3 Day 2 Night Backpacking trip at The Lost Coast Trail

Hiked the Lost Coast Trail starting from Mattole Beach to Black Sands Beach. With the help of my good friend Ardalan we were able to plan this last minute trip and get our permits right on time for the trip. This breathtaking 26 mile hike goes all the way along the Pacific Ocean. Here is a detailed description of our trip.

Day 1 Mattole Beach to Sea Lion Gulch (4.7 Miles) :

We left Berkeley, CA at around 12pm on Friday night and got to Black Sands Beach parking lot at around 5am. It’s about 230 mile drive, so be sure to leave on time. There could be construction on the roads which takes longer to get there. We ended up sleeping in the car for about an hour. Woke up at around 6:30am, and met at Black Sands Beach with our shuttle so that they could take us to Mattole Trailhead where our journey would begin. We reserved our shuttle through Lost Coast Adventures. I found them to have the most reasonable pricing. It’s about a two hour drive to get to Mattole Beach.


After getting to Mattole Beach since we hadn't much sleep the night before we decided to hike not too far and ended up setting up camp right before Sea Lion Gulch with an amazing view. We got lucky and it wasn’t too windy so we got to enjoy the beautiful scenery watching the sunset on the ocean, and falling asleep to the sound of sea lions.

Day 2 Sea Lion Gulch to Kinsey Creek (7.2 miles) :

Woke up around 9am, and had to wait a couple of hours for the low tide, so that we could continue the trail. Had a nice breakfast with some hot coffee that Ardalan had prepared. The scene just gets better as you walk down the coast. It was a wise decision to start from North to South because we had the wind to our backs which made the hike much more enjoyable. The landscape was beautiful with sea lions, and birds flying as we walked. It was rough and hard to walk on sand and rocks at times, but the challenge made it more fun. After hiking for several hours we were able to spot a really nice campground by Kinsey Creek, which was kind of hidden but was great. We made some hot food and chilled by our campfire before heading to sleep to start our day tomorrow.

Day 3 Kinsey Creek to Black Sands Beach (14.4 miles) :

We had originally planned to spend an extra day on the trail, but on the last day we felt energized enough and pushed it through the end. Finding out the timing to hike for the low tides was a challenge that I enjoyed learning more about. Make sure to get a low/high tide chart from the locals before hiking this trail as it is definitely impassable at points and you could risk of being drowned.

Things you’ll need for Backpacking The Lost Coast Trail:

  1. Permits


  1. Bear Canister

  2. Shuttle (optional from Black Sands to Mattole)

Here is a link to a really great map, I’d definitely download a version of this before heading out to the trail:


Hope this helps, and have a wonderful trip out there. Be sure to follow my Instagram for more photos @bobakradbin

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