The Lost Coast Trail: Changes and Hazards

The past week was a beautiful one on the Lost Coast.

We set out out to hike the trail on a Tuesday. The sun was tropical, the birds were singing and a cool breeze continuously kept us from getting too warm on our 25 mile hike.We had the perfect tides and managed to completely the trip at a faster pace than usual, still stopping to enjoy the booming wildflowers.

As pretty as everything was, there were signs everywhere of a rough winter and a much more violent ocean.

Chunks of the trail have broken off and fell downwards into the water, rock scrambles are higher and more treacherous, and landslides can be active at any moment breaking away large boulders and silt. If it wasn’t for the ocean taking back parts of the Earth with it than some sections may have been impassible at this time of year. We are grateful of our beautiful giant body of water but also wary of it. We know that at any moment it can change and turn threatening. To any hiker with lots of experience or none, we urge them to take the time to learn about the changing tides and be prepared for the worst.

We saw two snakes this trip. The first and friendliest of the two, a gopher snake sunbathing just after camp in the trail. The other, a western rattlesnake, in an unexpected place, sea level near a creek. Tread carefully and don’t be taken by surprise.

The poison oak is thick and the ticks too friendly, but we will always love this special place and take the best with the worst. Plan ahead and prepare and fall in love with the rugged beauty of the Lost Coast…


-A Guide’s Perspective