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Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

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Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby Ross939 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:23 pm

First off, I must apologize, as this topic has no relevance to the high Sierra. I do know, however this Forum has a wide diversity of hiking enthusiasts from all over California and the rest of the country, and for that I enjoy the conversations here.

I'm hoping to head up the coast to hike the Lost Coast Trail on California's rugged Mendocino/Humboldt County coast.

One of the biggest challenges right now is coordinating the drive. For those that are not familiar with the LCT, you would traditionally start at the northern most trailhead, at Matolle Beach, and hike south down the coast to Shelter Cove. Normally, you would park your car at Shelter Cove, then take a shuttle, or drive a second car to the Matolle trailhead. However, the shuttle service wants a couple hundred dollars per person, and two cars are out if the question, so I'm thinking about doing a loop hike where we would drive up to the the Saddle Mountain trailhead. This is known as the Rattlesnake Ridge, the Buck Creek Loop.

Anyone who has hiked this loop, I would love to hear about it. Sounds like a great hike, the only drawback would be that you would miss the northern most section of the LCT, where you have some breathtaking views such as the Punta Gorda Lighthouse.



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Re: Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby rlown » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:50 pm

how do you want to actually do it and when? Not about the loop idea but what is your desired trip? and this probably needs to be in "beyond the sierra" but we'll skip that for now.
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Re: Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby maverick » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:53 am

HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby Ross939 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:12 am

rlown wrote:how do you want to actually do it and when? Not about the loop idea but what is your desired trip? and this probably needs to be in "beyond the sierra" but we'll skip that for now.

The desired trip would be the LCT from Matolle Beach trailhead to Shelter Cove. I am tentatively planning for May 30- June 2. However, one's wants aren't always feasible with what's available. I wanted to confirm, from any folks out there who have hiked the route, if there are other options than the private shuttle, getting from Shelter Cove to Matolle Beach. Any public transportation that I am not aware of, and are the roads in the area traveled enough to easily hitch a ride. The research I've done so so indicates a "no" to both quandaries.
Last edited by Ross939 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby Ross939 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:13 am


Thanks, Maverick, I'll check it out. And thanks for moving the topic to the correct location.
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Re: Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby rlown » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:57 pm

were your shuttle inquiries close to either trailhead? or even a chamber of commerce in the area? Petrolia?

I was only inquiring because i'm 228 miles from the trailhead. With gas prices the way they are, $200 a person is a good deal. Still painful though.
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Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby Ross939 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:17 pm

Thanks, Rlown. It was my understanding that the shuttle service picks you up at Shelter Cove, where there is a sizable, secure parking lot where you park your car. They drive you to Mattole Beach trailhead, the you essentially hike back to your car. I'm certainly not bashing the shuttle folks, gas prices are very high. It's just an expense I'd hope to do without. I hadn't though about the Pertola Chamber of Commerce, thanks for the tip.
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Re: Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:42 pm

A thread over on summit post has some warnings from a local.

http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/please ... 57933.html

I have been trying to figure out logistics but weather uncertainties and the distance have this one on the back burner for me.
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Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby Ross939 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:41 am

Thanks, I had read the Summitpost thread, but I went back and took a second look and read the local's account a bit closer, good info to know, and makes one think twice about the inland loop options that I was contemplating. One thing I did find out was that the shuttle service price of $200 would be for one or two persons, so divided two ways that's I bit easier to swallow. Still uncertain about perusing this or not, I may well also place it on the back burner and go with something else.
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Re: Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:36 pm

Best is to do it with someone else and take two cars. The roads are classic motorcycle routes too. One car/one motorcycle would also work. When I did it (Matolle to Hwy 1) my husband met me and we returned to my car on his motorcycle. :eek:

You probably could drive into Shelter Cove and store a mountain bike, pick it up at the end of the trip and ride back the road/trails on top the Kings Range. You could do Matolle to Shelter Cove in 2 days with a VERY light pack that would not be hard to wear while mountain biking.

This is one area I would be reluctant to hitch.
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Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby MrFun » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:47 pm

The rate from Lost Coast shuttle is $200 for the first two people, and $25 per person after that. The van has room for six passengers. Write to Lost Coast and tell Sherri you'd like to be in a van w four other folks, and til cost you $55 for one person, or $100 for two. This is a full on, four hour round trip, you do NOT want to do yourself.


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Re: Hiking the Lost Coast Trail

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:59 pm

Hi MrFun,

Welcome to HST! Thank you for chiming in with that information, and helping a
fellow member out. :)
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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