A Guide to the North Section of Lost Coast Trail

A glimpse at the Lost Coast Trail through the eyes of Blu Graham

Owner of Lost Coast Adventure Tours, Blu Graham, has been hiking since he was a child. Blu has been guiding and shuttling people on  Lost Coast for the past 6 years. His love for the outdoors has lead him to learn the trail like the back of his hand. The following is a guide to the trail:

“Being outside away from every day culture, being in the now, it’s our nature surviving day to day.” -Blu

2 Nights, 2 1/2 Days, 25 miles on the North Section of Lost Coast Trail

Day 1:

Arrive at the Trail Head, mentally prepare for the adventure ahead.  It is 25 miles of trail to make it the final destination, Shelter Cove. The Duration of this trip varies from person to person depending on skill level, scheduling, group size, and the time one is looking to enjoy the trail.

While traveling down the coast there are a few landmarks that a great to know to be able to determine where you are.

  • Approximately every 2 miles there is a creek. Keep track of the creeks seen passed along the way.
  • There is a cabin at the 4 mile mark near the second creek (please keep in mind all cabins on trail are private property)
  • Lighthouse (can be seen from the cabin)

As the hike progresses and day time comes to an end it is important to have a campsites located before hand to facilitate your settlement for the day. Night one sleep recommendations vary depending on the amount of miles traveled the first day:

Three Campsites

  • Sea Lion Gulch (4.5 miles from start)
  • Cooskie Spur Creek (6.7 miles) **in tidal zone
  • Spanish Flatt (11 miles)

Reflecting back on Day 1.

When asked about the most memorable things on Day 1 Blu stated:

” The lighthouse, all the elephant seals seen at Sea Lion Gulch, and most importantly looking out on the horizon and seeing the Raw Pacific Ocean.”

Day 2:

As the sun rises and the adventure begins again, the trail will lead you in the first tidal zone, if Spanish Flatt was not the chosen campsite the first night. The first tidal zone consists mostly of a boulder terrain which can be very treacherous to walk through. To facilitate this part of the hike there is a recommended detour that can be taken.

  • There is a Peninsula referred to as “Hat Rock” right after Sealion Gulch, the trail goes up a creek
  • Find trail that will lead you to a cabin (about 25 yards from beach)
  • Follow the fence, there will be a gate
  • Go through gate, it will lead you back to the beach.

Day 2 will come to an end there are varies camping areas to chose from depending on miles traveled that day.

Five Camp Sites

  • Big Creek (12 miles from Black Sands Beach)
  • Big Flatt Creek (10 miles)
  • Shipmen’s Creek (8 miles ) **in second tidal zone
  • Buck Creek (6 miles)  **in second tidal zone
  • Gitchell Creek  (4 miles) **in second tidal zone

Reflecting back on Day 2.

“The wide spread Spanish Flatts, vast meadows, forest, and the ocean behind you,” states Blu.

The final stretch is a half-day hike of 4 to 8 hours depending on the pace. The terrain changes and becomes more difficult, it consists of sand and gravel. The final 10 miles are no longer hardpack, it puts one’s endurance to the test.

Hiking the Lost Coast Trail is an amazing experience, as you get lost in it you also end up finding yourself.

If you’re planning a trip out, check out our extensive FAQ to help prepare for your trip and book a shuttle with us to get to the trail.