Lost Coast King Range Trail & Hikes

Along the northern coast of California, civilization has left its mark on all but the most rugged or remote stretches of coastline know as The Lost Coast.

Untouched by major highways and towns, the name is well earned because it can only be accessed by a few back roads leading out of Shelter Cove in the south and Mattole in the north.

A part of the King Range Conservation Area managed by the BLM, the Lost Coast Trail is a 24 mile stretch of coast that leads north from Black Sands Beach to the Mattole River, along the wilderness beach. This is a rugged hike, not a simple walk on the beach, and is one of only a few coastal wilderness hiking experiences in the U.S.. Hikers can view sea lions, tidepools and spectacular spring wildflowers. 

Much of the trail is beach hiking with several stretches of 1-2 ft. rounded boulders, so wear sturdy hiking boots. Stream crossings may be impassible during/after heavy winter rains (no bridges). The area near Punta Gorda from Sea Lion Gulch to Randall Creek; and from Miller Flat to Gitchell Creek may be impassible during high tide.   Carry a tide table, and when in doubt, hike these stretches during an outgoing tide to avoid being trapped.

Allow at least three days for the entire hike.
Trip Planning Guide
Map of the area

To obtain a backcountry permit, call the Bureau of Land Management, Arcata Field Office, at 707-825-2300 or go to recreation.gov for more information.

Please Remember! Never turn your back on the ocean; large "sleeper" waves can occur at any time, sweeping unsuspecting hikers into the ocean.

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