We just got back in from another ridiculously cool camping adventure.

It’s late, and I am fairly haggard, and the poison oak is beginning to set in, and am chilling on a very cozy couch … but this journey was just too much fun to remain un-blogged.

So let’s do this. But if we’re gonna do it, we need to do it right.

Here’s how our story begins:

Okay … rewinding a few weeks …

I sometimes just futz around on google maps looking for possible backpacking spots in Northern California.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Looking for large green swaths of wilderness, Mendocino National Forest just floated right in the center of my view. I couldn’t resist.

It’s like it had been staring me in the face this whole time; this massive swath of green just sitting square in the middle of Nor Cal!

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Wake up was 5:30 on Saturday morning.

We were over the bridge and rolling through Marin as the sun was rising.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

We lost about an hour or so of the day getting lost on this one dirt road.

(Note to anyone looking for traveler’s home trail head: HWY 162 veers abruptly right as you are leaving Covelo, and the trail head is up a dirt road (off the 162) that’s unlabeled … but you can’t miss ‘er, it’s the only dirt road you can drive upto in the area just passed Covelo.)

Nevertheless, the off-roading was a nice addition to the trip.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

But finally seeing the sign for the trailhead was pure gold!

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

We geared up and got ready!

🙂

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Within like a minute the trail opens up to these insane views and absurd meadows.

Are you kidding me?!

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Traveler’s Home!

Dudes, there is something surreal to trekking up an unknown trail.

The three of us were charging to a new camp spot in a forest none of us had ever been to. It just doesn’t get any better.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Stoked.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Stoked. Indeed.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

There was some stream crossing through these happy little brooks.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

And snow-capped peaks.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

A cool little manzanita-red patch to go with red-beard kernel.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Mountain-goated a few ridges as well.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

… And then we got into camp.

This stream was at the base of the site.

About as nice of a watering-hole as a man could ask for …

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

And just up from the creek the campground unfolded as these series of merry meadows rolled down the hill.

This was some solid backcountry.

We spent three days out and in that time only saw one person!

Dude.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Dude.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Found our spot and got to the business of setting up camp.

Like a finely tuned clock, the three of us got to the business of setting up the site.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Chilling out in the process…

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

We had a very clutch fire.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

To compliment the very clutch view.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Just a solid wind-down from a solid day.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

… One last little top off. We had a stone positioned in the fire for warming our naan.

It’s the little things in life.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Woke up and lounged around during the morning.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Enjoyed a nice little camping brew.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

And around noon we started the next leg of the adventure, trailblazing!

Huzzah!

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

We decided to take day packs + wetsuits and trek down to the rive.

We’d estimated it to be about a mile. But a rugged mile.

The first section was covered in these mysterious and cool moss-covered oaks that were just like glowing.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

We then charged it down the stream.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Scrambling around huge boulders, dwarfed by sheer cliffs.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

As we got closer to the river, the pools started getting bigger, and the rock jumping more fun.

🙂

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

And then we arrived!

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Although the water was freezing balls, the wetsuits made it bearable and we enjoyed a thoroughly rocking afternoon swim.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

This next one is boss as hell.

Perhaps the best pic of the trip.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

We dried off, chowed lunch, and said goodbye to our private slice of heaven.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

… And began the hike back up.

(By this point the pontz started to give zero fucks about keeping his boots dry. So he just charged through the stream like a badass.)

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Yo.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

It was majestic.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

🙂

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Back at camp.

Totally knackered.

And some much needed warmth for the feet.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

Good Morning! Rise and Shine!

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

One last brek at the camp spot before pushing home.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

… said goodbye to our little critter friends.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest

And spent one more minute basking in the glory of another adventure.

From Backpacking Mendocino National Forest