22-Jan-2001 -- What a site! Overlooking the Pacific Ocean at 2100 ft.
Just north of the Mendocino County line in Humboldt County, where the
124th parallel makes landfall on the Northern California
Coast. The King Mountain Range is the largest coastal mountain range in
California. It is referred to as the 'Lost Coast'. The N40 W124
Confluence sits at the Southern tip of The King Range
National Conservation Area managed by the BLM.
Access to the area is from Redway then Briceland via Shelter Cove
Road and then Chemise Mountain Road (the Topo maps labeled this road as
running along Bear Creek). Hiking to the confluence requires a stiff 1
mile uphill hike from either the Nadelos or Wailaki Campground, then
South along a rugged up and down trail called Chemise Mountain (2598 ft)
trail, for 1-2 miles. The landscape is a variety of trees with patches
of brush. The confluence is only 100 ft off this trail on a brushy slope
facing the ocean.
Since we were traveling from Mendocino on Hwy 1, my original plan was
to take Usal Road. Where Usal Road leaves Hwy 1 to travel North greater
than 18 miles it is Double track dirt with a sign that says it is not
maintained in the winter. We went to Hwy 101 and via Redway. The King
Range office on Shelter Cove Rd. listed Usal Road as "Wet & mushy,
4WD/high clearance only". The King
Range office had a large relief map, good advice and curiosity about our
We arrived at the campground at 2:30 PM and began the hike up the
dark side of the mountain. Once on the ridge we were treated to
occasional views toward the valley and ocean. The trail lead south up
and over several prominences. With 500 ft to go the view opened up with
a view south of Manzanita Mtn (2120 ft) and the ocean. At first I headed
into the thick manzanita and then transferred the bearing to my compass
for a much better heading. The brush was thin, lying in the 'confluence'
of three trees was a watertight yellow box. My first
GeoCache. The disappointment in not being the first to this site was
quickly overcome by curiosity in the Cache. It seemed perfect to leave a
Cache at this location, thanks to the thoughtful hunters! It had been
established two days before and visited that same day by other eager
confluence hunters. The Confluence landrush has certainly begun! We
enjoyed the logbook and took some pictures and headed off the mountain
in a hurry before dark fell and the bears came out.