Lost Coast Trail


California’s Lost Coast is one of the least developed sections of coastline in California. After two years of living over-seas, this was the perfect place to get back into the California spirit. We spent three days hiking the Lost Coast Trail from Mattole to Black Sands Beach, and it was awesome. Along the trail we saw more wildlife than people, plenty of seals, rabbits, dear, pelicans, gulls, and even a heron.

We arrived late Thursday night and camped at Black Sands Beach and then took a Lost Coast Shuttle to Mattole Beach early Friday morning. We started hiking around 9 or 9:30, and with a long lunch pause at the lighthouse we were just barely able to get to Randall Creek after the impassable section with a high tide at 4:20pm. The map says “impassable at high tide” but you’ll get wet if the tide is anywhere over 4 feet. We all soaked our boots at one point around 1:45pm. It’s this big black rock that is surrounded by waves in this photo:


After that we had to walk another two miles on the beach with wet shoes before we got to the campsite. We reached Randall Creek around 3pm and then spent the evening drying our shoes.


The second day was really easy with a nice trail and no impassible sections or beach hiking. The scenery was also more diverse meadows and trees. We camped the second night at Big Flat, which had a lot of campsites with driftwood wind barriers and benches. Our campsite was nice, but we upgraded it by building a log sofa next the fire. It was the most comfortable camping seat I’ve ever experienced.


The last day was my least favorite. It was non-stop beach hiking on sand and rocks, and the weather was a bit dreary. The only thing that kept me going was the amazing fish and chips that was waiting for us in the Shelter Cove RV park deli!

You should be able to download my Lost Coast Trail GPS track from EveryTrail with our campsites and a few other important waypoints.

And here are some of my Lost Coast Trail photos!

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2 thoughts on “Lost Coast Trail

  1. Hi,
    I’ planning to do the trip also in 3 days. I was just wandering, what time did you get back to your car after starting at Big Flat?

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