Keep Going South Many hikers end at Shelter Cove, but the Lost Coast actually extends another 26 miles south into Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Your guide will inform you of the first day’s departure time at the orientation meeting. If you’re interested in other dates, please contact us as we will have to ensure they are feasible. The Lost Coast is among Californias most rugged stretches of coastline. The trail runs north-south, from Mattole Beach to Black Sands Beach near Shelter Cove, though we did a modified version even still. Hike the Classic The 24.6-mile Lost Coast Trail links Mattole Beach (northern end) to Black Sands Beach (at Shelter Cove); you’ll want a shuttle (info below). We recommend staying in a hotel near the airport. The remoteness is a rare respite from the rest of the state. Here, the weathered cliffs of the King Range tower above the sea, blocking the way of everyone who’s not on foot. Lost Coast permits become available on October 1st, and we are required to have registered guests to request dates. All meals are prepared by your guide and we provide nearly all the gear. Our journey began before sunrise. Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Sever recommends going in June or July to see newborn sea lions or March or April for baby seals. This past fall, I invited five friends to hike the northern half of the Lost Coast Trail, a three-day, 25-mile backpacking trip along the most rugged stretch of coastline in California. This southern section offers an entirely different experience, as the trail winds up and over coastal bluffs and through old-growth redwood groves, descending only a few times to secluded coves. Bring a knife to harvest mussels if there isn’t a quarantine (check with the California Department of Health). Plan it so the wind is at your back (bit.do/LostCoastWind), and aim for a minus tide so you can explore the tide pools. (Wendy Seltzer/Flickr) California’s Lost Coast is a backpacker’s dream, the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the state with miles of deserted beaches and coves. After a tasty breakfast, today’s hike begins with more timing with the tides. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling! The trail meanders along the foot of high mountains […] Read Article . From the rugged Pacific coast to the dense redwood forests to the summit of Mt. We rate this California hike a solitude 4. The 9.2-mile trek heads along one of California's last pristine beaches to the swimming grounds of harbor seals and the once-endangered California gray whale. Thank you for such a memorable experience hiking the Lost Coast! Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. After a 4.5 hour drive, we will arrive at Black Sands beach trailhead and meet our private shuttle driver that will be taking us to the Northern starting trailhead. I really liked how he guided us through the trip on a map ahead of time and was able to improvise when one of our campsites was inaccessible. Lost Coast Trail Lost Coast Trail-North (Mattole - Black Sands Beach) 24.6 miles, mostly level The Lost Coast Trail offers one of the few coastal wilderness hiking experiences in the United States. Bear canisters required everywhere. We drove six hours from Los Angeles to San Francisco to pick up two friends. This 26-mile trek along California's coast should have been a highway...except it was too riddled with cliffs to build on. With no road or cell phone signal for miles, this rare stretch of paradise is a must-do for the backpacker looking for a truly off the beaten path experience. In fact, the nearly 25-mile-long Lost Coast Trail is on the bucket list of many an avid backpacker. Our path leads us to expansive vistas above the surf and to remote, majestic campsites. Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week! The Lost Coast is an 80 mile stretch of the California coast where the builders of Highway 1 decided to go around because it was too rough. Lost Coast Trail hike difficulty: the biggest difficulty in backpacking this rugged California coastline is that hiking in the sand and among the rocks can be difficult on your knees. Forage for Gourmet Mushrooms The dense, rain-saturated woods of the King Range provide the perfect habitat for mushrooms, including edible chanterelles and matsutakes. The standard group size on our Lost Coast backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 12 guests and 2 guides. These items are three 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. We recommend staying at this hotel, as we will depart directly from here on the morning of Day 1 and return to this hotel on Day 5. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. We provide all group gear which includes the following: We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. Navigating with the tide charts, we will make our way through the ½ mile stretch, after which the Punta Gorda Lighthouse comes into view. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios. Itching for a remote and scenic experience along the California Coast? For the next few miles, we ascend a densely forested ridge with with views of prominent coast peaks to our left and eventually drop down to a major valley with a crystal clear creek. It is about 230 miles north of San Francisco and 60 miles south of Eureka. See all (or any) of northern California's three faces. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. Read below for average high and low temperatures in the Lost Coast: More Lost Coast - King Range Loop is a 44.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Whitethorn, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The Lost Coast Trail is located within the King Range National Conservation Area (NCA), along the Northern California coast. Photo: Daniel Sherman. Trip PlannerSeason Year-round, but early fall is best to avoid spring rain and summer fog. Some 7,500 miles from where I was raised. The Lost Coast is among Californias most rugged stretches of coastline. California’s Lost Coast Trail, a 53 mile hike along one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided. The Lost Coast is an 80 mile stretch of the California coast where the builders of Highway 1 decided to go around because it was too rough. 4025 East Huntington, Suite 150 All logistical details have been updated as of January, 2018. Hiking on the lost coast is the first thing that the free spirit wants to do. As we climb up from the beach to our shuttle, we will enjoy a last lunch before making our 4.5 hour drive back to Sacramento, where we will say our goodbyes and start dreaming about our next adventure. This trip takes you down the Lost Coast starting at Mattole and ending at Black Sands Beach. Joe had everything covered and was attentive to my dietary needs. Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. Play tag with the pounding surf by day and camp in misty coves by night on this 26-miler along the wildflower-swathed hillsides of the Lost Coast. You spend most of your time hiking on wet sand or shifting pebbles, and Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit). Click on a date to register. Best Campsites You can camp anywhere on the beach, but the best sites are where mountain streams  flow into the ocean, which you’ll find roughly every 2 miles. The King Range NCA's Douglas fir-covered peaks attract hikers, hunters, and campers, while the coast beckons to surfers, anglers, beachcombers, and many others. The King Range area is nearly untouched by civilization, with only a few small towns along the two-hour shuttle from Shelter Cove to the Mattole Beach trailhead to the north. Walk a wild beach to discover shell mounds, marking the spot where Native Americans once shucked clams … This trip takes you down the Lost Coast starting at Mattole and ending at Black Sands Beach. See the coast the way it was meant to be seen. This remote region of mountains and seascapes is known as California's Lost Coast and is accessible only by a few back roads. This is an absolutely stunning 25 mile thru-hike on the northern part of California's coast. The area is named The Lost Coast because the coastal mountains in this area made this stretch of coastline too difficult to build a highway along. The hikeable stretch of coast is technically two sections and approximately 52 miles; however, the northernmost 25 miles is what’s most commonly understood as the Lost Coast Trail. Backpack Devil’s Punchbowl, Six Rivers National Forest Apart from sea lions and a few other adventurous hikers, it is pure solitude. Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. Get Lost With Us Backpack Northern California with a local guide Owner Blu Graham knows all the hidden gems and backroads of this Northern California treasure. Ask anyone who has ever hiked the Lost Coast Trail, and they're likely to … Don't Miss Sea Lion Gulch Whether you’re thru-hiking or just hiking a section, stop off at Sea Lion Gulch (mile 4.7 from Mattole). If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information. The coast to the north of Shelter Cove provides a great place to hike, as a day trip or a more prolonged endeavor. We will set up camp on the beach near our trailhead, sit around a cozy campfire as the sun sets, and dine on some amazing outdoor cuisine prepared by your guide. Between the cliffs and the sea, the Lost Coast Trail passes along a narrow band of pristine black sand beaches. I was wrong. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors. After the lighthouse we will continue on to Sea Lion Gulch, where the cliff becomes too steep for the trail to continue. But you don’t have … Parallel to this stretch of beach known by the locals as "Big Black Sands Beach" are mostly public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Then there are the 840 miles of dramatic California coastline, which provides year-round access to the coastal nooks from the Lost Coast of the Kings Range down to Big Sur. Hikers can view sea lions, tidepools and spectacular spring wildflowers. The Trip Northern California’s Lost Coast boasts a ruggedly spectacular undeveloped landscape, where mountains and creeks meet the sea, and coastal wildlife thrives in woodlands, secluded coves, sandy beaches, and tidal zones. Walking along the black sand, forests of Douglas fir covering the hillsides and homes along Shelter Cove come into view. All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Sure, it’s hard to get to—but where else can you hit mountains, beach, and redwoods on one trip? This section is steep, rocky and sometimes involves timing travel with the patterns of the waves. The Lost Coast Trail ends with a pleasant, level path cut through tall, dense blackberry brambles. After roughly 4 miles we approach a beautiful creek and the beach opens up wide enough for high tide travel. Many hikers stop at Randall Creek (mile 8.8 from Mattole), so Sever suggests pushing on to quieter Spanish Flat (mile 9; great for spring flora like lupine and California poppies) or hanging back at Cooksie Creek (mile 6.8; cool rock formations). Otherwise, you may experience heavy torrents of rain. At first the road is so narrow and overgrown that it’s almost indistinguishable from a singletrack trail. On our last day, after a hearty breakfast, we will pack up and head south toward Black Sands Beach trailhead. Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight, Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost), Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags, 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups). The Lost Coast is a remote stretch of the California coastline so rugged that it forced the Coast Highway further inland. A backpacking trip along California's most undeveloped stretch of shoreline. It is the Nation's first NCA, designated in 1970. Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack. And if you’ve reserved a shuttle through Lost Coast Adventure Tours, call the company to confirm your ETA before cell reception cuts out. Dates must be carefully selected based on tides. With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Tackle the Lost Coast or spend a couple days relaxing in Redwood National and State Parks...you can’t go wrong. Whether you want a guided day tour or a safe, scenic lift to the trailhead, we make it unforgettably awesome. You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one! The first two miles of the trail wind through dune grass, after which we reach our first of three tidal zones, which are stretches of beach impassable at high tide. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee. The Payoff In Northern California’s remote King Range, the peaks rise thousands of feet from the sea along a stretch of coastline so precipitous that engineers rerouted the Pacific Coast Highway inland. Backpacking is an exceptional way to enjoy the world's amazing national parks, wilderness areas and remote landscapes! We drove six hours from Los Angeles to San Francisco to pick up two friends. Sites are $8 per night and first-come, first-serve. 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