Can you keep up with MI OLA Brand Ambassador Ashley B. (@ayeboulet)? From downhill skiing at her home base in Lake Tahoe, CA, mermaiding with fellow ambassador Elise in Moorea, hiking up a 14,000 footer White Mountain, beach hiking the coast in the Kalalau Valley on Kauaʻi, Hawaii, or relaxing on a beach in St. Maarten, we love Ashley’s sense of adventure. We caught up with this awesome mermaid and got the details on her latest #getoutthere adventure: hiking the Lost Coast Trail at Kings Range in Northern California.
#GetOutThere Guide: Northern California Lost Coast Trail- Kings Range
Seeking solitude? Adventure? Sleeping on the ocean beneath the stars? Look no further than the Lost Coast Trail. This hike/backpacking trail is among my top rated, and perhaps one of California’s best kept secrets. This hike is divided between two national parks. The northern segment is in the Kings Range while the southern segment is in the Sinkyone Wilderness. Each segment is approximately 25 miles in distance, totaling 50 miles altogether. For this #getoutthere guide we will focus on the northern segment of this backpacking adventure.
How to get there:
For this hike you will hike from north to south, however you can go from south to north as well. If you plan on hiking only one way (25 miles), you will need to contact a shuttle service. I arranged a shuttle with Sheri Lualin (Phone: (707)986-9895, firstname.lastname@example.org). Be prepared that the shuttle service is expensive, approximately $150-200 and it takes about 2.5 hours one way. Sherri will meet you in Shelter Cove at Black Sands Beach. You will leave your car there in the designated parking area. From there Sherri will drive you north to Mattole Beach. She will provide you with a map, tide chart, and permits for your hike.
What to know:
You need a tide table and you must plan on hiking at low tide. The tide table is easy to read and follow, just be sure you have one before starting your hike, as sections of this trail involve walking on the beach. You will also need a bear canister for this hike to store all your food. You can purchase one at most outdoor department stores, or rent one for your journey at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Project Office in Whitehorn.
Permits can be obtained from the visitor center, your shuttle driver, or at the trailhead in self-serve stations. The permit is free, however you want to be sure you have one with you. A permit is required if you plan to use a camp stove or have a campfire. Campfires are permitted only during the fall, winter, and spring.
What to pack:
Bear canister (required)
Durable/ water resistant hiking shoes- you will need to cross water and will be hiking on the beach.
Lightweight jacket- rain is likely and expect cooler temperatures at night.
Headlamp/batteries- necessity for light
Pack foods with minimal packaging-what you pack in, you must pack out.
Mole skin- in case of blisters.
Rain poncho- to protect pack and yourself from potential rain, which is likely on the coast.
Extra tent stakes-Expect high winds on the coast and beach when camping.
Water resistant/water proof tent- rain is likely and you’ll want to stay dry when inside your tent.
Water purifier- You will not be able to pack enough water for this hike if you plan to hike for multiple days. There are plenty of water sources that are easily accessible and can be found on a map. I would recommend initially packing a gallon of water per person, and then purify water for the duration of your hike.
To check trail conditions and water sources, go to the BLM website.
When to hike:
Do your research. The best times to hike the Lost Coast Trail are between the months of May-September. I hiked the trail in mid-June. We had fair weather until the last day of our hike. I would recommend hiking in July-August, although there may be more foot traffic during these months. When I hiked this northern segment, I stayed 3 nights and 4 days on the trail. With this pace, I averaged 6 miles a day. I paced my trip according to the tides and allocated enough time to enjoy the coast and unparalleled beauty. Some hike each segment in a few days, but take your time if possible!
To check current weather conditions, click here for the National Weather Service forecast.
After your hike:
After days spent backpacking on the coast the best reward will be eating some fish and chips at the Shelter Cove RV campground and Deli. This market/eatery is quaint and perfect for decompressing with a few brews and a hot meal. After hiking be sure to stretch and continue to drink lots of water.
Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?
Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?
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