Lost Coast Trail, California Hiking Trails Info, Map & More

Lost Coast Trail, California Hiking Trail Information

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The King Range National Conservation Area (NCA) is located about 230 miles north of San Francisco and 60 miles south of Eureka. All roads leading to the King Range NCA are narrow, steep and winding. Allow plenty of time between destinations, have a full tank of gas, and be alert to oncoming traffic. All main roads are normally accessible to passenger cars except during heavy winter storms. Primitive roads may be closed seasonally. Directional signs mark all major intersections in the King Range NCA giving the road name and distances to primary recreation sites. NORTH ACCESS: U.S. 101 to the Ferndale exit. Once in Ferndale, follow signs to Petrolia. One mile past Petrolia, turn right on Lighthouse Road; it is 5 more miles to the Mattole Recreation Site. Allow 1 1/2 hours for the 42 mile trip. CENTRAL ACCESS: U.S. 101 to South Fork – Honeydew exit. Follow the signs to Honeydew (23 Miles). Turn left in Honeydew to Honeydew Creek Recreation Site and Smith-Etter Road. Allow 1 hour for the 24 mile trip. Turn right to Mattole Beach and Trailhead. Allow 45 minutes for the 18.5 mile trip. SOUTH ACCESS: U.S. 101 to the Redway/Garberville exit. Follow signs to Shelter Cove/King Range NCA. Allow 45 minutes for the 22 mile trip to Shelter Cove. TRAVEL TIMES BETWEEN SELECTED DESTINATIONS Black Sands Beach to Mattole Recreation Site, 2 hours Honeydew to: A.W. Way Park, 8 miles, 20 minutes Mattole Recreation Site, 18.5 miles, 45 minutes Smith-Etter Rd./Wilder Ridge Rd. Intersection to: (Four -Wheel Drive Recommended on this road.) North Slide Peak Trailhead, 7.5 miles, 1 hour Kinsey Ridge Trailhead, 10 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes Spanish Ridge Trailhead, 12.3 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes King Peak Rd./Shelter Cove Rd. Intersection to: Tolkan Campground, 3.5 miles, 15 minutes Horse Mountain Campground, 6.5 miles, 25 minutes Lightning Trailhead, 16 miles, 1 hour Saddle Mountain Trailhead, 10.5 miles, 45 minutes Horse Mountain Creek Trailhead, 4.5 miles, 20 minutes Shelter Cove Rd./Chemise Mountain Rd. Intersection to: Hidden Valley Trailhead, 1/4 mile, 1 minute Wailaki/Nadelos Campgrounds, 1/2 mile, 5 minutes Sinkyone State Park (Needle Rock), 10 miles, 45 minutes



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Wilderness Permits

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. Hikers can view sea lions, tidepools and spectacular spring wildflowers. Solitude can be difficult to find on holiday weekends, so try to plan your hike during weekdays, or the less crowded spring/fall months. Allow at least three days for the entire hike. Much of the trail is beach hiking with several stretches of 1-2 ft. rounded boulders. Wear sturdy hiking boots. Water sources are plentiful along the beach. Stream crossings may be impassable 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 impassable during high tide. Carry a tide table, and when in doubt, hike these stretches during an outgoing tide to avoid being trapped. Always be aware of the ocean. Large sets of waves can occur at any time, sweeping unsuspecting hikers into the ocean. Large waves and/or high winds will amplify the effects of tides, causing areas normally passable at a particular tide to become impassable. Several privately owned cabins exist along the Lost Coast and are not for public use; BLM does not maintain any facilities along this trail – please respect private property rights. NO CAMPING AT BLACK SANDS BEACH TRAILHEAD. Camping is allowed north of Telegraph Creek. Lost Coast Trail-South (Hidden Valley – Needle Rock in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park) 9 miles, 875 ft. climb 2,600 ft. descent Mountain meadows, old-growth forests and ridgetop vistas through coastal chaparral offer hikers an interesting contrast to the northern leg of the Lost Coast Trail. Hikers can also continue for 19 more miles through redwood groves and fern clad glens of Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. NOTE: The State Park has different regulations regarding trail use and camping (e.g. no pets or mountain bikes; camping is only allowed in designated areas).

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