Lost Coast Trek

Sacramento, CA
5.0 (8 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Rugged California Coastline
  • Dense Old Growth Forests
  • Stunning Beach Camping
  • Remote Black Sand Beaches
  • Ocean Wildlife
  • Wonderful Solitude
  • Point to Point Thru-Hike

Description

The Lost Coast is a stretch of California coastline so rugged State Highway 101 was forced to go around. The remoteness is a rare respite from the rest of the state’s border with the Pacific Ocean. There are no mansions tucked along hillsides or congested lines of traffic winding along the cliffs. Here, the weathered cliffs of the King Range tower above the sea, blocking the way of everyone who’s not on foot.

Between the cliffs and the sea, the Lost Coast Trail passes along a narrow band of pristine black sand beaches. It is the domain of the hiker, a wild and severe landscape swathed in dense forest with pristine creeks, waterfalls, and stunning sunsets. Our path leads us to expansive vistas above the surf and to remote, majestic campsites. Apart from sea lions and a few other adventurous hikers, it is pure solitude. The Lost Coast trail is one of the finest beach backpacking trips in the world – don’t miss this one of a kind tour!


Need to Know: Lost Coast Permits & Tides

Lost Coast Permits are applied for on October 1st for the following year and we typically get results around the first of March. It’s beneficial to register before permits are issued and if you do, we recommend not making concrete travel arrangements until the permit is secured. We have an excellent success rate with securing our dates; however, if for some reason we’re unsuccessful your deposit is fully transferrable or refundable.

Dates must be carefully selected based on tides. In the Dates & Booking section of this page you will find dates that work with the tides. If you’re interested in other dates, please contact us as we will have to ensure they are feasible. If not, we will work with you to find feasible dates in your timeframe.

Feel free to call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions about the Lost Coast permit process.

Read more …
From
$1840 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-12 Guests
Trip Length: 5 Days
Distance: 25MI / 40KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 5

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This trip is rated as a level 5 due to the challenging nature of the terrain which includes traversing slopes of wet sand as well as sections of wet rock and slippery tidal zones. The trip is completely based upon the tides which include 3 impassable zones during high tide. Hikers must be fit and prepared to hike at a quick pace over rough/wet terrain with a 35-45 lb pack. Anticipate early wake up times based on the tides.

Hiking Distances:

6-10 mi

Backpack Weight:

35-45 lbs

Terrain:

Significantly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

600 ft

Heights Exposure:

Moderate

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 35-45 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on very rugged terrain, including sandy slopes, slippery tidal zones and more
  • Hiking at a fast pace when necessary to get through tidal zones before the high tide comes in
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this California hike a solitude 4. You can expect to see zero to a couple of other groups per day in the backcountry.

TRAVEL TO SACRAMENTO

Sacramento International Airport is one of the most easily accessed destinations in the country. Many major cities in the United States and internationally offer direct flights into Sacramento. We recommend staying in a hotel near the airport.

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Drive to Black Sands Beach from Sacramento: 4.5 hrs
  • Shuttle from Black Sand Beach to Mattole: 2 hours

Today we will eat a quick breakfast and wake up early to make our way toward the Lost Coast. After a 4.5 hour drive, we will arrive at our ending beach trailhead where we meet up with our private shuttle driver who transports us to the northern starting trailhead. We will set up camp on the beach near our trailhead, sit around a cozy campfire as the sun sets, and dine on some amazing outdoor cuisine prepared by your guide. Also, if we arrive at the beach early enough there are some wonderful hikes and walks in the immediate area that we can enjoy.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 600 feet

After a hearty breakfast we will pack up and begin our adventure along the Lost Coast Trail. The first two miles of the trail wind through dune grass, after which we reach our first of three tidal zones, which are stretches of beach impassable at high tide. Navigating with the tide charts, we will make our way through the ½ mile stretch, after which the Punta Gorda Lighthouse comes into view. Known as the “Alcatraz” of lighthouses, due to its isolation and solitude, Punta Gorda makes for wonderful photography. The lighthouse, first lit in 1912, provided a beacon to ships until the 1950’s. After the lighthouse we will continue on to Sea Lion Gulch, where the cliff becomes too steep for the trail to continue. We will climb roughly 200 ft up on the bluff and then finish our day with 2 more miles to our campsite along a Cooskie creek with stunning ocean views.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 10.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 500 feet

Our third day begins with a hike along a 2 mile stretch that is impassable at high tide, so we’ll time our departure carefully. Following tide charts, we make our way along rough and wet cobblestone where a coastal creek flows into the ocean. Beyond the tidal zone, we’ll stop for a quick snack along and then continue down a nice dirt trail, a wonderful section of hiking. For the next few miles, we ascend a densely forested ridge with with views of prominent coast peaks to our left and eventually drop down to a major valley with a crystal clear creek. We’ll stop, fill up water and enjoy the scenery, then continue another 2.8 miles to our camp at Miller Flat, where we’ll eat a delicious dinner around a roaring campfire.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 200 feet

After a tasty breakfast, today’s hike begins with more timing with the tides. Only twice a day during low tide does today’s initial trail emerge. The mountains rise up directly out of the sea and the beach is a thin shelf along the cliffs. This section is steep, rocky and sometimes involves timing travel with the patterns of the waves. Most think this is the most beautiful part of our trail. After roughly 4 miles we approach a beautiful creek and the beach opens up wide enough for high tide travel. We will make our way toward another majestic mountain creek trickling out of the mountains into the ocean where we will camp for the evening and enjoy our final, celebratory dinner around another cozy campfire.

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 1.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 200 feet

On our last day, after a hearty breakfast, we will pack up and head south toward our ending trailhead. Walking along the black sand, forests of Douglas fir covering the hillsides and homes along a cove come into view. As we climb up from the beach to our shuttle, we will enjoy a last lunch before making our 4.5 hour drive back to Sacramento, where we will say our goodbyes and start dreaming about our next adventure.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • 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 communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • A Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and dependents to a discount of 10% off any Wildland hiking trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

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 synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red 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.

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 with an orientation meeting the evening before the trip begins at the Hampton Inn & Suites Sacramento-Airport-Natomas. We recommend staying at this hotel, as we will depart directly from here on the morning of Day 1 and return to this hotel on Day 5. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s departure time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 6 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at this hotel on the final day normally before 7 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

Safety Precautions

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. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

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.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join scheduled tours (approval on a case by case basis)

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)

MonthLowHi
May54°51°
June55°52°
July56°53°
August57°54°
September58°54°
October57°54°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Backcountry Sleeping

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (8 reviews)
Jaime T
5.0

Amazing

5 months ago

We keep traveling with Wildland because every trip the guides are just amazing people! They add so much to the experience and really are the best at what they do! Blair & Matt were amazing on the Lost Coast trip. I really appreciated everything they did to help make sure we were comfortable with all of our equipment, safe and fed well!! Plus two just really cool dudes who are awesome to talk with!

Sara J
5.0

Great Trip!

6 months ago

The Lost Coast Adventure trip was amazing. Hiking on the beach and through fields of wildflowers for 26 miles never got old.

Simion P
5.0

Great Trip

6 months ago

Great trip. Waking to the ocean view every morning was a great experience and I would recommend it to everyone.

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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