Miles Away from Anywhere, the Lost Coast Feels Like Home

A place to get lost...

By: Garrett Graham
September 21, 2016

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We left freeways and long drives behind for rough roads and wet skies. After 10 hours of driving we pull onto Chemise Mountain road. It's steep and mostly unpaved, our Tacoma was about as wide a vehicle as I would feel comfortable taking in.

Clouds, the smell of the sea and a eucalyptus grove are our home for the next week. We will eat like kings of the trail. Meat on the bone, our daily catch from the sea. The Lost Coast is our home for the next four days.

Located about 5 hours north of San Francisco, the lost coast always seemed mysterious to me but It's really just an awesome part of California that's mostly undeveloped.

Most people who go to the Lost coast hike the 25 mile Lost Coast Trail, we're not exactly backpackers. We had 15 pounds of beef alone.

We searched for a camp with a great view and needless to say we we're rewarded.

There are plenty of views like these.

A word of caution: The place is lousy with black bears. We didn't see any because they were in hibernation, but during the summer they are everywhere. Also the number one warning from every sign and person we saw said "Never turn your back on the ocean." It's powerful and large swells will come out of nowhere.

I thought there would be some great shots from on this rock. What you don't see is the 25 foot wave that splashes down on top of me moments later. If you're looking for a new place to explore and black sand beaches crashing into thick forest is your cup of tea. Look no further.

We stayed at Jones beach in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park south of Shelter Cove. We didn't see another person all trip. Winter is the off season since the area can get 100 inches of rain a year, though we got lucky and had 4 days of great weather.

There are rules and permits you'll need to follow if you're staying in Sinkyone, so follow them. Rangers will quiz you to make sure you read them. While it may be hard to find, the Lost Coast offers amazing opportunities for great pictures. It absolutely deserves a spot on your list.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.