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Lost Coast Trail: The Ultimate Guide For Backpackers

Get ready to shake the sand outta your boots after this one! In our guide to backpacking California's Lost Coast Trail, you’ll find out everything you need to know about this wilderness coastal hike, plus some more tips for having a safe and fun adventure!

Hiking On California’s Hidden Coast

Do you want to enjoy 25 miles of rugged coastal trail hiking along a secluded coastline in one of the prettiest portions of Northern California? Check out the Lost Coast Trail!

The Lost Coast Trail is a few hours north of San Francisco and connects Mattole Beach to Black Sands Beach.

In between these wilderness beach trailheads, there are miles of rocky beaches, beautiful creeks, and even some shipwrecks! You’ll also see spots where rugged cliffs jut out into the Pacific Ocean, encounter sea lions and shorebirds, and if you’re lucky even see (from a distance, we hope) a black bear or rattlesnake.

Sound like an adventure unlike any other? Spoiler alert: it is!

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about backpacking the Lost Coast Trail. This includes info on how to obtain King Range wilderness permits, what time of year is best to hike the LCT, gear recommendations, and a detailed, stage-by-stage route description.

So lace up those boots, we’re going for a walk on the beach! Continue reading the full article by Sam Schild here.

LAST UPDATED

June 4, 2022

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Sam Schild

MEDIA MENTIONS

While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere

MEDIA MENTIONS

SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team