Lost Coast Trail

Remember your OUTDOOR ETHICS when enjoying your public lands. Please RECREATE RESPONSIBLY.



The Lost Coast Trail offers one of the few coastal hiking experiences in the United States. Hikers will be treated to exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities such as sea lions, elephant seals, river otters, eagles, bobcats, deer and more. In spring spectacular arrays of wildflowers cover the hillsides and bluffs.

King Range National Conservation Area near Mattole

Know Before You Go


The northern section of the Lost Coast Trail, from Mattole to Black Sands Beach, is 24.6 miles long and there are three sections of trail that are impassible above specific tide thresholds.

  • Wear sturdy hiking boots.
  • Water sources are plentiful along the beach.
  • Check the tides & your marine forecast before your trip. 
  • No Camping at Black Sands Beach Trailhead!
    • Camping is allowed North of Telegraph Creek with an overnight wilderness permit.

The southern section of the Lost Coast Trail, from Hidden Valley to Needle Rock in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, stretches 9 miles with a moderate elevation change.

  • The south section of the Lost Coast offers a different scenery than the northern section.
  • Hikers can continue for 19 more miles through the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park if they wish.
    • NOTE: Sinkyone Wilderness State Park has different regulations regarding trail use and camping.


Overnight camping along the Lost Coast Trail requires a Backcountry Permit. Permits can be obtained through Recreation.gov, on the King Range Wilderness Permits (Lost Coast) page.

Two individual walk-up permits are available each day at the King Range Visitor Center.

Before planning your visit or booking a permit, please visit the King Range National Conservation Area page for information such as maps, tide safety, condition reports, and regulations.

Helpful Links

Accessibility Description (ABA/ADA)

No ADA access

Adventure is at Your Fingertips

More Information

Travel Times

Black Sands Beach to-
 • Mattole Recreation Site- 2 hours
 • Honeydew- 1 hour 15 minutes
Honeydew to-
 • A.W. Way Park- 8 miles, 20 minutes
 • Mattole Recreation Site- 18.5 miles, 45 minutes
Smith-Etter Rd./Wilder Ridge Rd. Intersection (Four -Wheel Drive Recommended on this road) to-
 • North Slide Peak Trailhead- 7.5 miles, 1 hour 
 • Kinsey Ridge Trailhead- 10 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes
 • Spanish Ridge Trailhead, 12.3 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes 
King Peak Rd./Shelter Cove Rd. Intersection to-
 • Tolkan Campground- 3.5 miles, 15 minutes
 • Horse Mountain Campground- 6.5 miles, 25 minutes
 • Lightning Trailhead- 16 miles, 1 hour
 • Saddle Mountain Trailhead-10.5 miles, 45 minutes
 • Horse Mountain Creek Trailhead- 4.5 miles, 20 minutes
Shelter Cove Rd./Chemise Mountain Rd. Intersection to-
 • Hidden Valley Trailhead- 0.25 miles, 1 minute 
 • Wailaki/Nadelos Campgrounds- 1/2 mile, 5 minutes
 • Sinkyone State Park (Needle Rock)- 10 miles, 45 minutes



Iconograph of an evergreen tree
Iconograph of binoculars
Iconograph of two people wearing backpacks and using walking sticks
Iconograph of a tent
Iconograph of two people wearing backpacks and using walking sticks

Geographic Coordinates

40.045129, -124.076984


The King Range National Conservation Area (NCA) is located about 230 miles north of San Francisco and 60 miles south of Eureka. All roads leading to the King Range NCA are narrow, steep and winding. Allow plenty of time between destinations, have a full tank of gas, and be alert to oncoming traffic. 
All main roads are normally accessible to passenger cars except during heavy winter storms. Primitive roads may be closed seasonally. Directional signs mark all major intersections in the King Range NCA giving the road name and distances to primary recreation sites. 
NORTH ACCESS: U.S. 101 to the Ferndale exit. Once in Ferndale, follow signs to Petrolia. One mile past Petrolia, turn right on Lighthouse Road; it is 5 more miles to the Mattole Recreation Site. Allow 1 1/2 hours for the 42 mile trip. 
CENTRAL ACCESS: U.S. 101 to South Fork - Honeydew exit. Follow the signs to Honeydew (23 Miles). Turn left in Honeydew to Honeydew Creek Recreation Site and Smith-Etter Road. Allow 1 hour for the 24 mile trip. Turn right to Mattole Beach and Trailhead. Allow 45 minutes for the 18.5 mile trip. 
SOUTH ACCESS: U.S. 101 to the Redway/Garberville exit. Follow signs to Shelter Cove/King Range NCA. Allow 45 minutes for the 22 mile trip to Shelter Cove.