We took a short vacation out multiple days with the Tag to the Lost Coast in northern California last week. I’d first heard about the area as a backpacking trail which mostly follows the surf line through the King’s Range National Conservation Area. It took us over 6 hrs. to get there; the last 30 miles from Ferndale to Petrolia on a windy, hilly, barely two lane road. I was very happy to be in the Jeep. The last 6 miles were mostly on an unpaved road with one creek crossing as we headed towards Mattole Beach, the trailhead for backpacking north to south.
The Mattole Beach campground is on BLM land, with only 15 undeveloped sites, and has only potable water and vault toilets. The sites are good sized and we scored one at the edge of the dunes. We were a little disappointed about not being able to see the water directly, but soon discovered the dunes were protecting us from the winds.
Looking north and south from our campsite:
Our first hike was via the beach to Mattole River which empties into the Pacific; maybe a mile one way. The dogs were having a blast running all over and of course Chloe investigated the surf immediately.
We had great weather throughout with one day of severe winds. Unfortunately that’s the day we had planned to hike to the old lighthouse; maybe 3-4 miles south. About 2 miles out with the wind, we knew it’d take twice as long to get back against the wind. Coupled with soft sands and really tired dogs, we headed back, never reaching the lighthouse.
This was our longest time out with the Tag and the first to use our solar setup to keep our trailer battery charged. I’m excited to say, we didn’t run out of juice for the entire trip. Of course, we don’t use much; the refrigerator is on all the time, but we only use the lights for bedding down, and had no use for the fan this trip with cooler weather.
Being so close to the redwoods we took a little diversion on the way home via Avenue of the Giants. K loves trees!