Arcata Field Office

King Range National Conservation Area: Weather


WEATHER

From October to April, the King Range wrings moisture from Pacific storms, making it one of the wettest spots in the U.S. Local weather stations typically average 100+ inches annually of rainfall, and during wet years, 200+ inches can fall along the Lost Coast. Snow can blanket the higher peaks after storms, but typically doesn't last for long. The coast rarely sees frost or snow. Sunny weather hikes are still possible in winter during breaks between storms. Scattered showers can linger into early June.

From May - September, the King Crest is normally warm and dry with temperatures reaching the 80's - 90's in mid-summer. At the base of the peaks, the King Range coastline sees less of the cool fog that characterizes much of northern California's Coast, but coastal weather is still highly variable -- one day may bring fog, drizzle and 60 degrees, while the next is a dry 85 degrees. Prepare for rapid weather changes by bringing plenty of clothing layers. Always carry rain gear on extended hikes. Summer winds along the King Crest and Lost Coast Trails are often very strong and erratic. Plan to choose a sheltered camping spot and secure your tent.

Image National Weather Service Logo for Eureka, CACurrent Local Weather Conditions


TIDES

Tides are created by the known and predictable gravitational pull of the sun and moon in their relationship to the earth.  Tides are also affected by unpredictable forces of nature (winds, storms, river runs, atmospheric pressure changes).  An understanding of the forces causing ocean tides is complex.

Generally, there will be 2 high tides and 2 low tides every 24 hours occuring approximately 50 minutes later each day.  During periods of full moon or new moon high tides are usually higher than normal and low tides are usually lower than normal.  During periods of the first quarter and last quarter the high tides and the low tides are usually less than normal.

The link below will take you to NOAA´s tide prediction table for Shelter Cove, California for the current calendar year. 

Image National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration LogoNOAA Tide Predictions for Shelter Cove, California


WAVES

** DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK TO THE OCEAN; BE WATCHFUL AT ALL TIMES **

The ocean along the north coast of California is very unpredictable.  Visitors should never attempt to swim or enter the water along this stretch of coastline.  The water is very cold and survival is limited to 20 minutes without a wetsuit.  The Northern California coastline has very strong undertow and rip currents. Always stay aware of ocean conditions while hiking along the Lost Coast beaches. Larger than normal sets of waves, also known as "sneaker" or "rogue" waves, with high energy can race far up the beach without warning.  Unsuspecting hikers can be washed out to sea in an instant from these  occurrences.