I had to do the Lost Coast Trail again at least once this year…new annual tradition?  Yes I think so.

I hiked the trail in spring last year and the wildflowers were amazing.  Especially at Spanish Flat – the entire meadow was bright gold and purple.  The weather was warming up and we had some spring showers; overall the weather was very pleasant.  But it’s hit or miss on this trail.  You never know what you’re going to get.

I managed to squeeze another trek out to this amazing coast in September, between other hiking trips and travel out of the country.  I knew the wildflowers would be dead but that wouldn’t take away from any of the beauty of this trail.

Punta Gorda Sunset

Lost Coast Bluffs

None of my friends could get time off work, but screw it, I’m not letting that stop me.  I drove out to Shelter Cove and took a shuttle up to Mattole with a young couple from South Carolina and their young (meaning 140 pounds) German Shepard puppy.  See my Backpacking The Lost Coast Trail post for shuttle information.

The weather was foggy and misty as it usually is on this coast, but that’s what you expect.  The sun broke through every now and then, and for quite some time during the first evening for a spectacular sunset.  By this time I had connected with a group of three younger backpackers and we ended up sticking with each other for the whole trail.

Punta Gorda Light

Hikers reading an interpretive sign at the Punta Gorda Lighthouse.

Beach Dinner

The final day was miserable.  A front came through at 3am and tore the rainfly off my tent; I managed to secure it without really getting out of my tent, and then the rain came.  And didn’t stop.  For most of the day it was blowing sideways, and the wind was uncharacteristically out of the southeast.  We were hiking southeast (the prevailing winds are out of the northwest).  Trudging along the wet sand with our heads down, looking up occasionally to check our progress and getting stung by giant raindrops in our eyes.  I had planned to spend another night out there, but no thanks.  Hiked an extra five miles to my car and called it a day.

Evening Reflections

Tidal pools near Big Creek.

Hiking on the Beach

While I took a bunch of photos last time I did this trail, my focus this time was video.

Turns out I need some videography practice.

For the full trip report on the Lost Coast Trail, updated with information from this trip, visit Backpacking the Lost Coast Trail.

Now for the video:

 

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