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Lost Coast Trek (Coming Soon!)

Highlights

  • Rugged California Coastline
  • Remote Black Sand Beaches
  • Dense Old Growth Forests
  • Ocean Wildlife
  • Stunning Beach Camping

Description

The Lost Coast is a section of Pacific coastline so rugged and mountainous that State Highway 101 was forced to go around. The remoteness and wildness are a welcome respite from the rest of California's coastlines, where state parks, mansions, and congested roads dominate the edge of the ocean. Here in the Lost Coast, the wind-beaten cliffs of the King Range stand guard above the sea, deterring every would-be visitor except those on foot.

Following the narrow strip of beach that divides the mountains from the ocean, our hike traverses black sand beaches, coastal mountains with dense forests, and low tide zones rich with marine life. This is the kingdom of the hiker, a rich wilderness with fresh water creeks flowing out of the coastal mountains, that is only accessibly by backpacking. Our route leads to expansive vistas of the vast Pacific Ocean, with lots of solitude, and intense natural beauty!
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Trip Dates

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You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
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800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to Black Sands Beach: 4.5 hours
  • 4x4 Shuttle: 2 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: minimal
  • Elevation Gain: minimal
We will leave our hotel in Sacramento and head west to the coast along scenic Highway 101. About 3.5 hours into our drive we will stop and enjoy a break at Richardson Grove State Park. We will stretch our legs on a short hike through a stunning forest of Giant Redwoods. Another hour of driving brings us to Black Sands Beach where we will meet our shuttle driver who is taking us north to our starting trailhead. It will take us another 2 hours to get to our trailhead, where we will set up camp for the night at a campground on a beautiful beach. There will most likely be time to take a walk along the beach and snap some pictures of a classic Pacific sunset before enjoying a wonderful dinner, cozy campfire and peaceful night's sleep.
Day 2
  • Hiking Mileage: 4.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 200 feet
After a delicious breakfast we will pack up and begin our trek along the Lost Coast Trail. The first two miles of our trail take us through dune grass with fantastic views of the ocean. We will take a short break before tackling the initial of 3 Tidal Zones which are sections of beach that must be passed at low tide. Consulting our tide charts we will hike the ½ mile stretch, eventually arriving at the locally famous Punta Gorda Lighthouse. Known to many as the “Alcatraz” of lighthouses, Punta Gorda is famous for its quite extreme remoteness and isloation. The lighthouse, which was first used in the early part of the 20th century, was in use until the 1950's. After the Punta Gorda we will approach a section of cliff too sheer for a hiking trail, which forces up and over a 200 feet tall bluff. At the top of this bluff is our first night's camp with stunning views of the ocean, the sunset, and the beaches below us.
Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 9.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 500 feet
Our third day begins early with hot coffee or tea and a steaming breakfast. Our hike takes us through our second tidal zone, this one 4 miles in length. Again consulting our tide charts, we brave extended rugged hiking on wet and coarse rocks to Kandall Creek. After a brief break at the creek to filter water and eat a quick snack we continue down a pleasant dirt trail, a well-deserved respite from the rugged tidal zone hiking. The next few miles take us up a densely forested ridge in classic coastal mountains, and eventually drop us down to another fresh water creek, where we'll set up camp for the night. Our camp is nestled in a forested cover with wonderful views of the ocean.
Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 6.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 200 feet
Today's hike begins again with reaching a tidal zone pretty quick, and the necessity of consulting our tidal charts. We will hike past beautiful Miller Flat to the next tidal zone on our route. Low tide comes twice a day, and above the tidal zone are mountains rising up directly from the ocean. Our route follows a narrow section of rock along the cliffs. This stretch of hiking is rocky and occasionally requires timing our passage between waves. Many guests feel this is the most breathtaking part of our journey. After approxiamtely 2 miles we come to Gitchell Creek where the beach is again safe for high tide trekking. We will end today's hike at Buck creek where our camp is again nestled in a forested cove, this time near a beautiful waterfall. We will enjoy a final, celebratory dinner tonight over our last roaring campfire.
Day 5
  • Hiking Mileage: 6.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 200 feet
  • Shuttle to Sacramento: 4.5 hours
Our last day, after a hearty breakfast, we will pack up and hike south toward Black Sands Beach trailhead, where our vehicle is waiting for us from Day 1. Hiking along the black sand, forests of Douglas fir cover the hillsides and homes along Shelter Cove come into view. As we climb up from the beach back to our car, we will enjoy a last lunch before making our 4.5 hour drive back to Sacramento, where we will say our goodbyes.



Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified California hiking guide
  • Comprehensive, roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Sacramento and back
  • All necessary entrance fees and permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are three 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

This trip originates in Sacramento, California. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation, which will be at 5:00 PM at a hotel in Sacramento. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Lost Coast trips your guide will meet you at your hotel in Sacramento at an agreed upon time.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on our Lost Coast backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 12 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)


Weather in the Lost Coast

The Lost Coast of Northern California is moderated and cooled by the moist air coming off the Pacific Ocean, which makes for surprisingly consistent temperatures year round. It's often foggy in the morning, clear during the day, and foggy again in the evening. From May through October rain is scarce, but mist and fog are common. Winter is the rainy season. Read below for average high and low temperatures in the Lost Coast:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
Low
Hi
 
 
May
54°
51°
 
 
June
55°
52°
 
 
July
56°
53°
 
 
August
57°
54°
 
 
September
58°
54°
 
 
October
57°
54°