A spectacular, 64,000 acre coastal wilderness on California's mysterious Lost Coast, offering camping, hiking and wildlife viewing. With geography too rugged for highway building, the King Range National Conservation Area covers 68,000 acres and extends along 35 miles of coastline between the mouth of the Mattole River and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park.
The recreation opportunities here are as diverse as the landscape. The Douglas-fir clad peaks attract hikers, hunters, campers and mushroom collectors, while the coast beckons to surfers, anglers, beachcombers and abalone divers to name a few. Nearly 300 species of native and migratory birds have been spotted in the King Range making it a birders paradise. The old-growth forest is important habitat for the northern spotted owl, bald eagle and coopers hawk.
The King Range contains over 80 miles of hiking trails spanning from the beach to the highest peaks. Offshore rocks, tidepools and kelp beds are inhabited by seals, sea lions and a variety of marine birds. California grey whales can be spotted offshore in winter and spring. The mountains are a mix of Douglas-fir forest, chaparral and grassland, providing habitat for blacktailed deer and black bear. A herd of Roosevelt Elk roams the area from Chemise Mountain south into Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Curiously, although this is the wettest spot in California, hot dry summer winds make the King Range too dry to support the redwood forests that surround it on three sides.
Permits are required for overnight use in the King Range Wilderness. Visitors can book their permit reservations on www.recreation.gov. Permits are not required for day-use or in designated campgrounds.
Transportation: The BLM has a list of individuals and/or organizations that have been issued a special recreation use permit for the purpose of transporting people on public land in the King Range National Conservation Area. Follow this link: Trip Planning & Shuttle Service