Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Lost Coast Trail

A 24 mile three day backpacking trip along California's most undeveloped stretch of shoreline. -
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 24 miles / 39 km
Duration: Multiple days
Overview: 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. That left this coast all to us backcountry folks as the cars, the people, and the noise keeps a good distance away. This trip takes you down 24 miles of the Lost Coast starting at Mattole and ending at Black Sands Beach.

This is a one way hike, so you need to shuttle a car to the end and then drive to the beginning. If you don't want to bring two cars, a shuttle service will pick you up at Black Sands Beach and shuttle you and your gear to Mattole (about 2 hours driving away) so you can hike back to your car.

◼ This is a one way hike, so bring a car to shuttle.
◼ A shuttle exists for $$$ See the links for details.
VERY IMPORTANT: Buy a map and a tide table for the region. Or print the tide table. Some areas are IMPASSIBLE at high tide and you want to plan your hiking times. Or, just hike until you can't and rest there.
◼ Bear Canisters are mandatory on this trip. Yes, there are bears.
◼ Bring some sandals for stream crossings and high tide point walk arounds.
◼ Bring extra socks. You will get wet! The waves catch you now and then as hiking on wet sand is easier than on dry sand so you try to skirt the border.
◼ Bring wet weather gear as it can get bitter cold and wet if the wind picks up and blows the fog.
◼ Bring a tent, as everything is wet in the morning. Cover everything you don't want soaked.


The Lost Coast is the star of our "Off The Map" video series on This episode was filmed in March, 2012, on a two-day trek of the route. Check it out. . .

This 26-mile trek along California's coast should have been a highway...except it was too riddled with cliffs to build on. -

INFO Self-register for permits (free) at Mattole River trailhead (707-986-5400; ◼ Mandatory bear canisters ($5 plus deposit) available at Petrolia General Store (707-629-3455). Trip data: ◼

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