THE LOST COAST TRAIL: A Complete Video Summary of the Trail

The Lost Coast Trail is a 25 mile section of pristine and rugged California coastline. Big waves, dark beaches, an abandoned lighthouse, and bears are just a few of the surprises a hiker will enjoy while walking the Pacific Coast from Mattole Beach to Shelter Cove. The video below offers a comprehensive idea (37 minutes) of what the coast is like and how to prepare for the trail. I also provide planning recommendations, helpful links, and a gear list below. I respond to all posts in the comment section.

The Lost Coast Trail from Ryan Commons on Vimeo.


  1. Ryan, this is so beautiful, so soul-touching. Thank you for sharing. Hope to hike it for myself...

    Tracy Curtis

  2. Very nice video! I'm heading out there on Sunday and have been contemplating getting trekking poles, any advise? It's really kind of funny I was thinking am I really going to watch a 37min video right now, but I started it anyway and I was captured immediately. Then the second song was wilco! I'm goin to see them next month and I realized of course I'm going to watch a 37 min video right now! Good stuff :)

    1. The hiking poles are very helpful on the beach and rocks. They may save you a fall and they definitely help maintain momentum on dry sand. In a group of four, we had two people with 2 poles and 2 people with one each. Have a great trip and drop me an email if you have questions:

      Yes, the video is very LONG. Glad you watched it all. I thought I'd make it comprehensive just incase someone really wanted to know what the whole trail is like.

  3. Hello Ryan,
    Great video! I currently live in MA, but I grew up in Northern CA. Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa to be exact. We are avid hikers and planning a three day trek on the northern portion of the Lost Coast Trail while on vacation next July. Have you hiked this area during that time of the year? If so, could you give me some insight on the conditions in mid July? Also, do you know of any shuttles in that area?

    Thanks, Scott

    1. Scott,

      The Lost Coast Trail is great in July. My wife and I were up there the year after the trip in this video (video was december).

      July weather was fantastic. The nights were cold enough for bonfires and the days were warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt. The only thing to watch out for is the wind. It blows South almost constantly and that makes for a miserable experience if you travel North on the trail. So make sure and travel South. You could do the whole trail in three days and have a car dive you back from Shelter Cove.

      I've never taken the shuttle, but I know these guys drive people:

      I've sent them a lot of people, but no one ever sends a review. Please let me know who you go with and how the drive works.

      Have a great trip and let me know if you have other questions. The rangers are exceptional at the Lost Coast. They are very helpful for planning. I talked with one of them for about 30 minutes before spending a week out there in December. He gave me estimates on creek level and exit points in case of a storm. The conversation helped us get out of a nasty situation.



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  5. From the Blog:

    "These are the personal thoughts of the King Range Wilderness Ranger. The purpose of this site is to get information to you, the potential visitor, so you can better plan your trip. The views and opinions expressed here do not represent the views or official positions of the BLM or the Department of the Interior."

    Summer Wrap

    We had another great summer here in the King Range National Conservation Area with over 4,800 visitors this year – the majority of which travel on the Lost Coast Trail for at least a portion of their trip. It’s been a while since I’ve posted and there are a few things to update you about:

    1. Fire Restrictions
    2. LNT – specifically, Dispose of Waste Properly
    3. Bears

    With the onset of the rainy season we are no longer in campfire restrictions. Burn as you will but if you decide to have a campfire please help maintain clean campfire rings and fire safety.

    Use existing fire rings when possible and keep your campfire small. Building large fire rings encourages the burning of larger pieces of wood and this tends to break down the ring and spread ash outside it's perimeter. This leads to an eye sore for other visitors and encourages them to build another fire ring - multiplying the impacts.


    Give me a call or send me an e-mail if you have any questions about the King Range NCA or any backpacking or Leave No Trace questions.

    Your Wilderness Ranger,
    Paul Sever

  6. Hi Ryan,
    Great video, thanks for sharing! I am doing the trail next weekend and was wondering if you could share your gear list? Thanks!

  7. Very cool vid. Love the choice of music, especially "On Fire" by Switchfoot. Are you Christian?

  8. Steven, thanks for the comment. I think the song carries a lot of feeling and yes I am. Send me an email if you ever have questions for planning a trip: (I'm Ryan Commons"