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How to Not Get Lost While Hiking the Lost Coast

The Lost Coast is an amazing hike in California where you can experience miles of beach without anyone else in sight.

First off, permits!! Permits just became available for the Lost Coast for 2022, and they go quick! Permits are required to enter the King Range Wilderness and each permit is good for up to 3 people. Check out the available dates here.


The next part of the logistics is the shuttle. Most people park their car at the Black Sands Beach Trailhead in Shelter Cove, get a shuttle to Matthole Campground, and hike 26 miles one way along the Lost Coast back to your car. While the permit is only $6, the shuttle becomes a little pricey. I had the best luck with Bill's Lost Coast Shuttle. We paid $75 each whereas other shuttles were between $100-$150 each! The ride to start your hike is almost 2 hours and very windy. If you get car sick, bring some medicine for motion sickness.


More logistics, tide charts! Now you've started your hike, and you're met with two 4 mile stretches of "impassible zones." These areas are only passable when the tide is 3ft or less. Set the "From" and "To" dates to the dates for your hike, set the "Data Interval" to 15min, and the "Threshold Value" to 3. You'll have to plan your hike out based on these tides. As an example, during out hike. Low tide each day was around 3pm. We hiked up until the impassible zone in the morning, and then was able to pass through between 2pm and 4pm.

Now, the fun part! The hike was awesome, but the good views come with a strenuous hike. Although, there is not much elevation gain, the miles of walking on rock and sand really take a toll. The recommendation is to estimate 2 miles per hour on average, and I can say some of those impassible zone miles definitely took me a little longer than that.

There are also some fun parts along the way. There is a small lighthouse you can climb to the top of and just after the lighthouse is an area where seals like to hang out! We also saw some bear tracks, but thankfully no bears! It is very important that you bring along a bear box (and it's required) to store your food. Oh, and before I forget to mention our outfits, the first morning of our trip was raining, and these helped immensely at keeping us dry. It is an absolute must to check the weather before you go and bring appropriate gear. A personal travel planner can help with all of these itinerary details. Please reach out to me if you have any direct questions (rachel@retreatsbyrachel.com), I would love to help!



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