Hike the Chinquapin Loop on The Lost Coast

Hike the Chinquapin Loop on The Lost Coast

Rate this Adventure Hidden Valley Trailhead, Lost Coast

Distance

6 Miles

Elevation Gain

600 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Loop

Added by

Mike Servedio

Beach
Forest
Wildflowers

This is a scenic hike along California's Lost Coast featuring views over the Pacific Ocean as well as the King Range Wilderness. 

I did this hike the day before setting out on a backpacking trip along the northern section of The Lost Coast Trail and it was a fantastic warm up hike. The Chinquapin Loop is a loop off of The Lost Coast Trail along Chemise Mountain, near the start of the southern section of the LCT.

You can start this hike from three different trailheads. My friend and I were camping at the Nadelos Campground (6 miles) and started from there. You can also start from the Wailaki Campground (6 miles) or the Hidden Valley Trailhead (8 miles).

If you start from the Hidden Valley Trailhead you will hike the Hidden Valley Trail/LCT through open meadows making your way up Chemise Mountain gradually. Starting from either campground, you will switch back up the side of the mountain for about 800 feet.

If coming from either campground, you will reach the LCT just shy of the summit of Chemise Mountain (2598 feet). You will have to make a left on the trail here to head slightly uphill. You'll arrive at the top of the mountain via a short side trail and a fine vista that looks out over the King Range Wilderness. There is a bench here and would make a great lunch spot.

Continue on from the vista along the LCT as it runs along the top of Chemise Mountain. You will reach the turn off for the Chinquapin Loop after a mile or so. You can take the first turn off or continue on the LCT another mile to where the loop reconnects. We chose the latter on the day we did the hike.

The trail on top of the mountain is scenic in its own right, with partial views down to the ocean as it weaves it way through the forest. Turn right onto the Chinquapin Loop after a mile or so from the first sign. The trail will gradually wind down the side of the mountain. There are multiple views down to the Pacific as well as wildflowers along the trail.

The Chinquapin Loop accesses Nicks Camp, a backcountry campsite that features a year round water supply in the Chemise Creek. There is also a nice view from nearby the camp. 

You conclude your hike by heading back up the side of Chemise Mountain to rejoin the LCT and returning the way you came, forming a lollipop loop. 

We did this hike on a very nice Sunday afternoon in June and only ran into two others hikers, backpackers doing the southern section of the LCT. We saw quite a few more people along the beach section of the LCT in the days following.  

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Distance

6 Miles

Elevation Gain

600 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Loop

Added by

Mike Servedio

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Backpack to King's Peak from Shelter Cove

Adventure

Camp at Black Sands Beach on the Lost Coast

Adventure

Backpack to Jackass Creek, Sinkyone Wilderness State Park

Adventure

Hike King's Peak

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

travel

Women’s Adventures on the Rise with MT Sobek

​Our friends at MT Sobek are proudly marking their 50th anniversary by creating a series of women...

gear

5 Pieces of Gear You Need for a Weekend Adventure in Monterey, California

Everything you need to crush your trip to Monterey.

destinations

Why You Need to Visit Taughannock Falls in the Winter

Taughannock Falls is gorgeous year-round, but it is especially beautiful in the winter

how-to

How to Pack for Adventure Travel

Pack light, pack smart, and always give yourself some breathing room.

More Stories