BLM closes two King Range campgrounds for public safety
Upland trails, mountain bike trail, beach access remain open
ARCATA, Calif. — The Bureau of Land Management has closed the Wailaki and Nadelos campgrounds in the King Range National Conservation Area due to multiple hazard trees that pose threats to human health and safety. A reopening date for both campgrounds will be determined once the area is safe again for public recreation.
The closure affects 13 campsites at Wailaki and nine sites at Nadelos. The nearby Tolkan Campground, offering nine campsites, remains open and provides convenient access to the Paradise Royale Mountain Bike Trail and Terrain Park. At the north end of the King Range, the Mattole Campground offers 14 tent/trailer campsite near the beach.
“We are investigating options for reopening the two campgrounds as quickly as possible, but visitor safety remains our top concern,” said Collin Ewing manager of the BLM Arcata Field Office, which oversees the King Range.
Trails and trailheads remain open, and the King Range continues to offer myriad recreation opportunities. When hiking the Lost Coast Trail in the King Range National Conservation Area, watch out for sneaker waves and never turn your back on the ocean while on the beach. The BLM also advises the public to stay high up on beaches out of the wet sand area. A tide chart is critical for the Lost Coast Trail, as some areas are impassable at high tide. Review this Lost Coast Trail Tide Safety brochure for more information.
The public should also remain cautious when visiting steeply sloped beaches. North Coast beaches are not swimming beaches; the extremely cold water can paralyze your arms and legs within minutes without proper cold-water gear, making it impossible to keep your head above water. Check out this beach safety brochure for more information on how to stay safe on North Coast beaches.
Multi-day backpacking trips on the Lost Coast Trail along the Pacific Ocean are popular. Wilderness permits are required and available at www.recreation.gov. There are more than 80 miles of hiking trails offering experiences for varying abilities. Visitors are asked to follow the “Leave No Trace” principles to minimize impacts to public lands and wildlife and consider a hike’s abilities and physical condition. Underestimating the difficulty of a trail can lead to disastrous consequences, especially for a beginner hiker.
There are also driving options through the King Range on roads ranging from paved routes to those requiring four-wheel drive. Make sure tires are in good shape and suitable for the terrain being encountered.
More information on these opportunities is available at https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/california/king-range-national-conservation-area. This website contains information about trip planning, roads and trails, safety, wildlife, and responsible recreation. It also offers maps and guides. Staff at a visitor center, 768 Shelter Cove Rd., in Whitethorn, can also provide information and help with trip planning. The facility is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The telephone number is 707-986-5400.
For more tips and information about recreating responsibly and safely on public lands, review our Memorial Day summer safety news release here.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.