The Lost Coast Trail - Northern California 5/25 - 5/28/17

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Jim_PDX
Posts: 6
Joined: August 4th, 2010, 1:33 pm

The Lost Coast Trail - Northern California 5/25 - 5/28/17

Post by Jim_PDX » June 15th, 2017, 9:50 pm

If you haven’t considered the Lost Coast Trail in northern California, I recommend it. It is a gem. We backpacked the 25-mile northern section of the Lost Coast Trail from Mattole Beach to Black Sands Beach at Shelter Cove over the Memorial Day Weekend. The Lost Coast Trail is located in the King Range National Conservation Area which covers 68,000 acres along 35 miles of California’s northern coast. The terrain is too rugged for highways and Highway 1 / Highway 101 turn inland along this stretch of the coast from just south of Eureka to Leggett.

Useful information on trail conditions can be obtained by contacting the BLM Ranger Station:

BLM Website King Range National Conservation Area

King Range National Conservation Area
768 Shelter Cove Road 
Whitethorn, California 95589
(707) 986-5400
[email protected]

For a good overview and information on hiking the Lost Coast Trail, I found John Peltier’s webpage useful.

We took a shuttle van (Mendo Insider Tours) from Black Sands Beach to the trail head at Mattole Beach. The cost was $100 per person. It’s a windy road, over hill and dale, some of it on gravel and dirt. The driver handed out some ginger candy to help with the twists and turns, which was thoughtful.

We later discovered that there is a local shuttle business, Lost Coast Adventures, for $85/person.

The shuttle left the Black Sands Beach parking area (which allows overnight parking - no fee) about 1:00 PM. We made a pit stop along the way at the Honeydew general store and arrived at the Mattole Beach trailhead about 3:30 PM. By the time we sorted our gear, it was almost 4:00 PM when we headed south towards Punta Gorda lighthouse, about four miles away, our destination for the evening.

The Lost Coast
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Looking north from Mattole Beach
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Thursday, 25 May - Heading south from Mattole Beach
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We believe it rolled down the hill.
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A dead sea lion
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Some private property still remains within the King Range
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Punta Gorda Lighthouse - Thursday night's destination
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Punta Gorda Lighthouse
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Some locals
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The Punta Gorda Steakhouse was open for dinner
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Friday, 26 May - heading south of Punta Gorda towards Spanish Creek
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Slow going
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Layers and layers
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Friday, 26 May - Home for the night at Spanish Creek
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Spanish Creek
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Spanish Creek neighbor
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Organic artwork
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Saturday, 27 May - Heading towards Big Flat
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Bear tracks
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Bear's breakfast
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Just north of Big Flat, Shelter Cove is in the far distance
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Nice cabin with an airstrip out front
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Disc golf anyone?
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Saturday Night, 27 May at Big Flat Creek
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There is a nice break at Big Flat Creek. The surfers provided dinner entertainment. They came in a RIB from Shelter Cove.
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Locals at Big Flat Creek
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Sunday, 28 May - Heading to Black Sands Beach at Shelter Cove
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The End
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The weather cooperated. Cool and overcast in the mornings with the sun appearing mid/late afternoon. No rain. No bugs. Loads of wildlife and good times.

Highly recommended.

Cheers!
Last edited by Jim_PDX on June 17th, 2017, 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

olderthanIusedtobe
Posts: 462
Joined: January 2nd, 2014, 10:45 am

Re: The Lost Coast Trail - Northern California 5/25 - 5/28/1

Post by olderthanIusedtobe » June 16th, 2017, 6:39 pm

Very cool! I day hiked from Mattole to Punta Gorda lighthouse and just a little beyond, to Sea Lion Gulch I believe. Very enjoyable. Did you see any rattlesnakes? I didn't, but it was weighing on my my mind any time the trail went thru an area w/ ankle high or deeper grass/brush. I did see one quite a bit further south at Montana de Oro State Park just outside of San Luis Obispo. So weird that there are rattlesnakes on the coast.

Jim_PDX
Posts: 6
Joined: August 4th, 2010, 1:33 pm

Re: The Lost Coast Trail - Northern California 5/25 - 5/28/1

Post by Jim_PDX » June 17th, 2017, 7:15 am

We did see a rattlesnake. At Big Flat Creek, we watched a young couple frantically throwing sand and objects at something on the ground adjacent to their fire ring. We were about 100 meters away and couldn't decide what was going on. I finally walked over to ask what was happening.

There was a rattlesnake that slithered out of the fire ring rocks and the young couple was trying to kill the snake but the soft sand was preventing the snake from getting crushed with the stones and sticks they were throwing.

I secured a stick of sufficient length to safely remove the snake (In a former life, for a brief time, I was a successful snake wrangler, but that's another story).

Not a rattlesnake but he/she/it was next to the trail
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markesc
Posts: 1388
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: The Lost Coast Trail - Northern California 5/25 - 5/28/1

Post by markesc » June 17th, 2017, 12:30 pm

Wow that's just WOW epic! Thanks for posting!

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