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The Lost Coast: Mattole to Black Sands Beach

Petrolia, California

based on 11 reviews



25.05 miles

Elevation Gain

653 ft

Route Type



Added by Whitney Whitehouse

The Lost Coast: Mattole to Black Sands Beach takes you along stunning coastal views on this 25 mile stretch of coastline with nicely laid out campsites and easy access to water. Need to have shuttle car (best to leave your car at Shelter Cove TH and take shuttle up). Duration: 3 days/2 nights.

This is an absolutely stunning 25 mile thru-hike on the northern part of California's coast. To accomplish this hike, you'll either need to bring 2 cars or use a shuttle service. It's recommended that you drop one car at the Shelter Cove Trailhead (40.0455053,-124.0778196) and either use one of the shuttle services to drive you up to Mattole or drive your second car up there. Keep in mind that it takes approximately 1.5 hours to drive between the two trailheads.

Along your trek, there are several places to camp for the night. This map lays out the designated areas. Be sure to pick up a more detailed one at the ranger station.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you keep an eye out for the areas that are impassible at high tide
  • Check tide charts and weather reports before heading out on the trail
  • If rain is forecasted, bring your rain gear and rain cover for your pack
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Family Friendly

The Lost Coast: Mattole to Black Sands Beach Reviews

Awesome views, very windy, sand can be tough hiking.

Beautiful. I would recommend 4 days or more and bring bear canisters. :)

This was an amazing trip as the weather cooperated! A few important notes are keep your pack light as walking in sand is hard with 30+ pounds on your back. Be cautious of the tides and sneaker waves, definitely bring a tidal schedule. The scenery is out of this world and even though you'll see people along the way there are many little areas to camp and feel like the only one on the whole trail! Enjoy the lost coast!!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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