Hiking The Lost Coast Trail

Lost Coast spans 53 miles of the Northern Californian coastline. The stretch of coast remains undeveloped since it was too seismically active to continue building the Pacific Coast Highway 1 which diverts inland to the 101 further south near Rockport/Fort Bragg.

The remoteness of the trail draws hikers from all over the U.S. The northern segment of the trail takes you along pristine black sands beaches and jagged rocky coastlines through mystical fog and some beautiful campsites. While the trail south of Shelter cove takes you through old-growth redwoods.

Sections of the coastline are impassible during high tide, so I would recommend printing or downloading a tide chart along with a trail map since there’s no cell reception within an hours drive of the trail. We used Gaia GPS on the iPhone, the gps tracking proved to be super helpful even without cell reception.

The more popular section to hike is from Mattole Beach to Shelter Cove. This 25 mile section typically takes 2 1/2 to 3 days. It’s a one way hike so go in a group with two cars so you can carpool between trailheads. Otherwise there’s a shuttle between Mattole and Shelter Cove.

Map and shuttle

Packing list

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • sleeping mat
  • bear bin
  • freeze dried meals (some of the freeze dried meals are pretty gross. The pastas aren’t too bad)
  • sunscreen (it does get warm up there)
  • water filter or iodine tablets
  • Camelback or Nalgene (I had a 2L Camelback that I ended up drinking through every day. Creeks can be far-between so it’s good to be able to carry a lot of water without taking up too much space)

Optional

  • gaiters (for the sand. I didn’t end up bringing any and didn’t mind the sand)
  • hiking/trail running shoes. (I just wore my Nike Freeruns and did fine. Although the ankle support would have been nice hiking on the rock/pebble beaches)

 

Punta Gorda, the tiniest lighthouse. Our first landmark hiking from Mattole Beach down the Lost Coast trail. One of the most remote lighthouses in the world.

Punta Gorda, the tiniest lighthouse. Our first landmark hiking from Mattole Beach down the Lost Coast trail. One of the most remote lighthouses in the world.

First nights campsite at Coosksie creek. You can somewhat make out the dead whale in the bottom left corner of the creek.

First nights campsite at Coosksie creek. You can somewhat make out the dead whale in the bottom left corner of the creek.

Swimming hole at Coosksie Creek

Swimming hole at Coosksie Creek

Second nights campsite at Miller Flat/Rattle Snake Creek. We setup camp and watched the surfers and paddle boarders take advantage of the huge swells that make Lost Coast famous.

A week in Bali

 

Bali had been on my dream destinations list for a long time. Seeing photos from there made it look so dreamy and other wordly. In November I finally took the plunge and set off on my first Asia trip.

Sekumpul Falls, North Bali

Rice fields on the way to Sekumpul Falls

It’s about a half hour hike to Sekumpul falls but you can walk to two different waterfalls once you get to the base of the river.

Renting a car in Bali

Most people visiting Bali rent scooters or take taxis. We had a ton of camera gear to haul around and were making up our plans as we went so we found renting a car to be more practical. Driving in Bali isn’t for the faint of heart, most cars are manual, driving is on the left side and scooters drive like maniacs. However, we found driving to be really convenient and at $15–20/day really inexpensive. Google Maps works surprisingly well and finding gas stations wasn’t an issue. We found Bali Car Finder to be really solid, picking up from the Airport was really easy.

Bali Car Rental (BaliCarFinder.com)
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Kuta, Canggu and Seminyak

Bamboo tree tunnel at the W in Bali

 

Ubud

Ubud was our absolute favorite place that we visited. It’s the least touristy of all the towns we stayed in and the people there are so welcoming and friendly.

Probably the best and friendliest Airbnb we stayed at in Bali. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4937402

Tegenungan Falls a 15 minute drive and quick hike from Ubud.

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Monkey forest in Ubud

Gili

It’s about $50 for an hour and a half trip to get from Bali to the Gili islands. Gili Trawangan is the main island known for being the spring break party island for many Australians. Gili Meno and Gili Air are less touristy and more tropical but with less nightlife.

I highly recommend Eka Jaya Fastboat to get from Bali to Gili. They’re the biggest and fastest of the ferries from Padang Bai, Bali to the Gili Islands and Lombok.

http://ekajayafastboat.com/

 

Uluwatu

We didn’t get to explore Uluwatu as much as we wanted to. This area of the coastline was much more resort-y than Kuta. We mostly stayed at the Bvlgari.

 

Before you go

Don’t drink the tap water! Used bottled water for everything including brushing your teeth. Traveler’s Stomach (Bali Belly) is really common when in Indonesia. Let your doctor or a travel clinic know you’re going to Bali and they’ll prescribe you a general antibiotic for stomach infection, Ciprofloxacin is a common one.

Visa or Mastercard are taken most places but you’ll need Indonesian Rupiah for stuff like Taxis or It’s helpful to bring cash to exchange since the ATMs have a $50 limit. American Express isn’t an option anywhere in Asia which I learned the hard way.

Uber exists in Bali but it’s pretty unreliable. They’re blocked in a lot of towns because the locals don’t like them taking away taxi jobs. Each town has it’s own local taxi brand. Blue Bird Taxi is a good one that uses a meter so they won’t rip you off. Be cautious though because a lot of the unbranded cabs will try to negotiate a price upfront and overcharge you.

Bali by air