Lost Coast Trail

King Range National Conservation Area, Near Whitethorn, California

Lost Coast Trail does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!



Lost Coast Trail - North (Mattole - Black Sands Beach). 24.6 miles, mostly level.

Little Black Sands Beach at King Range NCA

The Lost Coast Trail offers one of the few coastal wilderness hiking experiences in the United States. Hikers will be treated to exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities such as sea lions, elephant seals, river otters, eagles, bobcats, deer and more. Tidepools, teaming with life, line the coast. In spring spectacular arrays of wildflowers cover the hillsides and bluffs.

Overnight camping along the Lost Coast Trail requires a Backcountry Permit. Permits can be obtained through Recreation.gov, on the King Range Wilderness Permits (Lost Coast) page. No walkup permits are available.

King Range National Conservation Area near Mattole

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 hike these stretches during an outgoing tide of three feet or less 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, 2600 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). Contact State Parks for information on obtaining a permit, or for roads and trails conditions.