King Range Wilderness Permits (Lost Coast)

King Range National Conservation Area

A spectacular meeting of land and sea is the dominant feature of Bureau of Land Management's King Range National Conservation Area (NCA). Mountains seem to thrust straight out of the surf, a precipitous rise rarely surpassed on the continental U.S. coastline. King Peak, the highest point at 4,088 feet, is only 3-miles from the ocean. 

The King Range NCA encompasses 68,000 acres along 35 miles of California's dramatic north coast. Here, the landscape was too rugged for highway building, forcing State Highway 1 inland. This remote region of mountains and seascapes is known as California's Lost Coast and is accessible only by a few back roads. It is the Nation's first NCA, designated in 1970. 

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. World-class mountain bike trails, and 42,585 acres of coastal wilderness are two of the highlights of this incredibly unique area. 

Visitors planning to camp overnight in the King Range Wilderness will be asked to provide a tentative itinerary; including number of days in the wilderness, entrance trailhead, exit trailhead, and backcountry camp zones. To assist in planning an overnight trip into the King Range Wilderness, take time to review the trailhead descriptions and directions, as well as the camp zone map and zone descriptions

Are you an organized group? A school group? A Boy or Girl Scout Troop? A Meetup group? A hiking organization? A commercial outfitter? All organized and commercial groups accessing the King Range Wilderness additionally need a Bureau of Land Management Special Recreation Permit. Permits obtained from Recreation.gov alone are not sufficient for organized and commercial groups. Click here for more information and/or to request a Special Recreation Permit. 

For more information or help planning your itinerary, call the King Range Project Office at (707) 986-5400.

Notifications and Alerts

Permit & Season Information

Permits are required year-round for overnight camping in the King Range Wilderness. No permit is required for day-use. The maximum group size is 15 persons. The permit size is limited to 5 persons, so a max group of 15 will need 3 permits. The start date of the permit is strictly monitored and visitors are required to begin their trip on the permitted start date. Early or late starts will not be authorized. Permit availability is based on the start date only.

Need to Know

Learn more about the rules, regulations, and current conditions for King Range Wilderness. 

Visitors should be aware that wilderness permits are required year-round for overnight camping within the wilderness area (including the Lost Coast Trail). 

Hard-sided bear canisters are required; find detailed information and rental locations

Deposit solid human waste in holes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet (70 paces) from water, camp, and trails. Along the Lost Coast Trail, dig your hole in the intertidal zone (wet sand near the ocean). 

Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Storms can quickly make creeks impassable. Some sections of the Lost Coast Trail are impassable during high tide; consult a tide table when trip planning. Never turn your back on the ocean. 

Campfires are prohibited approximately mid-June through mid-October. Some years, extreme fire weather will also prohibit campstoves and campfires usually in August to the end of fire season. You must have a Cal Fire Campfire permit along with this wilderness permt in order to be in compliance. Obtain the campfire permit online: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/  

Call the King Range Project Office for current conditions. 

Review the King Range Wilderness Checklist to prepare for your trip. 

Review the seven principles of Leave No Trace. 

Visitors hiking the Lost Coast Trail one-way will either need to bring an extra vehicle to drop-off at the finishing trailhead or contact an authorized shuttle provider. These shuttles have proper licensing, insurance, and certifications needed to obtain a Special Use permit for shuttle driving in King Range. Any offers not on this list do not have the proper permit for shuttle services in the King Range NCA.

All roads in the King Range NCA are narrow, steep, and winding. Allow plenty of time between destinations. Find more information and travel times

Learn more about the King Range National Conservation Area. 

Plan ahead for winter trips. Winter storms and waves in the King Range can make portions or all of the Lost Coast Trail dangerous and even impossible to traverse, regardless of tidal level. Additionally, heavy rains may cause downed trees or landslides along upland trails and roads.  

Printing Your Reserved Permit 

You may print your permit as early as seven days before your reservation date. The permit must be carried by the permit holder. Permittee is responsible to educate all in their hiking party on these rules and stipulations. Permits are non-transferrable. Once your permit has been printed, you cannot make changes to the permit. If you decide to cancel, please do so on your recreation.gov account to allow others to use your permit. 

For more information or help planning your itinerary, call the King Range Project Office at (707) 986-5400.

Fee Policy

Reservation Fee

*Organized groups include, but are not limited to: school groups, outdoor clubs, online meet-up groups, Boy and Girl Scout Troops, or any other organized group, outside of a family unit, that is cost-sharing for the trip.

Cancellation Policy

Change Policy

Cancellation Policy

Contact Information

Mailing Address

768 Shelter Cove Road (Physical address) Whitethorn CA 95589

Office Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., PST, seven days a week.

Phone Number

707-986-5400

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