Backpacking the Lost Coast Trail


The views along the Pacific Coast Highway in California are a spectacular sight to see via an automobile. Drive far enough North and the highway makes a sharp turn inland, this is where the real views begin. This turn in the highway is where the Lost Coast Trail begins.

For the next 50 miles or so its nothing but a variety of beaches, mountains, rocky coast lines, and you. The Lost Coast Trail starts with forested ravines, smooth wind worn bluffs, and a number of secluded coves filled with panoramic views.

The rest of the Lost Coast Trail will bring you to some uniquely beautiful black sand beaches. You’ll also find your self on some very pristine stretches of coast where you can watch for migrating grey whales, watch various sea life frolic of the coast, and see ample signs of the active wildlife.

Permits Needed

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In Sinkyone Park you can self register for a permit at the trailhead. The backpacking fee is $2 per person per night Once you make your way to King Range you will need a special permit for fire and stove use. These permits are free and can be picked up at the Bureau of Land Management.

When to Go

To get the best “summer” experience, visit this area in spring and fall. The summer months here crowded and the weather is more nasty than pleasant and the winter months are wet and miserable.

What to Bring

Make sure to get a tide table for the area. You can get this at the Bureau of Land Management. Several areas of the trail are impassible at high tide. Bear canisters are required in certain areas and you will want to bring a water treatment device.