King Range National Conservation Area

Quick Facts

King Range National Conservation Area

California

(707) 986-5400

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

One doesn’t just stumble across the King Range National Conservation Area—it takes some searching. The King Range extends along the northern California coast just south of Eureka. This remote region is called California’s Lost Coast because it’s only accessible through a few back roads, but this dramatic union of land and sea is worth the hunt. Mountains thrust directly from the beach to over 4,000 feet in less than one mile in this rugged topography of more than 60,000 acres. With recreation opportunities as diverse as the landscape, this little-known patch of wilderness is a rare western gem.

Map of King Range

Latitude, Longitude: 40.057710, -123.974950

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Activities

  • Bird Watching

    You'll likely see one of the nearly 300 species of native and migratory birds found in the King Range, such as northern spotted owls, bald eagles and Cooper's hawks.

  • Camping

    Wailaki, Nadelos, Tolkan and Horse Mountain Campgrounds are all located in the southern part of the NCA, while the Mattole Campground is in the northern part. Lodging is available in Shelter Cove and in Garberville. Bears are present in King Range and are known to wander campsites. Please use best practices at all times and err on the side of caution. Backcountry hikers must use bear resistant canisters to store all food and scented items.

  • Hiking

    More than 80 miles of hiking trails are embedded within King Range. One of the most popular trails is the Lost Coast National Recreation Trail, which winds hikers along 26 miles of secluded coastline. The diverse route is a minimum three-day backpacking trip that switches from sandy shores to boulder-covered beaches to coastal prairies with breathtaking ocean vistas. Spectacular wildflower meadows burst into bloom in spring. Lost Coast Trail swings by the historic Punta Gorda Lighthouse, nicknamed the "Alcatraz of lighthouses" for its isolated locale. Guided interpretive hikes are also available. Contact the King Range National Conservation Area Project Office for more information at (707) 986-5400.

  • Wildlife Watching

    A great spot for seaside scenery is Shelter Cove. Off-shore rocks, tidepools and kelp beds harbor opportunities for viewing sea lions, seals and gray whales.

Directions

Driving

North Access: U.S. 101 to the Ferndale exit. Once in Ferndale, follow signs to Petrolia. One mile past Petrolia, turn right on Lighthouse Road; drive 5 miles to the Mattole Campground. The 42-mile trip from U.S. 101 is about 1 ½ hours.

South Access: U.S. 101 to the Redway/ Garberville exit. Follow signs to Redway, turn west on Briceland Road. Follow signs on Briceland Road, which becomes Shelter Cove Road, to Shelter Cove/King Range NCA. Allow 45 minutes for the 23-mile trip to Shelter Cove from U.S. 101.

Flying

The closest major airport is Eureka Municipal Airport.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(707) 986-5400

Links