The Lost Coast Trail wanders through extraordinary King Range National Conservation Area, where magnificent sea meets jagged mountains and wildflower-swathed coast. Wild mushrooms cluster on the peaks and abalone hide in shallow kelp gardens. Journeying on to Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, hikers pass black-sand beaches and private coastline where migrating grey whales often bob to the surface.

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Expert Review of Lost Coast Trail

Parks and Outdoors Review of Lost Coast Trail

Away Travel Expert: Ann Marie Brown
expert favorite Parks Expert Favorite
ParksExpert Rating 5.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Birding,Camping,Outdoor Skills,Saltwater Fishing,Whale Watching
Parks and OutdoorsExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • The northern stretch of the Lost Coast Trail is one of Northern California's premier coastal backpacking trips. The trail spans 24.6 miles from the mouth of the Mattole River to Black Sands Beach at Shelter Cove. Commercial shuttle services are available, so you can make this a one-way hike. Most people take three days to cover the distance.
  • Despite the fact that the trail never loses or gains much elevation as it travels along beaches and blufftops, this is not an easy hike. Sturdy hiking boots are critical because of the Lost Coast's rocky beaches and uneven trail surfaces. Also, your trip must be carefully planned so that you are hiking during low tides, or sections of the beach trail may be undersea.
  • Despite this trail's remote location, it has become quite popular with backpackers. Plan your trip for weekdays, not weekends. Spring and fall are less crowded than summer and often provide the best weather.

King Range National Conservation Area

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 707-825-2300
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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