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Lost Coast 6/18

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Lost Coast 6/18

Postby mschnaidt » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:24 pm

I hiked the Lost Coast last weekend. Started on the North end at the Mattole River and ended at Shelter Cove. This is a wonderful, rewarding hike.

Typically I'm more of a High Sierra type but the coast is a great alternative to get out prior to the snow melting.

We did the trip in four days which was great. It gave us time to relax and enjoy the beach. It also gave us some flexibility to time our passages through the 3 "tidal zones". These are areas that are impassable at high tide. The first one is short but the next two are 4 miles long each. Tide Tibles are available from the King Range BLM. They will send you a packet of info containing a good map and a copy of the tide tables for $5. For credit card orders and/or special pricing on large orders call 707-825-2300
http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/content/ca/en ... index.html

Bear Canisters are required. We didn't see any bears but we did see fresh prints on the beach.

Hike from North to South as the prevailing wind is from the North. We had 40 MPH winds the first day and I was glad they were pushing me down the trail instead of sand blasting my face.

I live in the Sacramento area so we had a 6 hr plus drive to Shelter Cove where we met our shuttle driver "Jill" (you can find contact info on the BLM website. She works for the 1st one on the list). The shuttle to the north end of the trailhead takes two hrs and isn't cheap. $225 for 3 people and $25 ea for additional passengers. However the cost is worth it. The road is narrow and slow. The last thing I would want to do after finishing the hike is drive four hours up and back to retrieve my car. Jill was prompt, friendly and drove a new Toyota Sienna minivan. It was a comfortable shuttle.

The first day we hiked to Cooksie Creek, around 7 miles. There were few places to camp prior to Cooksie. The Lighthouse area had some spots but were exposed to the wind. There was a small site at Sea Lion Gulch but the 1st protected spot was at Cooksie.
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The hiking on this stretch started on the beach but soon changed to a trail just off the beach. Good water was readily available all along our trip with a stream every half mile or so. It was early in the year and the streams were full. Check conditions before you go.

Day two was a short 4 mile day to Spanish Flat. This is a great area. We hiked upstream about a qtr mi and camped under the trees close to Spanish Creek. The rest of the day was spent in the sun on the beach followed by a bonfire.
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Day 3 was 7 miles to Shipman Creek. The first 6 miles were great. Mostly on a trail off the beach. The last mile was on the beach through the beginning of a tidal zone. This stretch has a sharply sloped beach. Tighten down your boot laces! I didn't and have the blisters to prove it. Thank goodness for duct tape...

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Day 4 was a little over 7 miles. This stretch is all beach hiking. Do it on a receding tide and you will be able to walk on the firm area recently exposed by the outgoing tide. You'll have to dodge the occasional big wave but it's fun to watch your friends running with their packs on...

This was a fantastic trip and I would do it again.
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Re: OT Trip Report: King Range (northern Lost Coast)

Postby rlown » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:30 pm

Beautiful report! Welcome aboard..
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Re: Lost Coast 6/18

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:35 pm

Wow, 2 Lost Coast TR in a year, thanks Mschnaidt for the TR & pictures, and
welcome to HST!

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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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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